Monday, January 31, 2011

True Love

The original video I posted for this day was pulled by the poster. If you did not get to see the original, you missed a great act of true love by a singer auditioning on American Idol. His girlfriend was nearly killed in an accident just before the wedding. You can follow the story on American Idol.

The video below will serve as a replacement for the original post. Even though it was set up as a commercial, I am posting it because it shows how a person filled with joy can spread it all around. Enjoy...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lord Have Mercy

"Greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friend." ~ John 15:13

The Bible quote above is the same no matter what version of the Bible you may have (to date, there are over 25,000 different translations).  These words were spoken by Jesus before He gave up His life for you.  As you look at the video below, pay attention to those closest to Jesus.  They are sleeping in His time of greatest need.  They are turning away from Him when He needs a friend the most.  He knew His friends would do this even before He hand-picked them to follow Him.  In spite of their weaknesses, He still picked them to be on His team.

He knew that you too would turn from Him.  He knew some of you would fail to see Him no matter how many fishers of men he would place in your inner circle just to get His attention.  He created you anyways.  He gave you free will to follow him or do it your way.  No matter how far you find yourself drifting away from Him, He is still calling out to you, asking you to come back to Him.  It's not too late.

Everything that's in my life today that is good comes from Jesus.  There was a time in my life when I was dead.  My life had no meaning.  I searched for the truth.  I was lost.  Jesus found a way to reach me.  I will never forget the day His words became flesh right before my eyes.

Although many may doubt the existence of God, I say there is one man who once walked among us who is listed in all the history books.  He gave up His life so that we could have a second chance.  Would any of us endure the kind of pain he endured for another?  This truly is the greatest gift that any man or woman can lay down one's life for another.

If you believe He was born, died, and resurrected, you too can have new life.  As you watch the video below, remember this, every bit of pain that He endured was for YOU.  He died for YOU.  That, my friends is the greatest act of love known to man.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” ~ Acts 2:1-13

Xenoglossy is a paranormal phenomenon in which a person is able to speak or write a language he or she could not have acquired by natural means.  Xenoglossy is not generally accepted by linguists and psychologists, however, St. Luke claims that this is exactly what happened at Pentecost.  The apostles were able to speak in their own tongues, yet be understood by everyone in the crowd, even though it was filled with people from far off lands that did not speak in the apostles native tongue.

I feel as though I am witnessing some kind of new marvel, a modern-day xenoglossy, with the introduction of Google Translate on my blog.  I came across this amazing tool while searching for a way to communicate with others all over the world.  Even though I am pretty much computer illiterate, I am learning how to transform my simple blog into a source of light for those seeking answers worldwide.

A blog reader on the other side of the world can now read my stories in their own native language as I type it in mine.  I know that the same Spirit who inspired the first apostles to overcome all language barriers is with us today.  He has inspired me to overcome my own weaknesses in order to spread the Good News to all nations.

I am now more excited than ever to write.  This little sand box has some new toys.  If you are reading this in another language, I would love to hear from you.  You can comment in your own language.  I will use Google Translate to decipher your comment.  It is a joy to share the Good News with you.  Thank you for visiting and please share my blog with your friends.

If you are reading this from the other side of the world, I would love it if you could please sign my guest book.  Thank you for visiting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Arise and Shine

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
         And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. ~ Isaiah 60:1

As I awoke this morning, I read the Bible verse above, given to me as a gift from one of my Angels in the outfield.  I promised my Angel that I would use the bookmark daily for my Bible.  It helped me to get my day started properly as the last couple of days have been restless and sleepless due to my heavy workload coupled with the burden of knowing the sacrifices that are to be made in my life in the near future.  A hurricane is on the horizon and it will arrive soon. God has already promised me that He will be with me during the storm and that a rainbow will follow the hurricane. 

Isaiah is one of my favorite Bible writers. His choice of words and the way he makes them flow, especially when he describes the vineyard that God has cultivated (by the way...YOU are His vineyard), makes him one of the greatest writing prophets of all times. Make sure you set aside time to read and understand his sixty chapters of hope and inspiration, everything written with you in mind and for your benefit. Wow!  The greatest love story every written,  just for YOU!

When God wants to get your attention, He does it through other people in your life and through little signs that many times go unnoticed.  I received two more messages to complement my morning Bible verse. While driving my son to school, Katy Perry's song, "Firework" was playing on the radio.  Check out the lyrics:

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you?
'Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the Fourth of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!",
You're gonna leave 'em all in oh oh oh

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane, comes a rainbow

Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time you know

You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine
Just own the night like the Fourth of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em all in oh oh oh

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time you let it through-ooh-ooh

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go "oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em all in oh oh oh

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

If the Bible verse and the song were not enough to get my spirit soaring, then the note from my wife was all I needed to make sure my day was starting properly. At the bottom of her note was a picture of a lighthouse. Next to the lighthouse was another Bible quote, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" ~ 1 John 1:5.  There is no greater power on this earth than the power of a praying wife.

Perhaps some of my restlessness comes from knowing that I must return to the cave and separate myself from the world around me in order to complete this book. God wanted to assure me that I will not be alone in the cave and I will not be in darkness.

I may be starting to sound like a broken record because of all the daily prayer requests I keep asking for from you. Please don't stop praying.  I need your prayers now more than ever in this final trimester of book writing. Your prayers are my light source while I am separated from the world. Thank you and God bless you.

And to the angel who gave me the special bookmark, I am deeply thankful for your thoughtfulness and your presence in my life.  Each time I use my bookmark and see the red hearts on the ribbon, I will remember your words of encouragement. The hearts will remind me of this year's blog theme, LOVE... I will focus all of my writing around this theme.  Your bookmark will serve as my daily rainbow and will help me to find my place in God's word, it will forever remind me that no man is a failure who has friends, especially friends like you.  My love for God's people grows stronger every day.  Thanks for helping me to ignite my spark.  No matter how far away I am sent to do His will, I will always treasure how you ignited the spark within me and it will warm my heart even when I am in some of the coldest places on the planet.

Now it's time to share this spark with the world and set it on fire.  Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the Glory of the LORD has risen upon you.  If you find yourself in a storm, look for the rainbow.  When you see it, you will know that God is with you.  May you be reminded of the love letter I have written you today every time you see a rainbow in the sky.  It is a gift from God, just like you.  No matter how bad the storm, a rainbow will ALWAYS appear.  Remember, that's not my promise, it's God's.  Just do me one favor.  When you look up and see the rainbow, please smile.  If I happen to be on the other side of it, knowing that you are smiling will make me GLAD.  I may not always be able to see your smile, however, I will feel it in my heart.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Special Request from the Jack Lalanne Family

After hearing of Jack Lalanne's passing,  I sent an e-mail to one of Jack's employees offering my condolences and prayers for his staff members and his family. The family answered my e-mail and made one request of me. They told me that if I wanted to do something special for Jack that I should add one extra hour per day of exercise to my routine. The family said that this is all Jack ever wanted, for people to become healthier. They told me that if I did this, it would please him enormously and it would be good for me as well.

This kind gesture from the family touches my heart, especially when I know they are mourning his loss. They still took time out of their schedules to write me. I am passing the family's request along to all my blog readers. His advice is too powerful to keep to myself.

Do yourself a favor and add one more hour of exercise to your daily routine. Some of you will argue with me on this. You will tell me that your plate is too full and that you are too busy. I challenge you to take a good hard look at how you spend the waking hours of your day. If you are honest with yourself, I bet you can find at least one hour that lacks useful productivity, like watching TV.

As for me, I will honor the family's request. Each day that I exercise, I will think of my friend Jack, Angel #96. I hope you do the same.  RIP, my friend.

Ready to start exercising?  Here's a thought...start with small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the escalator.  Remember this, exercise can be FUN.  Check out the video clip below.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Red Alert

The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. ~ Isaiah 42:13

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I tossed and turned, thinking about everything that is on my plate right now. Any time that I feel doubt or confusion, I know exactly where this is coming from. Even though I find myself in deep prayer throughout the day and I am surrounded by a special group of prayer warriors, the Evil One always seems to find a way to infiltrate my defenses.

There is only one way to battle the Evil One. I must declare “Red Alert”! I must separate myself completely from all distractions except for the priorities which are on my calendar. It's time to re-enter the cave armed with my Bible and my sandbox writing tools. When I come out of the cave, I will present the completed manuscript to my writers group for editing so that this book will be published on time.

I will continue to keep in touch with you daily on this blog as this is part of my promise to God, “to publish daily all the good that Jesus is doing in my life.” I am requesting your prayers today and everyday from now until March 17th. On that day, I will cancel the red alert and raise my eyes to the heavens, thanking God for holding me up on this incredible journey, and thanking you for holding my hand along the way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Get Behind Me, Satan

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." ~ Matthew 16:23

My friends, please allow me to set aside a moment in my blog writing to address the Great Distractor in my life. He has managed to hide Himself from many who are close to me. I know better. This Deceiver has been in my family for generations. To me, He is very visible and His works are visible.

Please consider today's blog post to be a preemptive strike against an enemy that has nothing to lose. I am calling on all believers today to join me in prayer for protection. I am also calling on all angels and archangels to cast out the demons that are attempting to thwart God's plans. 

On this day and all the days of my life, I cry out to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and strength. It is only through God's power that the Evil One can be defeated. This battle will be won in His name. All honor and glory goes to the Father, Son And Holy Spirit. Amen!

Monday, January 24, 2011

In Memory of Jack Lalanne, Angel #96

 "I tell people I can't afford to die; it will wreck my image." ~ Jack Lalanne

Jack Lalanne, 96, passed away last night.  My condolences go out to Jack's wife of 51 years, Elaine, and his three children, Dan, Jon, and Yvonne, and his employees, especially Claire who forwarded my emails to Jack and helped me to get an autographed picture of Jack a couple of months ago. The world has lost a great inspirational leader.

In late October, I sent Jack an e-mail asking him to join my Angels in the outfield program. I thanked him for being one of the greatest inspirational people in my life and asked if it would be okay to meet him and shake hands.

Due to restrictions in his contract, Jack was not able to join the outfield. He did offer an autographed picture with some kind words of inspiration. His employee, Claire, followed up to make sure I received my package from Jack. I was given permission to write about Jack in an earlier blog message (see post from 11/5/10). 

I promised Jack that I would follow in his footsteps, inspiring others to lead a healthier lifestyle. Jack lost his father to a heart attack when he was a teenager. The family herded sheep. Jack was a sugar addict during his teenage years. At the age of 15, Jack's mother introduced him to a nutritionist, Paul C. Bragg.  Paul promised Jack that he could become “born again” if he gave up sugar-laden foods.  Jack prayed for the willpower to give up sugar.

At the age of 21, Jack converted the family's garage into his first fitness center. He visited the local high school in search of the scrawniest kids and the most overweight kids, offering them free fitness memberships.

I never got the opportunity to meet Jack in person and thank him for being my personal hero and inspiring me to live a healthy lifestyle. In honor of his life well-lived, I am assigning Angel #96 to Jack Lalanne. I will spend the rest of my life fulfilling my promise to Jack to follow in his footsteps. May he rest in peace. He will be missed by many.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An Update on the Five Monkeys

Over the last six years, many friends from my past have asked, "Mike, what is it that motivated you and your partners to compete with your ex-employer?"  Once we learned of senior management's plans to replace each of us with "five monkeys that could do our jobs better than we could", we thought we'd let them test their theory while we introduced our own ideas into the market place.

We never thought of our replacements as monkeys.  They were worthy opponents that fought hard on the battlefield.  The following video clips are just my way of having fun with my business partners and sharing the Zoom story with my friends. 

Unfortunately for my ex-bosses, the monkey experiment didn't work out.  The following clips were sent to us by sources behind enemy lines just before the pink slips were sent out. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Christian Community

These last three days, I felt as though I was living in two different worlds. The first world was in Las Vegas, a city where people go with dreams of hitting it big on the machines. The smell of cigarette smoke is everywhere and the sound of the machines clanging annoys me. People are everywhere at all hours of the day and night, glued to their machines. Some of them appear like zombies. There is an emptiness all around.

I left that world yesterday, eager to return home to my family. My daughter asked me to visit a college campus on the way home. I had heard a lot about this college from staff members who worked at Forest Home in the San Bernardino Mountains where we stayed for family vacations. Azusa Pacific is a private Christian school located in the Los Angeles area.

As I approached the entrance to the school, I felt an aura much different from my visit to Las Vegas. My daughter greeted me with a hug and a big smile. I had arrived just in time for the campus tour. Our tour guide was a second year student. She was so eager to share her life experiences with us. Her enthusiasm spread to the entire group.

I got goosebumps as I walked into the gymnasium. In large print was a sign which read "God First". Our tour guide mentioned that all students have time blocked out of their weekly schedules to attend chapel, THREE TIMES PER WEEK...and they LOVE going. There is an area next to the chapel called the Wailing Wall which is patterned after the original in Israel. Students go to the Wailing Wall to write down their prayers to be placed in the wall. Later, other students read these prayers from their peers and pray silently for intervention.

I left the campus feeling uplifted. An education like this is not cheap, however, an experience like this is priceless. My daughter has narrowed her college choices to two places and Azusa Pacific is a finalist. My prayer for her today is that wherever she ends up, she will live in a community of Christians. Jesus promises us that where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there. This is also my prayer for you today, that you find yourself surrounded by others who love you and accept you.

Friday, January 21, 2011


At last, I get to return home today.  Two road trips in the same week is a bit much.  I don't recall a busier time in my life.  My work in Vegas is done and now it is time to return to my precious family.  There isn't any time to slow down as I need to finish my book in time for some editing in my writers critique group.

If you have been thinking about joining the angels in the outfield, please email me your favorite number and quote.  The angels in my life have made all the difference.  When they are at my side, I really do believe I can move mountains.  I would really appreciate having you on the team.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sizing Up the Enemy

Today's post is dedicated to my Arizona friend, Debbie,  who is winning the battle against breast cancer.   Cancer is a difficult enemy, however, it can be defeated. I got the opportunity to visit with Debbie after the funeral service. Debbie shared with me her memories of bringing problems to me just to see what kind of solution I would offer. No matter how difficult the challenge, I always had an answer for her.

The key to winning the battle against an oversize enemy is to avoid looking at him too long. In the David versus Goliath story, David ran to his enemy before he got the opportunity to see just how big was.  At Zoom, we avoid spending too much time looking at the enemy. So far,  This has worked very well for us in our legal battles. To date, we have been victorious in court 100% of the time.

The next time you are confronted with an enemy, charge forward. The longer you stare at him, the bigger he will get.  Don't worry how big he is, that just means that when he does fall, he will fall hard.  Be courageous.  Like my friend Debbie, you can win.  You must be willing to enter the battlefield and face your opponent.  No matter how big he is, the God behind you is much bigger.  Fight on!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Dash Poem

I heard this poem for the first time at the funeral service for my friend, Joyce Kirkpatrick.  Here it is for your enjoyment.  Don't miss the movie clip at the bottom.  May your "dash" shine brightly in the world...

The Dash Poem

by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth…
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
That can still be rearranged

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
with your life’s actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Celebrating 10,000 Page Views

Today I'm celebrating another milestone for this blog. It warms my heart to know that you are out there reading these stories. Some of you are friends from my past, some are relatives, and others will become friends when our paths cross in the future. Maybe some of you discovered  this blog accidentally while you were searching for directions to  Devil's  Punchbowl which is located just a few miles from my home. I really don't believe in accidents. You are here because you are searching for something.

My prayer today for you is that you find what you are looking for. I will do my best to help you seek the truth that you are searching for. Thank you for visiting today and please come back again. Good luck on your journey.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dealing With the Loss of a Loved One

 I am attending a funeral this morning for my good friend Joyce.   There is a part of me that is hurting. It reminds me of the time I said goodbye to my father. Sure, when people die,  I know they are merely going through a doorway to an afterlife that no words can describe. The sadness I feel inside is related to the void that these people leave behind them when they depart.

There is no easy way to deal with the loss of a loved one. Each of us needs to go through a step-by-step process. We can try to bury our feelings and ignore how we truly feel, however, I don't recommend this. Perhaps, the best advice that I can offer today is to encourage you to work on the relationships that you have with the people around you.

If you are suffering the loss of a loved one, my prayers go out to you. Keep in mind that you will be reunited one day and know that you are not alone.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Road Trip

By the time you read this blog post, I will be about ready to go on a road trip. On Monday morning, I will be reuniting with friends and work associates to celebrate the life of Joyce Kirkpatrick.  Some of these people I have not seen in over 25 years. It will be a fabulous reunion.

I am thankful for all of the incredible people that are around me. The dinner/dance/auction committee will be meeting in my absence as I need to turn around and go on a second road trip the day after I return home from the funeral service. They have joyfully given their time, talent and treasure to make our upcoming fundraiser a success. The Treasure box team will be closing out their final orders on Sunday. I regret that I won't be able to help them, however, I trust that they will do a great job bringing food  to families looking to stretch their food dollars.

Please keep me in your prayers this week. I will be needing them. Have a great week.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. ~ Proverbs 11:30

I have reached a point in my life where there is some sort of confluence, that is, a coming together of people that lived apart from one another. These people are not limited to friends and family. Some of these people were once my most formidable opponents.

I find it ironic that the individual responsible for signing checks related to business that I conduct in Mexico is the same person who once led a team of mighty warriors who tried to annihilate our fledgling business. The managing partner charged with running my business was once my greatest nemesis. He is now the one who gives me the best advice on parenting because he cares about my family. He is now part of my inner circle and I trust him 100% to make the best decisions for the future of our company.

Another business partner has God's ear. When I find myself backed into a corner, I go to him and ask for specific prayers. His track record with God is unblemished because his heart is pure. Yesterday,   I called him within 15 minutes of my prayer request to let him know that the prayer had already been answered.

A third business partner is the committee chair for a dinner, dance, auction at her church. Like me, her plate is full. She was once a fierce competitor. When we launched Zoom, she called and asked to join the team. A year later, we brought her aboard. After making significant contributions to the company, the partners voted unanimously to elevate her to the partner level.

Recently, we made room for another employee who has been in the print business for many years. His background is similar to ours and he has attempted several entrepreneurial projects. When the time is right, we will help him reach his full potential and he will help us reach ours when we expand to new levels.

There are a couple of people on my tennis team who do not know the Lord. They are some of the brightest people that I know. Sometimes, a high intelligence can interfere in one's search for the Creator. One of these atheists promised me that they will team up to win me over to their point of view. I invited them to the dinner, dance, auction at my church next month. Should they accept my invitation, a door will be opened and they will be given the opportunity to mingle with people who share my point of view. Some people may argue that mixing believers and nonbelievers together may be hazardous. My answer to that concern is to point back to Jesus. His greatest followers were the ones who once lived on the fringes of society. Jesus has a special place in his heart for the lost and the fallen and so do I. They will always be welcome in my home and in my church.  I cannot imagine spending eternity without these special friends.

On Monday, my wife and I will be attending a funeral service for the newest angel in the outfield, Angel number 84, Joyce Kirkpatrick. She and her son have impacted so many lives. On Monday, there will be a convergence of many people from my past and present.

No longer is my life discombobulated as it was when I lived in the cave. There is a confluence now. Streams of people from all parts of my life are coming together to form a mighty river. We represent the living water that is flowing back to the Creator. There is room for you to join us. I will warn you,  there are some stage 5 rapids ahead. None of us will drown as long as we stick together. Jump in.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Memory of Joyce Kirkpatrick ~ Founder of Phoenix Auto Trader

I first met Joyce Kirkpatrick in 1984. Her son Bruce visited me at the tennis club  where I had just landed my first job out of college. Bruce and his parents launched the Phoenix Auto Trader in the late seventies and Bruce was looking for a place to have fun and get exercise for his family and for his employees.

Bruce learned the game quickly and took lessons twice a day. The Kirkpatrick family invested  in tennis memberships for any employee wanting to sign up. Thanks to the family, my lesson schedule filled up completely. I felt honored when Bruce asked me to join his organization, however, tennis was my life at the time and I couldn't see myself working in an office environment.

I made the mistake of telling my general manager Bruce wanted to hire me. Bruce was always looking for people who put the customer first and his team of people were some of the best in the industry. When the owner of the tennis club found out Bruce was attempting to recruit me, he asked me to kick Bruce out of the club.

"Give me a chance to finish what I started here," I told Bruce, after asking him to leave the club, "and I will join your company. Just put me at the bottom and teach me everything there is to know about the business world."

The first day I met Joyce, I knew she was special. Any one of her employees would take a bullet for her because she treated them like members of her own family.  When the family decided to sell the Auto Trader business, the decision was made in part for the good of the employees as a giant media mogul was preparing to enter the market. Joyce and her family had a choice to sell the company or to compete with one of the largest companies in America. They felt that selling the company would give their employees an even brighter future.

For me, I missed the personal touch of having a boss who treated me like more than just a number. After the family sold their business, they moved to California. I visited them in March, 1989 when I came to San Diego for a cousin's wedding. My fiancee and I decided to pay the family a visit in their new hometown of Ramona. We both fell in love with the community and began to make plans  to relocate.

I interviewed with the San Diego Auto Trader, a business with deep ties to the Kirkpatrick family. My wife went to work for Joyce when we moved to Ramona. The Kirkpatrick family is a special one and we remain good friends, now counting twenty-seven years.

Sadly, I just got word that Joyce passed away. Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 17. May her soul rest in peace and may her sons and daughters be consoled at this time. May God bless the Kirkpatrick family and may her spirit live on in her children, grandchildren, and in all those lives whom she touched. She will be missed.

In my own way, I'd like Joyce to be forever remembered.  I'll be asking her family to please give me a quote that helps them remember their mother.  Joyce will become an "Angel in the outfield."  I will be assigning her the number 84, the first year I met her.  Her quote will be forever tied to my first book, something that never would have been possible without her family's influence on my life.  Rest in peace, my friend.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Father Gives Life for His Wife and Unborn Son

Jesus tells us that the greatest gift we can offer is to lay down our life for another.  When Brian Wood encountered a driver who had crossed the double-yellow line, he made a split-second decision to swerve his vehicle, placing himself directly in path of the oncoming SUV.  This decision protected his wife and unborn son while costing him his own life.

Brian's wife, Erin Wood, told the Province, "All the policeman say that if we had hit the car head-on all of us would be dead."  Just as Brian died so that his wife and unborn son could live, Jesus died for us so that we can have new life.  Check out the video below for an amazing interview with Brian's wife...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Release Party ~ Save the Date

A tentative venue has been penciled in for March 17, 2011 for the book release party. A couple of details need to be arranged before the site is confirmed. Please mark your calendars and reserve this date to come celebrate the launch of “God's Black Sheep Squadron”.

If all goes well, I will be autographing copies of the book alongside all of my friends from the Ramona  Christian Writers Critique Group. I will be seeking the help of my friends from this group to make this event a success.

Once the book is launched, I will be planning a series of book signings in my community. I am also excited to make myself available for public speaking engagements. I have so much to share regarding the experiences I have had in my journey to becoming a writer.

My wife and children deserve a much-needed vacation and I plan to block out one week at the beginning of summer to go away and be with them. I am so thankful for their support. They have all made many sacrifices along the way and I wish to publicly thank them at the book release party on St. Patrick's Day.  It will also be my daughter's 18th birthday.  She has narrowed her college choices to two places and her decision should be finalized by the time we celebrate her birthday, Zoom's 6th birthday and the birth of my first book.

If you are one of the Angels in the outfield that has graciously supported me and my family, I really hope that you can be there on this night of celebration. Your prayers and your encouragement have made the difference between success and failure. Thank you for being in my life.

Once the venue is finalized, I will make a formal announcement soon. I look forward to celebrating St. Patrick's Day with you. God bless you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


 Today is a day filled with lots of one's. Many of you following this blog believe that numbers have some type of special meaning or significance. I am one of those people. You see the number 808 in my blog name and perhaps know that there are deeper meanings associated with this number for me. There will be people that will be searching the Internet for stories about this particular date and some of you may have found me because you are searching for the significance of these numbers. Welcome. It's nice to have you aboard.

More important than the significance of numbers is the significance of the One who created us. He is seeking a deep relationship with us. There are many ways to do this. The easiest way is to simply pick up the Bible and start reading all about Him. Everything He does is designed to bring us into a deeper relationship with Him.

How are you going to find your connection to Him? When you do find Him, what kind of relationship will you have? How deep into your heart will you let Him in? Do you want to learn how to move mountains or walk on water? Do you believe this is even possible?

In my own life, I am gradually learning how to move mountains and how to walk on water. It all comes down to one thing, faith. I am finally coming to a point in my life where my faith is approaching the size of a mustard seed (1/20th of an inch!). Our creator has no boundaries or limits. Learn to trust Him and see what your new life can become.

May your day be filled with lucky numbers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Welcome to a Whole New World of Technology

Greetings to all my friends in the blog world. I am actually typing this post without my fingers. Attached to my head is a microphone. As I speak into the microphone, my new software is recognizing my voice and is changing my voice into words.

Speaking to a computer is different from speaking to a human being. I must learn to be able to speak in the computer's language in order for my computer to be able to understand me properly. Every day as I write (speak), my computer's voice recognition software will improve. It is actually learning my voice with every new word I speak. It can type as fast as I can speak. I can't wait to show this new software to my writers critique group located here in Ramona.

Today's post will be brief as I must return to my writing. I just wanted to take a moment and update you.  There are still many chapters to complete in these final months and time is running short. Thank you for your prayers. I look forward to sharing more with you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Knots Prayer

 The Knots Prayer ~ anonymous

Dear God,
please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the
will nots,
may nots, and
might nots that find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the
could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all, dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind
my heart and my life all of the
am nots
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mission Accomplished

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." ~ Matthew 21:22

Yesterday was a monumental day.  My goal of updating my computer and software has been achieved.  Today's message is super short because I have been so mesmerized by all the new tools that I lost track of time.  Let's just say that what is about to happen these next two months will boggle your mind.

I now have all the tools necessary to accomplish my mission.  I thank God for leading me on this journey.  At times, I have been lost and disconnected.  No longer will that be the case.  My writing time will at least quadruple in speed and my blog will go through another metamorphosis.

All areas of my life are converging now.  The right people are connecting.  They are literally falling out of the sky, just like this new laptop I am using to type today's message.  The feeling I have right now in my heart is a ten.  I see the vision of what is to happen very clearly now.  There is nothing better in the computer world for blogging and writing than a mac.  I will use it every day to accomplish His mission.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Heart 2 Heart Dinner, Dance, Auction

Last night we held our first committee meeting for our upcoming dinner, dance, and auction.  Lynn Morgan, Gayle Sojourner, Sheila Jolly, Lynn Visnack, Laurie Engel, Theresa Ellis, Teri Martin, Carmen Erivez, Nola Burger and our pastor were all in attendance.  Our pastor opened with a prayer and we laid out the plans for our "Heart 2 Heart ~ Hope 4 Eternity Event".  This team is experienced and moves quickly.

Thank you, Sheila, for kick-starting things with the caterer, the venue, the liquor license application, and the DJ.  The committee was able to approve all these people and decide on a great menu for the dinner.  Thank you, Teri, for your ideas on games we will play.  Thanks also to Theresa, Nola, Carmen and Lynn for helping out with announcements after all masses the next two weeks and for taking reservations.

Anne Mazzola and Linda Lopez will also join the group.  My daughter, Nicole, will share master of ceremonies duties with me.  It is a joy to serve as your committee chair this year and I thank God that I can lean on each of you to pitch in and do what needs to be done to make this evening memorable for all who attend.

Our time together is a preview of what our pastor wants to do to light a fire under every member of our parish, young and old.  When we come together as a group, mountains can be moved.  Each member of our congregation will be called upon to contribute something.  Each of us has something of value we can contribute for the good of the group.  Perhaps our talents can be contributed as door prizes or silent auction items?  As for me, I am donating autographed copies of my first book "God's Black Sheep Squadron" to every couple that attends the party.  In addition, the "first fruit", that is, the first collector's copy will be given to the highest bidder in the live auction and his or her name will appear on the inside back cover of the book. 

I invite each of you on the committee to read my daily blog at  These daily writings are designed to reach out to those who may not know God, or who have lost their faith.  It is also a place for believers to come together in community to share our lives. 

Thank you for sharing your time, treasure, and talent with this group. Together, we will serve others in our church who are seeking an evening of fun.  I really appreciate you sharing your hearts.  We will make this an evening to remember.  The fire has been lit in our small group.  May the Holy Spirit allow it to spread like a wildfire and may every member of our church become "engaged." May this fire spread beyond our denomination and touch every member of our community.  I love you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Love is in the Air

"I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night." ~ Galileo
 The feeling I have in my heart today is best described in the Disney video below.  Truly, I am discovering a whole new world.  I have been surrounded by loving, caring people that are Heaven sent.   My job now is to help others see the opportunities that are in front of us, to see a world filled with so much potential.

Do not be afraid to love and be loved.  There is so much good in this world for those brave enough to open themselves up and soak it all in.  You may feel vulnerable when you give your love to others.  At times, your breath will be taken away.  Sometimes, the love you give may not be returned to you.  Love anyways.  Give of yourself to others.  Laugh.  Smile.  Spread your joy.  Take others on a magic carpet ride and show them a whole new world, a new fantastic point of view...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gone Fishing

Writing for me is like fishing.  My blog stories and my books are written with you in mind.  The feedback you give me tells me which kind of "bait" attracts you.  Some writers make big splashes in the water or reel in their lines before the reader has had a chance to nibble or get hooked.

I am learning patience.  When a reader responds to one of my stories, I jump for joy, especially when the fish is one that has never been got caught before.  These fish have been around a long time.  They have been able to avoid all the other fishermen that came before me.  They are afraid of what will happen if they take the bait.

There has never been a wiser fisherman than Jesus.  He knows where every lost fish is hiding.  My job is to follow Him and fish every day until the last fish is caught.  My prayer today is that my new book is like bait for those who are seeking Jesus.  May this book help bring the lost fish to Him.  There are extra fishing poles available.  Would you care to join me? Let's go fishing today.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lighting the Fire

There is a bit of a slowdown in the festivities now the Christmas and New Year's celebrations are behind us.  The next big day on the calendar is Valentine's Day.  It is appropriate to be preparing for this day now since this year's blog theme is LOVE.  Valentine's Day should be a priority.  My wife and I stretch out our celebration over the entire month of February.  We go all out with love notes, special dates and time together.

There is no better way to light a fire in your soul than to discover what is important to your love and then make it a theme for Valentine's Day.  Be creative this year.  If your love vocabulary is somewhat limited, spend time learning new words, perhaps even a new language.  Isn't your love worth it?

Think of your love relationship as a gas tank, the more you fill it up, the farther the two of you will be able to travel.  When you encounter a steep road, your reserves will get you over the top. Don't be caught with an empty tank.  Valentine's Day is not enough to fill up your tank.  You need to keep refilling it throughout the year.  Start now.  Write love letters.  Drop notes in your lover's pockets or in places where they can be found throughout the day.  Keep your "love tank" full.  Light the fire and never let it burn out.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What is Love?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

In the ebbs and flows of my life, I have discovered some type of rhythm.  Most of the peaks in my life seem to appear in the "odd years."  It was an odd year that I first met my wife (1987).  We married in '89, had our children in '91, '93 and '95, and launched Zoom in '05.  My first book will be birthed in this new year.  It's only appropriate that this blog will reach it's highest mountaintop with it's theme, LOVE, the strongest of all human emotions.

Jesus commands us to love one another as we love ourselves.  Some of us don't even love ourselves.  Maybe we didn't feel loved when we were growing up?  Maybe we were picked on in school because we were different from the in crowd?

I must confess to you that I don't have all the answers in the love department.  It's safe to say that I didn't really come to know love until May, 1987, when I first asked a young, blue-eyed little lady to dance with me.  It was the first time I saw fireworks in the sky that was once void of such brilliant colors.

I experienced love in another way when I watched the tears streaming down from my father's eyes the day we reunited after years apart.  He always had love in his heart, although it was difficult for him to express it in words.  His tears expressed his love in a way that words can't describe.

In all of time, there is no greater example of love than the love of God the Father and His Son, Jesus.  Can you even imagine sacrificing one of your own children so that a stranger can have salvation?  Would you do it?  That's how much you are loved.  You are significant.  You are special.  Yes.  You are deeply loved.  Your presence in the world has given my life meaning.  Every day I will write with you in mind.  I will continue to share my life with you, the peaks and the valleys.  May you discover the FULL meaning of love.  I love you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Give-away

Would you like to receive a free autographed copy of "God's Black Sheep Squadron"?  Anyone who is a follower of this blog is automatically entered in the drawing that will take place at the book release party in March.

There are no strings attached.  Even the shipping is included for the lucky winner.  I will announce the winner at the party and send an email if you are not able to be present. To be entered in the drawing, just click the follow button below my welcome message to the right.

If you are interested in becoming an angel in the outfield, there is still time.  Your name will appear on the special angels page in the back of the book.  I am also still looking for an archangel sponsor.  If you would like to know more, please email me at

Share this blog with your friends and don't forget to become a follower.  You may be the lucky winner in the drawing in March.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year Begins

There are plenty of gurus out there who can offer you all sorts of ideas on how to make plans for success in the new year.  Maybe, goal setting isn't your thing.  You think back to all those other new year's resolutions you made and you're afraid to make new ones for fear of how bad you will feel once you break them.

For me, I have found success in reviewing just what is important in my life and focusing on living by values rather than resolutions.  For example, when I am hungry, I think about eating fruits and vegetables.  It is not so much what my weight goal is as it is what my food choices are.  If I don't make bad food choices, my weight won't be a problem.

As for exercise, I just imagine myself doing healthy activities with my family and friends.  I make time to go on a hike or play tennis.  I concentrate on activities that are fun and make sure that I set aside time.  If I do this regularly, my body will be physically fit.

On the spiritual side of my life, I work on discarding past grudges.  It feels so good to let go of a hurt.  If you can do this, you will have more space in your heart to live a more fulfilling life and all your relationships will improve.  Mother Teresa once said, "forgiveness sets you free."

Instead of making a bunch of resolutions that you will probably break before this month ends, seek out the one person on your list of enemies that you have avoided for so long.  Go visit that person and tell them you want to heal your relationship.  Apologize for anything you may have done to cause the rift (even if it's the other side that you believe is the source of all the problems).

Start with the most annoying person on the list.  Once you have accomplished this, move on to the next person who aggravates you the most and repeat the process.  You may need to write a letter if the person is too far away for a visit or if they are dead.  Yes, I said write a letter to a deceased enemy.  Why?  The anger you are holding inside of you isn't making your dead enemy feel your pain.  They are probably running around in Heaven having a great time while you seethe with all that pent up emotion.  Write a letter and tell this dead enemy you are finally letting go.  Put a stamp on it and mail it.  Send it to the north pole and make sure you don't leave a return address.  Once you place it in the mailbox, it's gone, FOREVER.  Now, you are truly free.

The theme for this year is LOVE.  Our journey together will be more fulfilling if we can dispose of our enemies.  The best way to do that is to make them friends.  How do you like that for a change?  Instead of making a list of "resolutions" that you will probably break, you have a couple of thoughts on how to put some values into your life that can't be measured.  Live your life with values and let's make this year the best year ever.  Are you ready?