Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain

Today, I pay to homage to two captains.  The first, Stacey, our fearless leader who led us to an undefeated regular season and a north county league championship.  Behind Stacey is Elliott Fox, the honorary captain and spirit leader at eighty-five years young.

In honor of these two leaders, I offer this video clip from the "Dead Poets Society."  When a leader knows how to get to the heart of a player and inspire the individual to reach his or her potential, teams become unstoppable.  It's a great feeling to be a part of something so special.

Thanks, oh captain, my captain...

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Tournament Time

My tennis team is on the courts in Las Vegas today.  We are hoping to win our bracket by defeating the three other teams in order to advance to the quarterfinals by Saturday evening.  Winners of the quarterfinals advance to the finals on Sunday morning and the finals are scheduled for 1:00pm on Sunday.

In order to win the tournament, we would need to win a total of six matches over the weekend.  In World Team Tennis, this means each round is composed of singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.  The winner is decided by overall points in each round.

I can't wait to get on the courts and play.  There are a total of nineteen teams from all over the country.  The teams playing had to qualify first by winning a local tournament or league.  We are hoping to bring the trophy back to Ramona and earn a berth in the national tournament at the end of the year.

Go Ramona!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Through a Child's Eyes

A nine-year-old shares a summary of what he learned reading the Bible...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can You Find Jesus in the Bible?

Check out this eleven-year-old describing how he sees Jesus from Genesis to Revelations...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Power of a Dream

One year ago, our hopes of capturing a championship were dashed when we were swept by another team late in the season and finished in second place.  Our captain, Stacey, woke up the next morning and began to dream about a new year.

As our squad heads to Las Vegas to compete in a crowded field of nineteen teams from all over the country, we are dreaming about the possibilities of a destiny now within our grasp...a national championship.

I am in awe at the commitment each player has made to improve and to help one another.  We have become like a family, each one looking out for the other.  We have overcome injuries and beaten the odds.  It reminds me of a young man featured in the video below.  I will watch it over and over before I walk onto the courts at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas on Friday, April 29th with my team-mates.  The power of a dream can fuel a desire to reach for the stars...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cut the Quibble

They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary. ~ John Keating, "Dead Poets Society"

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines quibble as evading the point of an argument by caviling about words.  Don't you love it when a dictionary defines a word using other unknown words? Perhaps my vocabulary would be more expanded if I had committed to my education more fully in my early years.  That's what I get for hauling in a cereal box to my English class during my senior year when asked to bring in my favorite reading material.  The little prank didn't end there...we had to write a paper describing WHY our novel, short story, poetry, or cereal box was significant.

My term paper earned me an "A" even though I quibbled, caviled and prevaricated from beginning to end.  My student-teacher, Mr. Nelson, found a way to connect with this outcast.  His tolerance of my shenanigans and his non-conventional methods, something right out of the movie, "Dead Poets Society," starring Robin Williams, planted some kind of seed in me that finally sprouted long after my gray hair showed up.

So, what's the point of today's post?  Here you go....

It's time to stop evading the reason for your existence.  You can try to cover up who you are by bringing cereal boxes to school, claiming it's your favorite reading material, or you can get serious and develop your God-given talents.  The next time someone asks you who you are, tell them, "I'm a child of God and He loves me. He created me with some really awesome gifts and I plan to share them with the world."

Are you ready to cut the quibble? Your life is a term paper.  What grade are you shooting for? Carpe Diem...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Cave is Empty

The greatest fear amongst the Romans was the followers of Jesus would raid the tomb and steal His body, claiming Jesus rose from the dead.  A story like this would never die and a revolution could threaten the empire.

Nobody messed with the Roman soldiers.  They conquered the world.  Jesus was a different kind of foe. They feared Him because He had a strange way about attracting others and inspiring them to change.

Imagine what those soldiers were thinking when an earthquake caused the stone sealing the tomb to roll away. They were there to keep the body inside the cave and they knew Jesus promised to rise again on the third day.

Jesus left behind an important clue about coming back.  Before He left the tomb, He took the time to fold the cloth covering His head.  Why?

In order to understand the significance of the folded cloth,  we need to understand Hebrew tradition. The folded napkin is a signal between a Master and his Servant.  A servant's job was to set the table exactly the way his master wanted it. Once the table was set, the servant would wait until his master had finished eating.

When the master was done eating, he would stand up, wipe his fingers, his mouth and clean his beard. The master would toss the wadded up cloth on the table, signaling it was time to clear the table. The wadded napkin was a clear message, saying, "I'm done."

However, if the master got up from the table, folded his napkin, and laid it next to his plate, the servant would leave the table untouched. The folded cloth notified the servant, "I'm not finished yet. I'm coming back!"

Today the cave is empty and the folded cloth is all that remains.  He is Risen and He will come back!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Invitation to Speak

The other day, I shared the vision behind my second book, "the Caveman in the Mirror," with a new friend.

"I read your memoir," she said.  "Our stories have many parallels."

"You read my story and I don't know yours.  Please share."

When I finished hearing her story, I praised God for the healing He brought to this vivacious woman.  She speaks as if she has known Jesus all her life.  The night she graduates from her six month rehab, the house of worship will be filled with many others who consider themselves black sheep.  They are the very reason I write, to help them turn on the light of Christ and come out of the darkness.

My new friend had no idea Jesus is calling me to do the very thing she asked me to do.  I will add this to the long list of "Godincidences."  You came to our community six months ago to heal.  Next month, you will be graduating and it will be time for you to return to your daughters.  Your new life awaits you.  I thank God I got the opportunity to meet you and learn your story.  You will be a light in this world.  Congratulations!  Thank you for asking me to speak on your behalf.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quiet Time

Earlier in the year, I promised myself I would find a way to add meditation to my routine.  The "to do" list never ended and I pushed myself hard to get this first book done by deadline.  Today is the first day I have slowed down in months.  The house is quiet.  Only the sound of the clock ticking fills the room.

Have you ever slowed down long enough to enjoy silence for more than thirty minutes.  I'm going to let my mind drift in the silence and see how long I can remain still.  This is new for me.  Why don't you give it a try?  Rest is good for the soul.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chitter Chatter

The normal hustle and bustle in my household is gone for a moment.  It's a time of reflection for me while my family is away visiting my wife's siblings.  Here is a poem I wrote as I was awakening this morning to the sound of silence....

~ Michael Mulligan

The voices of yesterday, tomorrow and today spoke one over the other,
Tomorrow was the loudest,
While yesterday moaned,
Today was barely heard,

Silence, I told tomorrow,
Your day has not come,
You too, I quipped at yesterday,
Your broken record is all done,

It’s time to listen to today,
Filled with many promises,
Let's see what it has to say,
Of all the voices in my head,

I really like today.


Speaking of today, don't forget what Jesus did for you this week.  Today is the beginning, the day He washed the feet of His followers and celebrated the Last Supper.  Watch the YouTube video below, a great way to start today...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


My family departed at 4:30 AM this morning, leaving me behind to care for my daughter's horse, our pet dogs, and keep our business going.  While my wife and children are vacationing, I will use this time to reflect on all the changes in my life.

Many believe solitude is a negative thing, associated with loneliness.  Yes, I'm already missing my family, however, for me, solitude is a good thing.  I need to slow down and reflect on all the recent events in my life.  In a way, I'm having a vacation as well.

When I released my first book, I also let go of the extra baggage I've been carrying around related to past experiences.  There was this closet I kept locked up since my childhood.  I was afraid to visit this room until I started writing.  This experience was painful for me, however, now I feel like I'm floating.  This closet has been cleaned out and all the memories tucked away have been healed.

I plan to use this week to reflect on the feedback I've received from the first readers.  This book seems to be touching others in a deep way.  So many in this world have a closet filled with skeletons they pretend isn't there.  Maybe you are stashing away painful memories.  One of my friends told me he stopped reading my book after the first chapter because it was forcing him to look at his own past.

"Please, read the book all the way to the last page," I  requested.  "It's not too late to experience healing."

My buddy nodded his head and promised to complete the book.  My prayer for him and all who read this book is for healing.  The first step is to go into the closet and look around.  Are you ready?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Sad Loss

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:39-40

One of the joys of Facebook is reconnecting with old friends.  These years living away from my acquaintances  has kept me out of the loop.  Last night I learned one of my high school friends from my "inner circle" is no longer with us.  My friend disappeared without a trace.

Another good friend from my church lost his home during the first wildfire.  He moved to another community and I saw him one more time at a high school graduation party.  Shortly after the party, he ended his life, even though it looked perfect on the outside.  My friend had reached out to me several times and wanted me to go bike riding with him.  I was always too busy.

I can't change the past, only learn from it.  This is part of my inspiration for sharing my past.  Maybe there is someone out there who can relate to these messages.  My promise to you is that I will be here everyday at 8:08 in the morning, sharing my life with you.  I already know there are a series of storms brewing on the horizon.  My life is far from perfect and this blog is a work in progress.  My prayer is that you can find the One between the lines who comforts me.  The One I follow is never too busy to be with you.  When you pray to Him and don't hear anything, please don't assume that He isn't listening or He doesn't care.  Sometimes, it's better for you when He says "no," or "not yet."

May the souls of those good friends I lost to suicide rest in peace.  May those who are struggling with anxiety or depression find hope.  May the families who lost a loved one to suicide be consoled.  My heart goes out to you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunshine on my Shoulder

For Christians all over the world, today marks the beginning of the most important week of the year.  John Denver's lyrics to "Sunshine On My Shoulder" evoke a happy sensation as we feel the sun touching our skin.  For me, it makes me think of the One who created the sun...the One who sent His only Son on a mission that would forever change our destiny.

Each sunset reminds me our time on this planet is short.  Take a moment today to connect with nature.  Listen to the birds singing their melodies.  See how the sun lights up the world around you.  Meditate on the Son this week.  Think about what He did, how He sacrificed His life for you so you can live forever.  On your darkest days, this Son will carry you on His shoulders.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

First Book Signing a Success

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Apple Computer Inc.

The quote above appears on the Facebook page of one of the San Diego Writers Guild members who sent me an encouraging note after my first book signing.  The quote reminded me of all the people who tried to reshape me from a round peg to a square one, the ones who thought they were doing me a favor when they offered me a "safer" road to travel upon rather than the one filled with dangerous crevices and narrow passage ways.

Vision requires courage.  Butterflies exist because they are willing to go through a transformation.  Yesterday, I was surrounded by magnificent butterflies fluttering about the crowd gathered for our book signing event.  Yes, I do believe we can change our world, that hope can replace despair.  I believe in new beginnings.  I've now seen a glimpse of my future and I'm excited to move forward, even though the pathway is unmarked and treacherous.

Here are some photos from the book signing event I hosted.  Thanks to all who made this day possible...

Members of the Ramona Christian Writers Critique Group, Peter, Barbara and Byron.
Pete presented me with this sign as a gift, telling me, "Every writer needs a sign."  Thanks, Pete!

Elliott and Patti Fox

Peter Zindler entertains the crowd.

Byron Mettler touts "God's Black Sheep Squadron."

The crowd recognizes Helen's special aunt Susie, pictured at far right.

Elliott Fox gets the party started.

Pete led us in prayer before our event began.

What a joy to have all my family here for this memorable day.

This is Angel in the outfield #1, Joan Brouillette.  She was the highest bidder at the live auction for my book.  Her $325 donation was given to my church, the first fruit of my work.  Thank you, Joan, you are one special Angel!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Unraveling the Mystery

Have you ever felt baffled attempting to figure out the meaning of your life?  You are not alone.  Try sending out a few prayer requests to the Creator of the universe.  Ask Him to clarify your view of the world, to unravel the mystery blinding you from your purpose.

This morning, I step onto the stage for the first time as a published writer.  God has given me a brand new set of contact lenses to see this marvelous world we live in like I've never before observed it.  There are new worlds for me to explore and people far off I am to connect with.  There are no comfort zones in my future, only riddles to solve and lights to turn on.  No longer will darkness hide the masterpiece before our eyes.

In just three hours, the doors will be unlocked at our community room in our new library and people will gather for the first author event in the new facility.  Many people have pitched in to make this day possible.  That's how God works.  When He wants something done, He plants seeds inside of us to inspire us.  When our actions are in alignment with His vision, it's like being on a fast-moving freight train.  The momentum will catapult me into the unwritten chapters ahead.  At last, I'm ready to embrace God's plans and I will serve Him all the days of my life.  As the Italians say, "Attraversiamo!".....Let's cross over together.

Friday, April 15, 2011

One Leg to Stand On

The next time I feel like my world is is upside down, I'm going to think about this inspirational athlete.  Check out this video...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gusting Winds

The winds are blowing ferociously, a sign the Holy Spirit is making His presence known.  Teams of His people are coming together at this special moment in my life.

At last, I understand the significance of my time in confinement.  A quiet time was necessary in order for me to discern God's plans.  I love the simplicity, publish all the good He is doing in my life and offer some light to those living in darkness.

When Jesus says He will leave the ninety-nine in search of the one who is lost, He means it.  Some of us are being called to reach out to the ones who strayed.  I promise to do my part.  On Saturday morning, I will share my heart with the world.  Yes, the winds are blowing according to the Father's will.

Thank you, Maureen, for responding to my press release.  Your story about the author talk in today's paper will reach readers all over Ramona.  We are expecting a large crowd to help christen our brand new library.  Hope to see all of you at 9am on Saturday, April 16th.  The Ramona library is located at 1275 Main St.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Marketing Mania

I've noticed an even greater intensity in my love letters to my wife these days leading up to the author talk on Saturday.  One would think that after nearly 4,500 combined love letters, we would run out of things to write about.  Life is never dull in our household and the marketing preparations are in high gear.

Yesterday, before work, I dropped off a bunch of fliers all over town.  The people I met were genuinely interested in my book and asked lots of questions.

"Come to my book signing," I said, "and I'll tell you all about it."

The best part about living in a small town is the openness of the people and their willingness to help out.  Noreen at Treasures Christian Store offered to clear some space in her store to carry my book and told me she would sell books at the back table while I'm on stage.

"I'll be setting up a bookstore in Temecula soon and I want you to do a book signing there, Okay?" she said. "And when you're ready, let's set one up here in our store."

When I offered to pay her for her time, she politely declined.

The folks at the bookstore inside the library offered four gift certificates as prizes for winners of the essay/photo contest and promised to introduce themselves to the audience during our event.  This book signing is more than autographing our books, it's about connecting with people and inspiring them to pursue their passion.

I feel really good about the marketing part of the process.  My newspaper friends and online supporters promise to spread the word.  This morning, I'm heading to the grocery stores to put up more fliers just in time for shoppers cashing in on today's specials.  I hope to see you Saturday.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Choose Your Words Carefully

"Our destiny is knocking at the front door..."  excerpt from a love letter to Helen Marie  
    ~ Michael Mulligan

Quality writing requires the author to refine the recipe, adding flavorful words and captivating descriptions to delight the taste buds of the reader.

One of my blog readers sent me a humorous email about punctuation....commas save lives.  Check it out:

Lets eat Grampa

Lets eat, Grampa

Choose your words and your punctuation carefully, you don't want to poison anybody.  Here is one more video clip demonstrating the power of a well-crafted message...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting Ready for My First Author Talk

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. ~ Dolly Parton

The clock is ticking.  Saturday is the big day.  Several media groups agreed to publish details about the event on Saturday, April 16th at the Ramona library from 9am to 11am.  Peter Zindler and Byron Mettler will join me on the stage as we discuss topics related to writing and publishing.

My good friend, Elliott Fox, will introduce me.  This is even more special now because of his role as honorary team tennis captain.  He knows how to win and how to motivate others.  His battle with a rare form of cancer is managed the same way he attacks all other areas of his life.  He expects to win.  Our team has learned much from this special man. 

No Ramona mixed doubles tennis team has ever won a championship.  At eighty-five, honorary team captain Elliott can add this accomplishment to his impressive resume.  I'm counting on him one more time to inspire me on Saturday.  His words of wisdom will be special.

Don't forget to bring a used book to donate to the library.  Your used book will give you a discount at the book signing.  There will also be a writing contest and the winners will be published on this blog.  Winning entries may also appear in one of our local papers.  Don't miss a chance to see if you've got what it takes to be a writer.  I'm excited to meet you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giving Seed to the Sower

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. ~ Isaiah 55:10

A ten-year-old girl mailed in five dollars with her letter to KLove radio.  She wanted to give more but she wrote...I'm only ten and I don't have a job.  The morning team at the station read her letter during the pledge drive, attracting more donations from all over the country in the name of the little girl with the big heart.

Do you recall a time in your life when things seemed to "fall out of the sky" to help you with a cause?  Never under-estimate your role in planting seeds.  You are the farmer and God will bless your "crop."  He will multiply your seeds just as He fed thousands with only a few loaves of bread and some fish.

Congratulations to my tennis team.  We planted a lot of seeds earlier this year on the tennis courts.  Our dreams of winning a championship came true yesterday.  In September, we will represent San Diego in the southern California championships.  Time to sow more seeds on the courts.  A win in LA will send us to nationals.  No other San Diego team has ever made more than a dent.  This team has what it takes.  Good luck Ramona!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's Time for the Championships Today

If this rain clears soon, my team will be playing for the north county championships at Morgan Run today.  We've been practicing hard for this special moment.

If you're in the area on Saturday, come cheer us on.  We will be arriving by 11:30am for warm-ups and match time is 12:30pm.  Click the link for a map....

Friday, April 8, 2011

My First Rodeo

My hometown is known for it's horse lovers and annual rodeos.  Crowds gather from neighboring communities to see the daredevils compete in the arena.  I may not be a cowboy, however, I do feel like I'm in my first rodeo, an adventure of a lifetime.

On Saturday morning, April 16th, from 9am to 11am, I will enter the stage for the first time as a published author.  My good friend, Elliott Fox, the most senior tennis player in my community, who just celebrated his 85th birthday, will introduce me.  It will be a great honor to be sharing the arena with Peter Zindler, and Byron Mettler, two writers who have published ten books between them.

My dream for the book signing event is to give the audience hope, to inspire each person to look inside their hearts and discover something inside waiting to be unleashed.  I prefer to speak directly from my heart rather than write scripts and I really don't know how the crowd will react.  One thing is certain,  when Elliott calls my name, I'll be ready.  I'm taking the bull by the horns and I'll shoot out of the gate when the bell rings.  This is my first rodeo, my friend.  I hope you are there to share the experience.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting Unstuck

One of my writer friends asked the group about overcoming writers block.

Byron answered, "paint your character into a corner or introduce a new character in the plot.  Now that your character is stuck, find a way to get him or her unstuck."

There are no other adjectives in the English language like "unstuck."  The dictionary defines it as brought into a state of disarray, discomposure, or incoherence.

In my personal life, Byron's advice is much needed.

I think to myself, what if God led me to this cul-de-sac on purpose?  Does He want me to look at my life from a different point of view?

Getting unstuck requires thought and action.  It's not necessarily a bad thing if you can grow from the experience.  A wise writer will set a trap for his character and then figure out a way to free him.  I wonder what the Author of my life is planning for my conundrum.  Without conflict, there isn't much of a story.  Sometimes, another character will enter to offer a solution.  In life, we need others to get through the impasse.

Are you stuck?  You are not alone.  Embrace your situation.  When you get unstuck you will be wiser and stronger.  A new frontier awaits you.  It's all part of life.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dealing with Change

Everything worthwhile, everything of any value, has its price. Everything anyone has ever wanted has come neatly wrapped up in its penalties. ~ Loretta Young

Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, was born a slave.  His owner gave him permission to study philosophy and he developed a strong following as he taught others all he learned.  Epictetus became crippled when his owner broke his leg out of jealousy for the passion Epictetus displayed, something the slave owner lacked.

Eventually, Epictetus was freed and he taught philosophy as a way of life in Rome until all philosophers were banished.  He taught his followers that suffering comes from trying to control what is uncontrollable or from neglecting what is within our power to handle.  He believed human beings have a duty to care for others.  Anyone doing this would find happiness and peace of mind.

With all the change we are facing in these times, we can look to this former slave for great pointers.  Remember to let go of the things you can't control and help those around you looking for assistance.  Give it a try.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Emotional High

I was surprised when my wife informed me the first shipment of books arrived a full week ahead of the scheduled delivery.  At last, I can proclaim to the world I am officially a published author.  I could feel my heart pounding as I passed out books to each member of the writers group.

"You will need to come to the book signing to get it autographed," I said with a grin.  "That way I can be assured there will be at least six people at the table."

I asked Pete and Byron if they could please speak at the event on Saturday, April 16th.  They are the two leaders of our group and each owns a self publishing company.  They are considered gurus in the writing field and I can attest to their wisdom.  Their talks will inspire others to develop their writing talents.

The first time I felt this kind of exuberance was on my wedding day.  I remember gazing at my new bride as she walked down the aisle of her hometown church twenty one years ago.  Thoughts of children danced in my head as I attempted to keep my composure.  I wondered if God would give them the same stunning blue eyes that captivated me the first time I looked into them.

When my three children were born, this wedding day euphoria returned.  Ryan was the first, coming into the world with his face up and eyes already wide open, yes... blue eyes like his mother, busily scanning his new surroundings.  The back-to-back labor was excruciating for Helen, however, it made Ryan's entrance so spectacular I nearly burst into a river of tears as I cut the chord.  The births of Nicole and Shane brought me back to a state of bliss when they made their grand entrances, joining their big brother.

Once again,  I find myself at the top of the mountain. It has been an arduous journey.  The air at this elevation is thin.  From here, I can see clearly what's ahead.  More mountains and a few valleys.  Before I leave this peak, I wish to linger for a while and savor the experience.  It's breathtaking.  I know in my heart I'm doing exactly what I was created to do.  My knees are bruised from all the falls and my clothes tattered, however, my heart is beating stronger than ever and I'm ready for what's on the horizon.  My hope is that I will get the opportunity to have an encounter with you on the trail ahead.  May you find your journey a joyful experience.

In case you are interested in a sneak peek of what's ahead on the road of life, check out the expression on this dog's face.  Yes, a picture IS worth a thousand words...

"Our Father, who art in heaven..."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Keeping Hope Alive

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~ Emily Dickinson

An abundant harvest is now ready to be reaped.  After a year of steady rainfall and much fertilization, it's time to gather up the crop.  I reflect on the raindrops today, each one an important person commissioned to help me achieve the impossible.

One morning, I went outside and looked into the heavens after praying for a miracle.  All around me, the rain was falling.  While staring into the clouds, a large raindrop struck me in the left eye, penetrating deep into my heart, becoming a part of me.  My dried up bones and weary dreams became alive again when this raindrop pierced my very soul.  A new passion for life flowed out of me, forever changing my destiny.

The puzzle is complete now.  I see God's masterpiece in front of me.  I see the future and I am ready.  Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers.  Thank you for the raindrops, especially for the one that smacked me in the eye while I was searching for hope.  This endowment is like eating a pear, describing the marvelous sensation the way Hemingway would depict it...sweet, juicy, grainy, like sugary sand that dissolves in your mouth.

Never again will I publish without the aid of all the raindrops in my life, nor will my writing be without passion.  I'm forever changed.  These raindrops will dwell inside of me forever and my soul will sing joyfully all the days of my life.  If you are one of these raindrops attached permanently to my heart, I thank God for you.  You've made this year's harvest a bumper crop.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


My wife just finished reading "Eat, Pray, Love" and asked me to watch the movie version with her last night.  This is a luxury I missed out on during the time in seclusion writing my memoir.  The movie, starring Julia Roberts, is about a woman searching for something.  She discovers new friends, amazing food, and her own self while traveling abroad.  It's in Italy where the language of love speaks to her with passion.

"Attraversiamo," she tells her love, meaning let's cross over.  Italians say this to each other when it's time to cross the street.  For Julia, it meant crossing over into a new life, no longer alone.

In my life, writing is stirring a new zeal inside my heart.  I strive to learn modish words in order to bring intensity to the pictures I paint.  It's like adding new colors to my box of crayola crayons.  This word, "attraversiamo," symbolizes my new life.  I stand tall as I watch the abrupt change in the weather patterns of my own life and I take my wife's hand, saying "Attraversiamo...I'm ready for all God has planned for us."  Her smile reassures me we will handle even the most dire storms in the extended forecast. In the end, love conquers all.  It's the one who is afraid to leave the cave who misses out on all the blessings.


Saturday, April 2, 2011


Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them? ~ Rose Kennedy

Five minutes after I shot this picture, a heavy fog rolled in, covering up the kaleidoscope I awakened to this morning.  I grabbed my droid and ran outside before the moment vanished into the mist.

How often do we fail to soak in precious moments like sunrises?  Do we hear the birds singing out to us, joyfully announcing the best day of our lives that's unfolding before us?

Birds don't care how big that to do list is or what direction the stock market is headed.  They just sing, proclaiming another gift, a day that we will never be able to get back.  Soak it in, savor it, enjoy it to it's full potential.  Share it.  It's your choice what to with this glorious day.  If you missed the sunrise, take a moment at the end of the day and go outside at sunset.  Moments like these have a way of refreshing the soul.

Here's one more shot to bask in while starting your day....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Heading Home Today

It's been a hectic week on the road.  Tonight, I will be back with my family and look forward to a great weekend.  I can't wait to get back on the tennis courts.  This is our final week of practice before the league championships.

My to do list is spilling over as I prepare for the first book signing on April 16th.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and freeze up.  I must take my own advice and focus on one step at a time.

Maybe you could help me out a little?  Do you have a quote you could send me that inspires you to stay on track when life is hectic?  Maybe you could email it to me?  I would love to hear how you managed to get through a difficult situation or time in your life when you felt overwhelmed.

I can't wait to get home.  If you have a quote or a note of encouragement, here is my email:

Thanks for your support.