Journeys of the Heart
is everything. You can feed everybody, stop global warming, meet
energy needs, clothe all the naked animals, and still have a
miserable world if you have not touched the heart.
the world, and you will soon have a greater population to starve.
Topple global political conspiracies and local gangs will arise to
terrorize and oppress the less powerful. Take away all the weapons,
and people will still beat each other to death with their bare fists
(It is a fact that more people are killed every year with hands and
feet than with weapons). Africa is a nation rich in natural
resources, well capable of meeting all the needs of its people. Yet
it continues to be rocked by civil strife, disease, and waves of
the technical section of my web site it should be obvious that I care
about people with limited resources. My innovations attempt to apply
that which is cheap and common to solving some of the most
fundamental technical problems of human existence. My concern
however, is that they are delivered in a context of peace and nurture
that would promote a culture of giving and peace.
do not claim to be a paragon of such virtues. I know that I am
capable of being as wild, violent, and ultimately selfish as any
human being. But I have yielded to the saddle and bridle of wisdom
and restraint, and been sculpted by failure, misery, and pursuit of
the ultimate reasons for existence. “Wild” still comes
out when someone cuts me off on a freeway, and “selfish”
sometimes tempts (well sometimes more than tempts) me to do the same
for others. But all-in-all, compassion has been birthed in me, and
has motivated the efforts visible within this web page.
people have said I should write a book; I don’t see my life as
being as dramatic as many, but I’ve been a few places and done
a few things.
of these stories and poems are deeply personal, and some involve very
painful and difficult lessons. I share them, in hopes of helping
others who can relate to them. Some stories may be fun, and are
shared for the sake of the art.
me justify my occasional use of poetry: I am not a literary person –
English may have been my least interesting subject in high school.
When I would be trying to sort out my thoughts however, I found the
stark simplicity of two-liners (a question and a tentative answer) to
be helpful in recording and organizing them. I also discovered that
the discipline of rhyme forced me to search through more words, and
to better identify the most appropriate nuance. The fact that people
call this poetry is purely coincidental.
am accustomed to people simply not believing some of my experiences.
No offense. Some were a little extreme, and some contain mystical
components that are automatically rejected by some people – I
understand and respect that. For my part, I have no choice but to
believe what I have experienced, and I assure you as best I can that
they are all real – with or without the belief of the reader –
real joy, real pain, real life.
spiritual awakenings seem most commonly associated with disasters.
For some, time to think is
in my senior year at a small high school in the nearest town 9-1/2
miles away, I was living at over 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies.
From where I was living an hour and a half of climbing would take me
to a place I could ease my face out over a precipice of approximately
1/4th mile sheer drop. I could step out of my back door
and in five hours be on top of a 14,000 foot mountain straddling the
continental divide. It was awesome country, and a privilege to live
there. And although the hand of God is most evident in such places,
beauty itself is wasted on eyes that refuse to see.
had been exposed to Christianity all my life, and from time to time
had made various levels of commitment as a child, but now it was time
to find my adult path. I wanted reality, and it didn't matter
if it was good or bad, as long as it was real. I had at least made
the decision that I would rather be real and miserable, than to live
as a blissful ignoramus. So I tossed out a prayer to a God unknown:
don't care if you're Jesus, Buddha, or a renegade marshmallow; if you
exist and have a
purpose for me, I want to serve you – otherwise, I have no real
purpose.” The prayer was honest; I had no games to play. I
figured that if God was real, He knew my address and could
communicate with me if He wanted to.
the stillness that followed, when I received a sense that Jesus was
indeed at the center of it, I immediately rejected it. I attributed
it to the fact that I had already been exposed to that. I then
realized that I was not being intellectually honest. The fact that I
had been exposed to Christianity did not in itself preclude the
involvement of Jesus in the cosmic plan. Beyond all that, I had asked
in honestly, and so far, this was the only answer I had. In this very
tenuous acceptance I resolved that I was not going to force anything
to work. If it wasn't real, the sooner I found out and quit wasting
my time, the better. If it was real, it would stand without my
help, and be mine if I cooperated with reality – as best as I
could comprehend it.
was not a nice person by this time in my life. I would pretend to
care about people so that they wouldn't hate me, but in reality I
really didn't care about anyone. On my way in to school the next
morning some nerdly little Jr. high girl had gotten hurt or
embarrassed or something, and as I was sitting there feeling sorry
for her, it came to me as a shock what I was doing – I was
feeling compassion! The day before I would have been laughing at her
like everybody else!
me, this was the first tangible evidence that God was real, and that
He was actually doing something in my heart.
began a very tenuous period of incremental growth. There were no
questions I was afraid to ask (still isn't), and I feared no answers.
Beyond this, I lost all fear of what people thought of me. I was free
to explore thoughts and actions with honesty and abandon, without
dependence upon the affirmations of others. Because of the growing
love God had planted in my heart, I would not intentionally offend
people, but these concerns were for their sake, and not for the sake
of their opinions about me.
had appeared from the other side as entering into a confined
enclosure had in fact become a liberating exit into a universe of
exciting and unlimited possibilities.
considered emotions a weakness, and I really didn’t see the
point in them. I was a techno-nerd that analyzed everything. I wasn’t
some intellectual wannabe trying to put on airs. I just didn’t
understand anything about emotions, and frankly, was afraid of them.
Some friends even called me stoic. Yes, I cared about people by this
time, but nobody needed to know it. Besides, I was carrying 17-1/2
units and had a part-time job. I had no time to get involved with
anything or anyone.
for the gift
The busy young
man worked as hard as a fool
Earning money to
live and a full load at school
He met a young
lady he’d known from the past
Sit down and
relax – don’t drive life so fast
She would sing
like an angel, was pretty and fun
with you but I really must run
Though a drop of
cold water had touched his parched soul
let feelings detract from his goal
So he buried
himself in his work and his books
As he tried to
kill thoughts of her voice, form and looks
After some time
had passed she again stood before him
Talked him into
a date – she seemed to adore him
thanks for the beautiful gift
Another date and
the power of a passionate kiss
your pardon, what emotion is this?
Sadly she faded
– dated others he’d learned
And in the young
man now a jealousy burned
invaded by showers and flowers
Of love, care
and passion and jealousy powers
Walled in by a
dam of fierce strength and denial
Put his heart
and his soul to their very worst trial
Stop! No! He
can’t let this happen!
afford time or the strength it is sapping
carefully, as calm as he could
He put feelings
on paper, but it did him no good
So then he
delivered the note to the lass
Stood there as
she read it – this guy was so crass
As she burst
forth in tears of injustice and strife
He turned coldly
around and walked out of her life
As he entered
his room, a stark Spartan abode
He knew that he
still had something huge to unload
For the first
time in certainly ten or twelve years
He fell on his
bed and exploded in tears
Susie, thank you so much
beautiful, beautiful gift.
were only 86 kids in the entire high school my junior year. Percy was
the town bad boy. He was the only one who knew how to get marihuana,
and he died in a crash when he and Eli were outrunning the cops. Eli
survived almost unscathed, other than the fact he had been the driver
of the errant car that had killed his girlfriend a few months before.
you ever felt obligated to go to a funeral of someone who was almost
impossible to eulogize? This is cold, but it’s honestly how I
Mumble good things
the world is glad
He was all right
I guess so
but now life must carry
You pass through
the elements of
the most expected
You can go now
you’ve fulfilled your
A SLEEPING BEAR ON THE EAR, AND THEN IMPROVISE
morning as I was getting ready to go to work, a friend burst into my
cottage and asked if I wanted to go to Guatemala next Tuesday. After
about a third of a second of careful contemplation, I said “Sure.”
A couple missionary families had four vehicles they were moving, and
needed drivers. Their church was to pay plane fare home.
was an interesting place, so upon returning to the States, I drove
back down there and began to help out and explore. I had almost no
money, and generally imposed upon people for a couch or a shed to
about four months, as the “almost” part of my finances
continued to thin, I found work teaching English. This lasted another
two months until I came down with Hepatitis. I then moved to the
Capital to recuperate, and to sell my car for bus fare home
EYES STILL HAUNT ME
was living in a small village at a little over 9,000 feet. It was in
a sort of plateau, but the surrounding terrain was pretty extreme.
One of the local jokes was that people were frequently injured by
falling out of their cornfields.
was walking back towards the village one morning when I met a drunk
Indian stumbling along, he was literally roaring as he went. It was
early, so he had obviously been at it all night.
small tired girl was trotting along behind him – she could not
have been more than about three. She was thoroughly terrified. Her
only hope of survival was to keep up with her father-turned-beast,
who had no idea she was even there. Adult Indians usually carried
walking sticks in this area, to ward off the starving dogs. She would
likely be killed if they encountered the wrong pack.
look of terror, fatigue, loneliness and bewilderment still breaks my
heart to this day.
before a journey of a thousand miles began with a plane ticket, it
began with a single step. For many, the journey to a virtual hell for
themselves and those who depend upon them begins with a single drink.
The child of my memory was only a little more desperate than children
in America who sit at home fearing the return of an abusive parent
who is out squandering the family income on destructive substances.
BROTHER I’D NEVER MET
Indians were incredible. They had been carrying heavy burdens on
their backs since they were small children, and as adults, many of
the men would walk dozens of miles with burdens of two hundred pounds
a stroll through the market place I spied an Indian who had carried a
huge load of dried shrimp from the coast, along a road that crossed
seventy miles of jungle, and then up to his home high in the
mountains. He had come down to this 9,200 ft town that morning to
market his burden.
instant our eyes met we began saying “Praise the Lord” in
Spanish. Such was this instant recognition that it was as if I had
known him all my life. We knew the same Jesus. Here was this
long-legged gringo 3,000 miles from home (about 6’2”),
and this four-foot something Indian for whom Spanish was likewise a
second language. We stared at each other, commented briefly on life
and spiritual gifts, smiled, nodded, blessed each other, and
brief and simple as that encounter was, it taught me many important
recuperating in the Capital, I had just gotten dressed after a shower
when the house shook with a muffled explosion, followed immediately
by the sound of shattered glass. My initial thought was that the
water heater had exploded, but it was in fact a terrorist bomb a
quarter of a mile away. The kitchen window had been blown in, and the
blast was followed by a rattle that turned out to be machine gun
fire. The remainder of the night contained intermittent gun battles,
accompanied by the sounds of racing cars.
had actually been a communist country for a brief period in the early
fifties, and those who remembered it wanted nothing to do with it.
Many of the younger generation however had bought into the grandiose
rhetoric. Some who were students during the week ran around with the
communists in the hills on the weekends.
we poured out into the street I met a family across the street with
two lovely daughters; their hospitality was touching. I had a little
change left, and when I took one of them to a movie, the mother and
sister came along too. The surprise was that the sister hurried past
me and paid for all four of us – they knew I had very little. I
fell in love with all three of them.
appreciated the protection of the families there. They know what men
are like, and unlike in the U. S., they care more about their
children than they do about other people’s opinions. Then too,
when we accidentally had a couple minutes alone, I discovered that
there was a reason for the Latin reputation.
the Viet Nam era I was about as ignorant as anyone, but as awareness
of what was really going on begin to sink in, I happened to be on the
wrong side of the ocean. About all I could say was “Thank you
American tax payers, I couldn’t be doing all this without you.”
my two years of active duty (which started about three months after
the events in the movie “We Were Soldiers”) I had three
different ships and two Far East cruises. I rode destroyers, and
my first trip, I remember my last night in the Philippines. The next
day we were to set out across the last 700 miles of water to Viet
Nam, and I was considering deserting.
it had not occurred to me until this very evening that they had gone
to all this expense and training so that they could deliver me across
the ocean to kill people. I had a decision to make, but before I made
the actual decision I decided I was going to be one extreme or the
I had read three books on world history while on the voyage across
the Pacific, and then had then read a massive tome on the history of
warfare. The chilling awareness I had gained from all this is that
the history of humanity IS the history of warfare.
one has a right to be proud or ashamed of where they came from,
because none of us had anything to do with it. I realized that I
should have voted and acted more responsibly before getting to this
now, here I was on the breaking edge of what nations have done since
tribes have existed. The morality of the war had nothing to do with
it; I was part of a current. I had nothing personally against the men
I was to kill, and I had no resentment against those who would
attempt to kill me (I was extremely pissed on the other hand, at such
an attempt on this side of the ocean).
many will consider this a cop-out. I am uninterested in the opinions
of any who have not had to make a similar decision under such
LOVE YOU SAILOR
of several books I will never write would have chronicled the stories
I had experienced or heard in the various bars in the many ports
between Japan and the Philippines. The title would have been a line
from a lovely innocent-looking Asian girl who looked into my eyes and
said “I love you sailor – no shit.” It was a good
line, and some of my shipmates actually believed it.
a picturesque way of describing a particularly base location to the
effect that “If I had to give the world an enema, I’d
know where to put the tube.” I’m of the opinion that that
distinction wanders around the globe a bit, and I also believe that I
caught up with it one Christmas Eve in Sasebo, Japan.
bar population of such ports varies widely, depending on how many and
which type of ships are in at any given time. Shore Patrol (Navy
cops) are assigned from the ships that happen to be in port at the
time – in proportion to the population of the ship.
the Shore patrol was assembled for that evening, I was assigned to
work with an old chief petty officer who claimed to never have stood
a shore patrol in which he didn’t have at least one drink. In
keeping with well-established maritime tradition, he was lying of
the assignments were read, everybody laughed when the beat for the
Chief and I was announced. After a few seconds of whipping my head
around to a few people asking why everybody was laughing and just
getting smirks, the chief explained that we had been assigned to
“shit street”. They could laugh – they weren’t
port had its “shit street,” where the most fights and
general chaos were likely to erupt. This was Christmas Eve; we were
in for it. It’s our turn to be the cops, and everybody’s
going to hate us.
chief was incredible. He carried a small string of sleigh bells, and
whenever we’d enter a bar he’d hold them up and ring
them, proclaiming “Merry Christmas”. Never mind the “SP”
brassards on our arms and the martial hardware we carried, this guy
knew his work. When somebody was out of order, rather than do a
tough-guy confrontation, he’d locate some of his friends who
were willing to take them back to their ship so he wouldn’t
have to be written up or incarcerated.
liberty,” as in “get home before midnight”, was the
general rule of such ports, and as the bars emptied and the hour
arrived, true to his boast we entered a bar. The “hostess”
was a bit older than most. I would guess she was in her thirties, and
if she was typical, she had probably been selling it since she was
about thirteen. He gave her a crude greeting, and she promptly
returned with something a little grosser. Pretty soon young and
tender here was trying to figure out how to crawl under his coffee
the bantering continued to descend. After about twenty minutes, he
had that old gal with her hands over her face giggling.
you see a middle-aged prostitute blush, you know you’re in a
strange place. I liked that old chief. I’m not saying he was my
best friend, but he was a darned good enema.
cruising in the Tonkin Gulf, we were aware of heavy gun emplacements
that protected water-born logistics on their way south from ships
like ours. One afternoon the cruiser Newport News showed up, which
was extremely rare. In fact, I had never heard of a cruiser being in
the Tonkin Gulf before or since. As it turned out, they had a
news reporter on board and they wanted to show off their big guns.
“big stripes” on the cruiser ordered “little
stripes” on the destroyer to go in close to shore so that the
suspected gun emplacements on shore would reveal their locations by
shooting at us. The game was that the cruiser would then blow them
away with their big guns.
gun emplacements suddenly opened up on us simultaneously, and a solid
hit from any one of their shells would have sent us to the bottom. As
we ducked and dodged through it all, and as shrapnel clattered
against the superstructure of the ship, the cruiser began firing, and
couldn’t hit a thing. We managed to dump about twenty rounds
from our own much smaller guns on one of them, and apparently made it
too noisy for them to concentrate. An aircraft scrambled from a
carrier somewhere south of us silenced the other two.
a week later, a friend sent me a newspaper clipping showing my ship
fighting for its life with mammoth splashes of water all around it.
So apparently, the damage, injury, and risk of four-hundred lives,
was well worth it after all.
immediately after I got out of the service I bought a small chopper.
It had begun as a 650 Triumph Bonneville, but had been bored and
cammed for a radical increase in performance (at about half the gas
mileage). The frame was pure custom with no fenders – or
anything else that was not absolutely necessary. It was nothing but
muscle and wheels.
first weekend I put about 470 miles on it, the first of thousands of
solitary miles, most of them at night. Sometimes after work I would
travel 150 miles before heading back.
Saturday afternoon I was a little bored, so I took a trip to see a
friend who lived on a ranch in the extreme northeast corner of L.A.
County. He represented the Sheriff department in that area, although
I had never seen him in uniform.
I left the highway to follow the dirt road up to his property, there
were bikers all over the place. The Monks, the Saints, the Devil’s
Disciples, and the Free-Wheelers (out of Arizona I believe) were
having a joint outing (pun accidental, but it works). That was before
the helmet law, and Americans still had the freedom to look as cool
as they thought they could.
I drove through the middle of them and we were checking each other
out I recalled an interesting detail. I had no gang colors on my
jacket, so I was free game to any gang that wanted to beat the crap
out of me until I was willing to join their darling little club.
I exited the gauntlet and continued on up the road I encountered Bob.
He had one hand on his 357 magnum, the other pointing at me, and a
clear command to stop ringing from somewhere between. When I took off
my shades and spoke his name, he was shocked, but pleasantly
had a must-do errand, so I was sworn in, left with his 357 magnum
(although I was packing my own piece), and – believe this or
don’t – his sixteen year old daughter. This scene was
straight out of a cheap novel. He returned about an hour and a half
later with two CHP units with two officers each.
I literally cruised off into the sunset that afternoon, I was musing:
“Gee, I’ve never been an L. A., County deputy sheriff
RITE OF PASSAGE
solitary misfit on a motorcycle has left the LA Basin through the San
Gabriel Mountains, and is just starting across the Mojave Desert
towards the lower end of the High Sierras. He would often make such
trips within about a 150-mile radius after work or on a weekend, but
there is another consideration these days: He has known for three
weeks that he was going to have an accident, but has not modified his
Angeles Crest Highway is almost behind
bike climbs to 70 from a curve that was blind
80 then 90 and so
goes his speed
he carries a band-aid in case there's a need
His bike tops 100 as
he crests one last hill
all other traffic as though it stood still
A hundred and ten then
a hundred and twenty
God what a rush!, then on to one-plenty
He smiles as he looks at
the fragile front wheel
him and the road and a death he could feel
He then lifts his gaze
to adjust to the track
in speed-blurred desert sees death grinning back
But as peace
assures him his end is not near
starts talking with God and beginning to hear
I don't understand
God, this thing that You've shown
The meaning of pain in this life
I have known
But I know that You love me surely more than I
I'm just going to trust You to bring me on through
As time became
precious he lowers his speed
to about 80, still more than he'd need
A small winding road that
he'd never been on
beckoned his heart to the mountains beyond
As he entered a curve
that his bike couldn't take
realized he had a decision to make
He straightened it out so he'd
miss the guard rail
then figured out what's the best way to bail
He then sailed
through the air with the greatest of ease
cart-wheeling scenery on a warm desert breeze
He could hear thump
and bump from his bike as it broke
auto-sized boulders, manzanita and oak
He suddenly found himself
flat on his face
entire hillside had just this one smooth place
miracle greater than most he had known
found he had broken not one single bone
But the pain from inside
could far more than suffice
to put him to sleep and it would feel so nice
But he knew that to
sleep then would bring certain death
he fought to his feet while still gasping for breath
bike lay there; its gas tank was caved
was not leaking gas, so it just might be saved
Exhaust pipes were
dented with one twisted out
with help from a rock it might be straightened out
the road on the hillside above
wondered if passing cars had any love
But NO he can't do that he'd
stay quite aloof
people will hurt you and his heart was proof
A search though the
brush yielded tools and a part
he got that thing working -- well at least it would start
fighting the hillside and pain like a goad
finally got that machine back on the road
Then as if he hadn't had
said as he road “boy am I ever tough”
In answer his
body convulsed with such pain
sobs drove him spastic and threatened his brain
Ok God! I hear you
help me if you must
please do not send me a human to trust
The late afternoon was now
losing its' light
needed a place to hang out for the night
An old two-roomed school
house had people about
church from Burbank had come there to camp out
They could see he
was fighting to maintain his grip
he refused their offer of a ninety-mile trip
Just lend me a patch
of this old hardwood floor
the time the sun's up I'll be out of your door
A sweet kiss on the forehead as he lay there that
to unravel his cold lonely fight
To a dust-covered bum here's a
token of love
care of a human from heaven above
As the sun rose he was barely
able to stand
knew he'd soon die if he refused their hand
The surgery and eight
days of hospital stay
him time to consider events of that day
Let people get near you a
gentle voice said
God I'll get hurt said the lad on the bed
I was hurt said the
voice in the same gentle way
are painful now wouldn't you say
Trust me for your hurts, and yes,
there'll be pain
I'll be there to help you start loving again
You thought you were
macho to endure all that pain
your great fear of love makes you weaker than rain
He began to
relax and let deep healing flow
began to forgive, He began to grow
A day that began with a kid in
a man with the strength to embrace
COMES AS A KIT – MUCH ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Will you forgive me when I’m not sorry?
love me when I’m wrong?
Will you still love me when I’m being
convinced I’m being strong?
I’ll forgive your pointless nagging,
your word assaults endure.
I will love you while you’re hurting me,
pray our vows stay sure.
If God’s only love towards us
the kind we give each other
We’d be doomed unto death eternal,
never know God’s son as brother
But God’s love transcends mere justice,
is greater than our sin.
So please forgive me as I stumble,
let’s be free to love again.
night, as I was dealing with some real questions in life, I began to
write some of them down. One risk you take when you ask real
questions, is that you might also have to deal with real answers.
Who can afford to give?
Who can afford to trust?
can afford to sacrifice
all that God says that we must?
heart that would give becomes wounded
The soul that would love
The lonely cry out for some mercy
trusting is betrayed again
Where does strength for this life
Where does one go for love's rain?
Where does one go
when they're thirsting?
Oh where can one hide from this pain?
air became gentle and fragrant
and peace seemed to be all around
strong gentle hand soothed my shoulder
Though no-one had uttered a
Words could not answer my questions
To no voice was
such eloquence given
But the joy in my heart could not argue
the love God had sent down from heaven
ADVENTURES OF RENT-A-PIG
had been laid off in Colorado Springs, and went to work as a security
guard until I could find something better. My beat was to be a small
convenience shopping center near a recently developed area. When the
anchor store is a 7-11, you know you’re not dealing with
unattended on a Friday or Saturday night however, there would be six
kegs of beer and about a hundred and fifty kids in the parking lot.
All I had to do was instruct them to leave the area after they had
made their purchases, and make sure that they did. Instructing was
the easy part.
only training was to spend one Saturday evening on the beat with my
boss. During this time he told me that things were unusually quiet
for a Saturday night, because about six of the ring-leaders were in
jail. The night before, they had done about $1,800 worth of damage to
his cars when they got up on the roof and peppered them with bottles
boss was from New York, and his techniques were simple: If people
don’t do as you say, MAKE them do as you say. I could see that
these kids really hated him. A few weeks later I asked him if there
was a tidy way to break up a fight. He looked at me like I had asked
the stupidest question in the world. With a hands wide gesture he
said “You drive a car into it.” Silly me, why didn’t
I think of that?
weekend following my Saturday evening of training, I was to have the
beat all to myself, and I have never dreaded going to work so much in
my entire life. I approached to see a line of parked cars with
belligerent-looking teenagers sitting on the trunks.
telling them to leave, I allowed them about ten minutes in which they
did nothing. I then asked them if they planned to, and explained that
I would rather not get them into trouble. About a third of them wised
up and left at this point. A few minutes later, when I began
scribbling down license plate numbers, the panic cleared the parking
lot in a matter of minutes.
through a series of small boring stories I won’t bother you
with, respect was gained, friendships were made, and the cooperation
was generally good. It remained crazy though. Some kids asked me if
they could used a car wash sprayer to get creative junk out of their
hair that had held it in wild sculptures (Knox gelatin was a
favorite) – sure, why not? There were occasional fights, sex in
a field behind the complex (they didn’t ask), nude swimming at
an apartment across the street (at night of course), and wandering
lonely kids that just wanted an adult to listen; I couldn’t go
anywhere so I had the time.
morning a few months later, I saw year-book style pictures of five of
my friends in a newspaper. They had been out drinking and partying,
and sometime that night they had all died in a car crash.
are times when a man has no option but to confront potentially deadly
situations head-on. Consider some of what goes through the mind of at
least one such person.
I just may not make it I may not
It'll only be God's fault if I'm left alive
to the grand plans I've made for my life
Goodbye to the children
the baby the wife
I'd figured on having a lifetime or so
it just may be over and be time to go
what could I do better if I
had one more chance
What could I accomplish what could I
I look at all this junk that I've got around
so worthless now that It's getting me down
I've scheduled more
time than a full life would hold
I've lived life as if I would
never go cold
But now as I see it all what have I done
my time may be up I don't feel I've begun
I've taken life my way
and fought serving God
And now all that I am may be under the
Now what can I say to convince those behind
need new direction they need a new mind
God above made you and Him
you should serve
If you go your own way you get what you deserve
the Berlin wall fell in the early 90's the Cold War was over. Major
government contracts for no-longer-needed hardware were canceled and
huge aerospace companies began slashing their staff. In Orange County
CA, any company stupid enough to advertise an job opening had 300 to
500 resumes to deal with within two days, and $70,000 engineers were
living in their cars in a matter of months. As a casualty myself, I
was spending my days going door-to-door through industrial areas
looking for problems to solve. Eventually it became McDonald's?
Knott's Berry Farm? anyone? anything? -- nothing. When I wasn't
walking, I was writing, and trying to invent ways (legal) to earn
money. I picked up a couple short-term positions, but nothing for
could no longer pay rent and began to use up friends and family as we
stayed in living rooms and closets with people who didn't want us
there. At one point I was living in a friend's driveway while my wife
and children were in three other places. Eventually a mutual friend
connected us with an extremist group in the foothills outside Visalia
(in the Central Valley) through some writing I had done. After about
six months we were kicked out of there because we were not
and homeless, we managed to find a temporary place in a homeless
shelter. Life is a mystical journey, and at this point it was clear
that I was to ask God for an opportunity to buy another home. To nip
a long story in the bud, a year and a half later I was reestablished
as an engineer and we were moving into a home of our own. A few years
later it was paid for free and clear. God fed us and clothed us when
we were destitute, and we are well aware that the rules haven't
changed since. The only difference is that now we can see how
He is doing it.
civic officials need lessons
I'm standing in the darkness, rain, and mud of a homeless camp
expecting to spend the night helping people pack their soggy, muddy
belongings. We would then move them to a yet unapproved place, and
set up a new camp so they can crawl into their miserable mud-soaked
belongings and get a little sleep the next day.
parolees can either do this or return to nice, warm dry prisons the
next day. The choice is unanimous – mud wins, and this night
delivers a record rainfall. Somebody's cell phone rings; we have a
brief reprieve – one more day. Sleep well my friends.
the last several months, local law enforcement – both city and
county – had been driving all the homeless they could find out
of other camps, and concentrating them in this one area. Then the
media declares “See how this camp is growing? People are moving
here from all over. We've got to do something.”
cruelty to homeless is now underway inf Visalia. For most, a 30-day
notice is legally required for eviction; for parolees however, they
have a bigger club.
head parole officer in the area told the press that they never parole
people to “the river.” “That's not how we do
business.” city officials were planning a major excursion into
the homeless camp the next day to inventory the residents, offer
referrals to all available shelters, and view the facts for
themselves. So now the twenty-some “non-existent”
parolees that had been assigned to live at the river by the parole
officers needed to move by sunup so his lies would not become so
obvious to everyone. Fortunately, that very evening the tour had
suddenly been postponed for a day. I suspect this may have been the
work of a compassionate mayor (he was voted against 4-to-1 on a
proposal to provide sanitation for the homeless camp).
that evening the mayor got an education. A few homeless advocates
(and a couple of homeless leaders) had been invited to a small
meeting at which the mayor was to speak. The owner of the property
had welcomed the homeless, but the mayor quoted a statement by the
local sheriff that she had changed her mind. I couldn't help but
smile as I glanced over at the owner, who soon corrected the lie.
Numerous other lies quoted or misquoted by the media were addressed
next day the precaution was taken to keep the parolees out of the
camp while some of us returned with lists of things to pack up for
them. It may have been a good idea, because we were shadowed by a
sheriff vehicle on the levy road on one side. There was also an
unmarked 4-wheeler loitering directly across the river on the other
side, with binoculars pointing in all directions. This may have been
purely coincidental, but by now we were just a little paranoid.
result of this “cleanup” was that the homeless moved
across the river back into town. Crime increased, and more bushes and
dumpster enclosures were favored with human feces; Help keep Visalia
the city council responded with another edict: Homeless are not
allowed to sleep on either public or private property. They have not
evaporated, they are only spending more time in jail and looking for
more ways to hide. One friend was telling me how he was awakened and
moved three times in the same night by the same uniform. Once a
homeless person has found where to find food and made a few friends
he can semi-trust, it is suicide to migrate to another town where you
know nothing and no one.
can find a little more on this subject in the section on emergency
the various injuries and heartaches I’ve experienced, the most
excruciating have been for my children.
He doesn't know quite how to show love
trying so hard to be strong
He works hard to do for his family
he doesn't have time to be wrong
But he cries for the love of
When he's some place where they cannot see
heartache he covers with manhood
because that's what a father
Now he has been some miles and knows some things
's been there and come back alive
He's seen people die in the
and he knows what it takes to survive
cries for the life of his children
God protect them as they go
Do they have to make the mistakes he made
O Lord help
them to know right from wrong
Dad you don't understand that
this world that I'm in
is so different from that which you've
I now have my own mind and it isn't so kind
treat me like something you own
And he cries for his children
who hate him
Lord help them to please understand
that he loves
them and does his best for them
and may they never step out of
And he cries for the love of his children
love bears him down like a mountain
Though his eyes can't shed
tears from his prison of fears
his soul pours them forth like a
about a year I was working in the Silicon Valley area south of San
Francisco, and returning to my home about 200 miles away on the
weekends. I had arranged my schedule so I could begin my Friday
commute home an hour early, in order to miss the infamous Bay Area
night I was having a vivid dream of traveling through an area of
green rolling hills, when I realized I was actually awake. I
consciously looked at the clock (3:45am), and then at the muted light
coming through the window. The “dream” continued, and was
in fact a vision – I was conscious, I was rational, I was being
analytical, and yet the scene continued.
was then traveling up a larger hill, and up a narrow valley once down
the other side. A huge snake, about five feet thick, was suddenly
stretched across path ahead. In fact, there was no path or features
in the valley beyond the snake. It all ended here.
have been extremely rare for me, in fact, I can remember no more than
two or three – but these proved very important. So I spent the
day intermittently praying about it, and quite puzzled.
my way home that afternoon as I left highway 101 to head east, I
began to notice that the countryside was much like that which I had
seen in my vision. After a final hill that was higher than the rest,
I began to travel the freeway up the valley, leading towards the
ascent of Pacheco Pass. Traffic, still fairly light, was at about
75-80 mph – typical of the area.
threatening clouds cut loose with a suddenness and fury I had never
experienced. I have witnessed many violent electrical storms in the
mountains of Colorado, but in this case there was a brilliant series
of flashes that came downward on one side of the road ahead, went
horizontally across the road, and into the earth on the other side.
The effect was like a broad ladder of about five rungs, spanning the
shoulders and both sides of the freeway ahead.
downpour and lightning came on so suddenly that we had barely begun
to slow down when a car came sliding sideways towards us down the
mud-slicked meridian. My instinct of course, was to slow down, but
something told me not to, and I obeyed.
I came abreast of the car, its wheels suddenly caught, and it shot
across the lane behind me. I saw the violent head-on collision in my
rear-view mirror. I immediately pulled over, and went sprinting back
to three smoking cars, and two corpses.
got home a little later than usual that evening, but my wife had not
yet become concerned. I had decided that there was no point in
frightening her with a description of what had happened. But then I
had to account for a patch of blood on my shirt obtained while
assisting a survivor.
had been shown the vision for a purpose, and thoroughly believe that
it was a vision of my own death. Somehow though, God had chosen to
intervene, at the cost of two other lives. I am left with the
questions of why I was spared, and of why others were killed in my
place. More importantly, I am left with an awareness that my life
does not belong to me. I am on borrowed time, extended by the one who
spared me from disaster. I am here to serve.
are all on borrowed time; neither life nor death are truly accidents.
Values arise from living realities, rules
arise from dead logic.
* Life is a choice you make. Death is
failure to choose.
* We sing about history, but history is
* Something may not be bad for what it is, but for what it
* I can't hear a thing when you're yelling
* I seldom
know a rule exists....until I've broken it
* I discover
ruts....when I want to change direction, but can’t
know I've said the wrong thing when....it's too late
* What God
is doing is not as important as the fact that He is doing it.
Marriage comes as a kit: the components are there, but some assembly
* When we refuse to make decisions, decisions are
made for us.
* If you don’t control the direction of your
mind, something else will.
* Good things are built.... Bad things
* It is much easier to “don’t” ...
than “ a little bit”.
* Self pity is an “i
can’t because”, The “because” here is
usually blame, but forgiveness sets you free
* Self pity is an
excuse to justify a weakness, a bad attitude, revenge, or some other
* There will always be a voice telling you
what you want to hear.
* True strength is rarely obvious.
When words that have been trite become untrite, you are beginning to
* The problem is not a lack of God’s
leading, but a lack of our following.
* God can only work with
what we are willing to give Him.
* Excess and perversion are the
results of life without focus.
* General failure in life results
from a lack of general direction.
* A multitude of words is a
poor substitute for the right ones.
* When you love someone
enough to allow them to hate you, you have loved.
* Real men...
have nothing to prove.
* Love is like money; you can waste it on
candy, or you can invest it in something worthwhile
* If your
focus is upon yourself, you’re not worth the attention.
leader demonstrates direction; a herder gives orders.
Everything obvious and easy in our society, has already been
* An enterprise of value, must require effort or
* Reality dictates the terms, not preference.
walk with God prioritizes being over doing.
* Doing is the result
* Getting off the right track... means going down the
* Dealing with lies and false accusations, were part
of the development of Joseph’s character.
* A command from
God, comes with the miracles required to perform it.
* The last
place you can afford to compromise is in what you require of
yourself. The first place is in what you require of others.
God’s purpose and direction are available to us from any
position, and from any point in time we are willing to serve Him.
Procrastination makes you grow older..... without accomplishing a
*. Don’t complain about what you can’t do, be
grateful for what you CAN do.
* The right perspective can be the
difference between walls and wings.
* Strength is not standing up
for your rights; it is standing up without them.
* The worst
thing that can happen in life... is nothing at all.
* There is no
such thing as steady-state Christianity; You are either growing or
you are dying.
* Life is a state of change.
* I keep looking
for some grand plan, but the grand plan is to listen and obey one
day at a time.
* God is not kidding. What He has spoken, He will
* The political condition of a country reflects its’
* A political reform is not possible without a moral
one, because a nation of lawbreakers can only be ruled by force.
The hunger of greed can no more be satisfied than the hunger of
* A man who does no more than look out for himself….
is a wasted man.
* Philosophy: Proof that life without God has no
* If logic does not have the power to either prove or
disprove God, then it does not have the power to BE God.
a printed 3-D picture, you can only see a vision when you look
* As you become pure, you receive power, not as a
reward, but as a tool.
* Responsibility increases with purity and
* There are times in life when survival is
not the highest priority.
* Use your mind to deal with
things...but use your heart to deal with people
REST OF THESE ARE UNSORTED, AND CONSIST MAINLY OF SOCIAL AND
ARE WE BEING LED?
Ever step outside and
Outside the protection of your friends' opinions
dare to listen for yourself
Still the voices of your TV
Lift your eyes like a newborn babe
to the sound
you used to hear
Look through the eyes of one outside
been trained to fear
Truth is simple, truth is plain
is clear like falling rain
But truth is cleansing and can cause
as it shines its' light on a life that's vain
quiet now, and listen
to a sound that's been there long
that old man was a hippie
He used to sing that song
have all the flowers gone
and why do I still care
What have all
our efforts done
the system's still unfair
I see a strange
thing passing in this country
but then it's never really gone
I see the protests of the sixties still here with us
the children from back then have more to say
What are you
doing to this country you with power
Can't you hear what we've
been saying all this time
You make us more dependent every
You make self reliance sound like it's a crime
trusted you completely I could do this
But I watch you screw-up
almost every day
Who's purpose are you serving with our power
it matter what the people have to pay
Was it that we said it
or did you just not hear
The rich man's greed and puppet
are still the things we fear
The freedom spark
that started then
it somehow still survives
And it wants to pry
your greedy hands
from off our throats and lives
appeared to be
the movement's friend indeed
But they were sold
to the big man's gold
and shackled by their greed
it and we taught it
as the way that it should be
But we found
we couldn't tell what's wrong
We need to
unlearn what they taught us
and to relearn how to stand
can be compliant putty
and learn to lick our captor's hand
media, the nations,
the congress and them all
are all owned by
the same people
and await their every call
I found an
on a shelf where it then lay
And opened to the
back to see
the things it had to say
It said we'd all be
owned by one
Who'd someday rule us all
And if we didn't bow our
our head's would surely fall
It said we'd be
by numbers on our head and hide
The ones who did
could buy their food
the ones who didn't starved and died
shuddered as it came to me
Son of Social Security
Strike a chord
Stir a spirit
Speak a word
Draw out some people
in this world together friends
What happens now you see depends
how we choose the lives we lead
do we hoard our stuff or meet a
We've been taught to build up
some very high
The men they wear dresses
The women wear balls
world it is coming
apart at the seams
Where is the
Where are the teams
Why can't I love you
that I care
Are you going to sue me
if I should so dare
are things shattered
in pieces like this
and who outlawed bliss
The answer is simple
simple it's odd
Our culture is wasted
because we've ignored God
ride the wind, I'll watch the sky
not let time just pass me by
I'll ride the crest of history's
not be sedi-mentary mud
I'll be the cause not the result
fire brand a catapult
Life has beginning Life has end
a book with meaning shapes a trend
can only be lived
moment at a time
It can be adjusted
response to the past
but the past
Life can build for the future
but the future
is it yet life
Life is now
Our opportunity to live for
Our opportunity to fulfill our purpose
Our opportunity for peace and joy
We will never
can't tell a kid a thing
to try and do so just brings pain
try to stop them let them be
their stupid selves like you and
have filled the day with people
and with things that must get
I have filled my life with projects
I'm a slave to what's
Does a tree live in such tyranny
Does a flower live this
Do other living things decide
how much they have to do this
one isn’t really about sports.
Coach if I could do it
I know that I would surely win
Butcha see it wasn't
It' not the way it should be
I wish I could do it over
-- but the time is gone
I wasn't quite ready that
or the other guy committed some crime
But now I know
I'm ready to go
Coach wontcha let me try it again
-- but the
time is gone
Now isn't that the thing we always say
things just didn't go our way
We paint the past with excuses
our mistakes and abuses
We should be giving all we have today
before the time is gone
depart a little from the norm
and share some things
risk a little love
and see what real life brings
are afraid to say "I've found it"
Even though they know
it's surely true
People aren’t supposed to know such
But opinions aren’t the master of a few
are two different things
One is for watchers
other builds kings
rather be God
said the angel on high
That seat has been
you'll lead those who die
And thus began conflict
light and death
And so it continues
till our specie's last
I'd rather be God
said the king on the throne
then fell like a stone
He spent seven years
eating grass in the field
Until God once again
power to wield
I'd rather be God
said the kid on the
Until one that was bigger
felled him with one sock
ego was hurt
and he wanted to stand
So he bought a big
to hold in his hand
I'd rather be God
babe in the chair
As he smeared half his supper
on his face and
He saw no good reason
for carrots and peas
are his servants
He'll do as he'll please
The dream of
has not gone away
It's just become subtle
low it must lay
But humans are weak
and some are so sour
scary to think
what some now do for power
time to leave It's time to fly
It's time to prove the things
It's time to live It's time to die
It's time to
see what can be burned
may never know how life will go
Until you have freedom to fall
you a saint or only paint
Will you survive or lose it
the early seventies oil producing nations conspired to
prices. Gasoline shortages ensued, and heating
The year had also brought us the
Watergate scandal and a major
Indian protest in South
Dakota. By early January, the headlines
that had seemed
so important at the time were of no current
almost forgotten -- until I began rereading them in
order as I burned the accumulation of papers to warm the
I sit here burning papers
to reduce the
I read of crimes of yesterday
and the pages they
Each useless page has been upstaged
by something new
and now I’m down to burning it all
heating bill we had
I read of holidays and mental sick
Halloween and a sadistic trick
You wonder what makes people
then there’s someone’s ode to tricky Dick
wish the world would let him be
now up in smoke goes Wounded
I could go on but why repeat
I think I’ll just enjoy