Wednesday, May 31, 2006


20 things I have been blessed with recently

  1. An office I don’t have to pay (cash) rent for

  2. An inherited client

  3. My granddaughter telling me, “I love you”

  4. My dog being healed

  5. Lobster instead of beans

  6. A place to display my artwork

  7. Not having to drive to Austin to pick something up – it was delivered to me

  8. Money in the bank

  9. 2 new friends

  10. A good night’s sleep

  11. Good health

  12. A reliable racquetball partner

  13. A lower phone bill this month

  14. A lower insurance bill this month

  15. All of my business expenses paid for – phone, business cards, stationery, furniture…

  16. A deeper understanding of who I am

  17. Getting my glasses fixed

  18. An old acquaintance from almost 30 years ago getting in touch with me

  19. Selling an old book I had in my file cabinet

  20. A professional photo of me I didn’t have to pay for

I was challenged to come up with a list of 20 ways God is blessing me right now. That’s my list. Can you think of 20 things too?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

2 more crosses

Here's 2 more I just finished. The detail in the first one is hard to see because my camera isn't that good. The vine, outline of the leaves, and lettering is all raised acrylic paint. The grapes are actually red marbles, and no, they don't light up...that was just from the flash...

Acrylic and colored marbles on wood
(30" ' x 23") $75

Colored stones on painted wood, with aluminum clef
No Longer For Sale

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Some new crosses

I made some new crosses recently and took some pictures of them for the record. I have a lot of fun making these - I forget about everything else when I am working on my art.

Click on any picture for a larger image
Stained glass pieces on wood
(20" x 17")

Blue broken glass on wood
(20" x 17")

Green broken glass on wood
(20"x 17")

Wrought Iron, painted
(17" x 8 1/2")

All of these are handmade from weathered, unfinished wood fence slats, suitable for covered outdoor display. They're currently all in a retail gallery and for sale. Contact me if interested. I also make custom designed crosses, both hanging and free-standing.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Blessings, Miracles, Abundance, and Answers to Prayer

In the past few days, there have been many amazing things happen. I believe God has done some incredible things concerning me.

  • Someone I met a few months back when my regular racquetball partner didn't show up just happened to be the CEO of a credit union I just finished negotiating a deal with to become their investment advisor. Their board approved the proposal I submitted, and today I had lunch with him and my broker/dealer at a nice restaurant downtown to iron out some of the details. I start there June 1st.
  • I got a call from my CPA yesterday telling me he found a $500 overpayment to the IRS due to a wrong amount due they placed on an amended return. I signed a letter today to get my overpayment back with interest.
  • A friend of mine asked me if I needed any food. I said, "Sure," and he gave me 3 lbs. of lobster tails, several pounds of shrimp, alfredo sauce, crab sauce, shrimp scampi, fried shrimp, fish, and a couple of pounds of snow crab legs.
  • My broker/dealer told me today they would pay for my Series 66 exam and registration to become an Investment Advisor Representative. I had been holding off pending a good commission check because of the expense.
  • I "inherited" a client who is investing a substantial sum of money monthly into his investment account, and he asked me about purchasing more. I'll be working with him to help manage his investment accounts.
I was talking to a friend of mine today, and just letting him know how much God has done, far beyond what I asked or expected. I told him my last steady paycheck was on February 15th, and although things have been tight, God has provided everything we needed. (Not everything we WANTED...) "Neither one of us has lost any weight, either," I quipped. And not just that, but when God provided food, it sure as heck wasn't BEANS. It was quite a feast of seafood. I didn't ASK my broker/dealer to pay for my registration, it was offered to me. And the client I inherited called me because his prior investment rep told him his assets were not enough for him to work with.

I remember a pastor that used to say, "God is El Shaddai, the Lord, our Provider, He's not El Cheapo." God truly does hear us in our distress, and He loves us enough not only to give us what we need, but in abundance, and beyond what we ask or expect.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother'sDay

My 2 favorite women and me

A Mother's Love
Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
God's tender guiding hand.

My mom sacrificed a great deal for us. Besides being pregnant for the first 10 years of her marriage, she made a few major moves - some all by herself since my dad was busy with his Air Force career. She moved from San Antonio - her home - a newlywed, away from her family and all that was familiar to her - to Lincoln, NB. And then moved with a newborn just 6 months after I was born, to Wichita Falls, TX. Within the next 6 years she had 4 kids, and moved us all - by herself - to Loan AFB, France to join my dad in Europe. A year later we were in Germany, and she had 2 more kids. With 6 of us now, and my youngest sister still an infant, we all moved back to the states to Indiana for a year before dad retired.

Another year later, we were all piled in a station wagon for a cross country trip to Texas, where they eventually settled. I was 10, and my youngest sister was only 1. She put up with the crying, my sister getting carsick, my brother wetting his clothes, and all of us doing what a pack of kids do when they're cooped up in a tight space for a few days. She never let on to us that she was stressed. She was a picture of perfection and grace. She honored my dad, took care of all of us, and just loved us.

Mom never worked outside the home while we were growing up. None of us were "latchkey" kids. She was always home when we got home from school. She made us snacks. She cooked us good dinners, helped us with our homework, made sure we were all clean, fed, and rested when we settled down for the night. And we never heard her complain. If anyone could ever push her buttons, it was me. The only time I ever remember her losing her cool was when I was being a total rebellious ass over the dinner table. My dad hadn't gotten home yet, and I was really being a little shit and not letting up. In front of all my siblings, mom picked up the entire salad bowl full of salad, and chunked it at me. That wasn't the worst part - she saved that for when my dad got home. I must have really gone over the edge to get my mom to lose her cool like that. I remember dad's lecture that night: "Son, there's 3 things you never mess with - a man's car, a man's money, and a man's wife." Total fear.

Mom was my dad's faithful partner for 48 years before he died. She was holding his head when he took his last breath. She loved him to the most she could give. Mom is still there when I go "home." Our relationship has gone to another level, a deeper one, and for that I am grateful. It's still a comfort to head "home" and know she's there, tending her garden, cooking something, or just being Mom. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you.

What Do I Want From Church?

“I've realized something about 'church': I'm not interested.”

Read What Do I Want From Church? on the Association of Home Churches Website.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

About Home Church


There's a lot being written about home church, and a lot of questions/curiosity on the subject. It seems, though, that few are actually willing to jump out there and see what it's really all about. There are plenty of fellowships available, if one would take the time to seek them out. There's also the option of actually starting one in your own home, if you dare. Real live preacher had a post, If We Could Do Church, and I replied to one of the commenters. The question of legitimacy was raised:

"Not to be flippant, but it if a "church" like this is legitimate, then what about a
church of one? Is a church of one still a church? I think you're sliding down a
slippery slope there."

Here was my answer:
My greatest spiritual growth has been made in the last 14 years meeting in groups of as little as 2 and sometimes greater than 100, mostly in homes, but the for the larger groups in the past we have rented a banquet room at a hotel, or met out at the lake.
Legitimate? Only when our meeting/fellowship meet to glorify God and build the faith of those in attendance. Have we done that with only 2 people present? yes. Have we missed it with 50 people present? maybe. Maybe it was just me. The point is, that wherever 2 or more are gathered in Jesus' name, He is there. And when we know His presence, and we honor that with our words, deeds, and worship, we've had church.
We don't have a paid pastor, but rather, a plurality of leadership. Worship is open for anyone to participate and offer a song, psalm, a word of encouragement, a prophecy... even a sermon, if that's been led by the Spirit. In short, we have adopted the "priesthood of the believer," and recognize, even encourage the use of whatever gifts God has given someone. Is it always a perfect service? No. But we're open to allow the Holy Spirit change us, admonish us, and even correct us.
A church of one? Well, that may be pushing it, since the purpose of a church involves "the assembling of yourselves together," and corporate worship is intended for the glory of God, the edification of the body, and the teaching of doctrine. The five-fold ministry is not intended to be present only in the pastor, or leader of the group. It was given to the body of believers for prophecy, evangelism, aposotlic ministry, pastoring and teaching. It requires a body of believers to carry out the "perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ." So one person, although said person may be able to have a powerful worship time alone with God, is not a church by himself. We are designed for relationship, and the body of Christ is fashioned to be dependent on interdependent relationships with God and each other.Just as I believe that the instiutional church has legitimacy, so I believe that the smaller fellowships such as home churches, be it 2 or 100, have the same long as the body is functioning as the body of Christ, and not just meeting for the sake of meeting, or to meet the overhead.

Our Church has a new web page: Association of Home Churches. We just started posting stuff there, so bear with us as we build the site. Stop by and visit! If you have questions or comments regarding home church, I'd like to answer them in an article on the new web site.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Getting Stoned

Stoned. What a way to die. The 8th chapter of the Gospel according to John tells the story of a woman caught in adultery, who was dragged in front of the Temple where Jesus was teaching by the religious fanatics of the day. The scribes and Pharisees knew the law, and were self righteous enough to know how to keep the law. Not unlike many Christians of today, and certainly not unlike my self-righteous attitudes at times, they dragged her in front of Jesus to justify their self-righteousness. The bible uses the term “tested” him, or pierazo (Greek) which literally means, “…to explore, test, try, assay, examine, prove, attempt, or tempt. The word describes the testing of the believer’s loyalty, strength, opinions, disposition, condition, faith, patience, or character. Pierazo determines which way one is going and what one is made out of.” (Strong’s #3985)
So they tested him. Why? Were they truly seeking the truth, or looking for an answer from Jesus? No, they were also looking to justify their own self-righteousness.

Don’t we have the same attitude sometimes? We know the law, or we have an idea about what the scripture says concerning _______(fill in the blank – the way someone dresses, gossip, adultery, cussing, tattoos, etc., etc., etc.). We all of a sudden become self righteous and decide to judge. We justify our judgment with scripture, all the while forgetting our own sinful state. Instead of wanting to restore someone in sin, we look for a rock to throw it at them. We want judgment for others while expecting mercy for ourselves.

This past weekend Linda and I led another Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for 4 women. Rachel’s Vineyard is a weekend retreat for those seeking spiritual and emotional healing from a past abortion. It is a time for those seeking healing to deal with the sin, receive and give forgiveness and restoration, and give dignity and honor to the child or children they lost to abortion. This weekend 8 babies were named, memorialized, and given dignity in a resurrection service.

One of the exercises involved carrying a stone (representing an area of unforgiveness or needed healing) until we could release it, as the Lord led. I carried my stone less than 24 hours before Linda and I both threw them in the lake. In addition to ministering to the ladies, we received some healing in our marriage. Carrying the stone and then letting it go was an act of giving up our right to have been offended and actually forgiving that person we held that offense against. It was a powerful reminder to let go of our self-righteous attitudes.

Got a stone you want to throw? If you’re sinless, go ahead and cast it. As for me, I’ll just leave it on the ground.
See also:
[The Abortion Recovery Process and God's Grace]

[More on Recovery]