April 20, 2014

Key West SONrise!

Key West is famous for its sunsets & today's Easter sunrise was awesome but the SONrise which we celebrate today was spectacularly awesome!

"If JESUS rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that HE said; if HE didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what HE said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like HIS teaching but whether or not HE rose from the dead." ― Timothy Keller

Do you believe that the resurrection of JESUS happened & confirmed to the world that JESUS is our LORD & SAVIOR because HE paid the price for our sins which brought us forgiveness from GOD the FATHER through the precious HOLY SPIRIT!

JESUS paid it all means that if you know HIM as your LORD & SAVIOR, all your sins past, present, & future have been forgiven & the Mississippi Mass Choir let's us know with an excitement that may get you dancing that "It Wasn't the Nails" that held HIM to the cross it was the . . . ? ? ? 

JESUS forgave the thief on the cross & HE wants us to forgive, even if people have done unspeakable acts towards you, children, youth, or other adults!

"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because GOD has forgiven the inexcusable in you." ― C.S. Lewis

Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key in Miami, Florida was originally built to watch powerboat racing but the memory I will cherish forever was an Easter SONrise Service only a few months before Hurricane Andrew in 1992. As the group Truth sang "Holy of Holies" the sun began rising over Biscayne Bay filling the sky with unforgettable colors.

There would be no resurrection without what JESUS first went through on what we now call Good Friday & the song/video "Watch the Lamb" by Ray Boltz tells that amazing story.

"The only cross in all of history that was turned into an altar was the cross on which JESUS CHRIST died. It was a Roman cross. They nailed HIM on it, & GOD, in HIS majesty & mystery, turned it into an altar. The LAMB who was dying in the mystery & wonder of GOD was turned into the PRIEST who offered HIMSELF. No one else was a worthy offering." ― A.W. Tozer

What did the resurrection of JESUS 3 days after HE was crucified accomplish?

The answer may be found in "The Champion" by Carman.

O tal vez, la respuesta está dentro "CRISTO No Está Muerto" por Juan Carlos Alvarado.

For JESUS to go through all of that for you & for me, HE must truly love us!

"Daisy's Song" by Dominic Balli expresses beautifully the love JESUS has for you & for me!

"Peace on Earth" by New Zealand's Parachute Band will happen if we allow JESUS to be the Peace in us!

"Let the peace of CHRIST rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." — COLOSSIANS 3:15

"Que la paz de CRISTO reine en vuestros corazones, a la cual en verdad fuisteis llamados en un solo cuerpo; y sed agradecidos." — COLOSENSES 3:15

If we are able to vividly live the truths within "Devoted" by Mynista, our journeys will be filled with Faith, Hope, Joy, Love, & Peace which will keep us refreshed emotionally, mentally, physically, & spiritually to complete the things that HE created for you & me to do!

"For we are GOD's workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS to do good works, which GOD prepared in advance for us to do." — EPHESIANS 2:10

"Somos hechura de Dios, creados en Cristo Jesús para hacer las buenas obras, que Dios preparó de antemano para que anduviésemos en ellas." — EFESIOS 2:10

"Step by Step" by Rich Mullins encourages us how we may not only discover what we were created to do but how to walk in HIS will for our lives as we each continue on our personal journeys!

May we be aware that something as simple as a smile or a pat on the back may be just what someone needs & that means you & I are literally how the LORD chooses to express HIS love to others.  

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January 1, 2014


"I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning & molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me." ― Anaïs Nin

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." ― Mark Twain

"The more specific you are about your resolution, the better your chance of sticking with it. Don't just say, "I want to lose weight." Say, "When my arm jiggles, I want it to look less like a pelican's throat-pouch choking down a bass." ― Colin Nissan

"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul & a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, & new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective." ― G.K. Chesterton

A new soul, new nose, new feet, new backbone, new ears, & new eyes are possible especially if we may live out the amazing song/video "FLY!" by Jason Upton.

How Do We Soar On Wings Like Eagles? To find out how, just click that link to a blog entry of mine from last spring!

On July 4th of 2013 I wrote "Fly Like An Eagle!" which was an expression of my joy at finally being able to capture the bald eagle in flight that occasionally visited the lake that I lived on! 

"The whole point to New Years is not just to have a new year. But that we should be new, better & different people. That is why we exercise to RE-NEW our bodies. That is why we write GOALS to get a Renewed sense of our potential. That is why we make RE-SOLUTIONS because we resolve that there are solutions inside of us that we have not tapped into. So don't waste each New Year's season. Maximize it! Start fresh using a new perspective for it will enable you to tap into a new season with greater capacity." ― Stella Payton

"The poetry of the new year is problematically punctual. An impeccable guest who arrives on time when you are running frantically behind schedule. Catching you precisely at that awkward stage of housecleaning when the contents of closet & cupboard are strewn across the room & there is no sensible place left to sit down. No, you haven't had a chance to change the guest room towels, your clothes or your habits. It is at this stage that you begin to stammer out apologies & resolutions. The visitor fixes you with a gaze that breaks like dawn over your clutter & chagrin. 'What a beautiful life,' murmurs your guest, pressing an oddly shaped package into your hands. Gladness rises in the heart like a cloud of hummingbirds. Always the same, unpredictable, utterly original gift. You consider the paradox of that as you hold it between your palms. Like freshly kneaded dough: this brand new day." ― Pavithra K. Mehta

When last year began, I was living on a beautiful lake in Homestead, Florida & I didn't have any resolutions but tried to be filled with joy, love, & peace each & every day!

As 2014 arrives, I'm now a house parent at an Emergency Children's Shelter in Key West, Florida & I still don’t have any resolutions but I'm trying to provide a home where all who enter will experience the LORD's supernatural joy, love, & peace!

Even though I haven't made any resolutions the last few years, I do hope to continue the progress I've made physically as each of the last 2 years I've managed to lose 35 pounds & if that trend continues, I'll actually be down to the weight from when I last played competitive soccer & this stretch of Key West is my favorite to either bicycle or speed-walk!

"We are GOD's workmanship, created in CHRIST JESUS to do good works, which GOD prepared in advance for us to do." — EPHESIANS 2:10

"Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special & always significant & remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way, & never again." — Hermann Hesse

Throughout my life, especially the years I was a missionary, several people thought that I was somehow more godly than other people. If each person is able to live out EPHESIANS 2:10 through the unique person that they were created to be & things that they were created to do whether it be an actor or actress, a bright light calling awareness to illnesses most people have never heard about or a butler, a CEO or a college student, a director of an organization, an evangelist, a fireman, a goat herder, a helicopter pilot, an illustrator, a jury member, a kitchen supervisor, a librarian, a mailman or a mother, a nurse, an officer, a policeman, a quarry-man, a restaurant owner, a singer, a teacher, a urologist, a vascular surgeon, a waiter or waitress, an X-ray technician, a yachtsman, or a zookeeper … then each & every one of us is able to be as godly as the next!

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December 12, 2013

The Best 15 Years of My Life!

Has the last 15 years truly been the best decade & a half of my life?

The "City of Eternal Spring" Medellín, Colombia is where I met my precious wife!

It seems appropriate that on the 15th Anniversary of my marriage to Martha Luz Jaramillo Bustamante that I share how my favorite love song fits us very well!

"How‘Bout Us?" by Champaign has been my favorite love song since I was in Ross Elementary School in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

Some people are made for each other
Some people can love one another for life
How ‘bout us?
Some people can hold it together
Last through all kinds of weather
Can we?

The LORD created me for Martha Luz & Martha Luz for me. It is more than obvious as in the midst of so many tough times which sometimes made us cry, JESUS HIMSELF has loved me through Martha Luz & it is even more evident that the more intense physical pain that I have dealt with over the years, GOD has given me HIS Grace, Hope, Joy, Love, & Peace through my precious wife Martha Luz.

I am not ashamed of admitting that I can’t do it alone anymore as I had 31 years of that & even though I consider myself having done fairly well to make it through the difficulties that all of us encounter in our lives, I almost feel like my Sweet Heavenly FATHER knew I needed to be married to Martha Luz so that I would have that helper to complete me!

Much of my physical troubles may never be totally known to anyone other than me or Martha Luz but I can tell you without a doubt that there has been a strange feeling which never was felt by me when I was single that I desire to be strong for her when I need her to be strong for me.

Those of you who are still single, enjoy it but know without any doubts that having someone who makes up for what you lack is amazing!

A few of my strengths are her weaknesses but there are many areas where I am weak or still not mature & Martha Luz is strong!

Rod Tate is an amazing Jazz Musician & his CD "True Love Never Fails" was playing before our wedding & during our wedding reception at the Orquideorama in the Jardín Botánico de Medellín, Colombia & if you click on any of the blue links in any of my blogs, you should go directly to that link & this last one is the website of the Botanical Garden in Medellín, Colombia where we got married fifteen years ago!

I honestly can say that Rod plays the most soothing music I have ever heard. I am looking forward to getting both of his new CD’s "Blessed" & "Peace" as I am always blessed when I am filled with peace.

Check out Rod Tate's Website or enjoy one of Rod's videos "Always & Forever!"

The beginning of this 16th year of marriage finds us in Key West, Florida as we've now been house parents at the Florida Keys Children's Shelter since the end of June.

I basically cook, drive the children where they need to go, play with them as long as my energy level allows me as she does most of the cleaning which is a full time job to say the least & has been working so hard to turn the house into a home that is safe & full of joy & peace. 

Some of the things  our sweet children have experienced are not fit for adults to go through let alone a precious newborn to a 10 year old child & it is a challenge to encourage them to make choices & not let circumstances control how they behave.

"While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us." — Benjamin Franklin

I have come to a point in life where I totally understand what Benjamin Franklin was talking about. No matter what may come our way we may choose to be filled with Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace.

What’s so amazing to me is how I have learned to control what happens inside of me when everything around me sometimes seems to discourage or frustrate me.

What’s the secret?

"Love is kind & patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, & trusting. Love never fails!" —  1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8

"There is no more lovely, friendly & charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." — Martin Luther

"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." — Friedrich Nietzsche

"Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry." — Gabriel García Márquez

"The difference between a lady & a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated." — George Bernard Shaw (My Fair Lady)

"A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance & tenacity. The order varies for any given year." — Paul Sweeney

"We love the things we love for what they are." — Robert Frost

December 7, 2013

Adoption Is Another Word For Love!

I was born in Saint Cloud, Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day in 1966 but I & was adopted on Pearl Harbor Day in 1967!

"Love By You" by Joan Armatrading wrapped up an episode of Miami Vice as a Colombian woman whose son was stolen & sold via a fake adoption, went to pick him up but after seeing his tears in not wanting to leave the only parents he ever remembered, let him stay with those whom he loved.

It struck a deeply intense part of me as I love the only Mom & Dad I have ever known!

"Adoption is a beautiful picture of GOD's sovereign grace. The child did not choose the parents. The parents chose the child. That's how GOD has placed us into a relationship with HIMSELF. We did not choose HIM. HE chose us. When GOD adopts us, HIS act of adoption is a supernatural act. We take on the nature of JESUS. We become like HIM. We become what HE is." ― Arielle Wallace

"HE chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy & blameless in HIS sight. In love HE predestined us to be adopted as HIS sons through JESUS CHRIST, in accordance with HIS pleasure & will — to the praise of HIS glorious grace, which HE has freely given us in the ONE HE loves." — EPHESIANS 1:4-6

"The adopted child is treated by law as if he or she had been born to the adopting parents upon the entry of the final adoption decree." — Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Here is the definition of adoption from Wikipedia: Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another who is not kin and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.

My being adopted did not change the world, but my world was forever changed 46 years ago today through being accepted & loved unconditionally by my family!

Has being adopted really changed what I might have been?

How could it not?

I've been blessed to experience so much throughout my life & I long to see as many children & youth experience a "HOME" in their lifetime & even though I'm only able to make that happen temporarily for up to 7 children at a time, my hope & prayer is that they will all know joy, love, & peace!

Does my journey give hope for my future?

Well, the best I can do right now is share the links to all of my blog entries over the last couple of years & you may read for yourself if you haven't already.

Enjoy if you dare!

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