Life from the rear-view mirror

Wait for it….. Vol 143

I hate to wait.

It’s a character flaw…I know. Even when I know I should wait…I don’t want to. It is an act of supreme discipline for me. And when I do wait (which is not very often) it is mostly an “act.”  ‘Cause in real life, I hate to wait.
But there is, more often than not, wisdom in waiting.

I know there are many of you like me out there. No time to wait…we want it now. When we are forced to wait…we call it something else to fool ourselves into thinking that we are still in control of the thing. We say we’ll “take a beat” “catch our breath” “chill” you probably have your favorite term…but it’s all to avoid the dreaded feeling that is… “wait.”

While it’s bad enough that I hate to wait for stuff in my personal life…I don’t want to wait for God in my spiritual life either. Often my prayer life is centered around my will, my timing, my convenience…even if I’m praying for or about someone or something else. When you get right down to it…I’m often really selfish…and ultimately…unwise. 

Wisdom has its own reward. Being unwise…its own consequence.

It doesn’t always work that way…but it seems that in my life…I have become the poster child for that statement. Even as I’m writing this, I’m all twisted up in the “wait” of a project I’m working on.
I don’t have a deadline…no one is pushing me for it…it’s just not happening as fast as I want it to…and I’m forced to “take a beat…er…wait”

Hope confidently and expectantly…trust implicitly…those are terms that rarely apply to my situation…self-inflicted or not. Those are the terms that are associated with the “wait” when it is God centered and God focused. There are no consequences when believers “wait” on the Lord…only blessing…and I could use some of that today…right now in fact. How about you?

dugz4 November 16, 2018 Leave A Comment Permalink

Save Your Watches! Vol 142

Over the past few days I have been thinking about what to do with all these lemons I’ve been handed lately.

I know…you are all probably thinking…”You don’t know? Make lemonade of course! What else would you do with them? ”

How about this idea? 
How about if I throw them at you?
Just kidding…(maybe…)

Have you ever felt like that?

There are times when meme’s and pithy platitudes don’t cut it. When there’s no way to “positive” your way out of something this negative. When the only way to get through the muck and mire of the circumstance is to trust God and just step into it…not being able to “see” the light at the end of the tunnel… but having the faith to know the light is there despite the darkness.

Here I go…
I hope this stuff isn’t too deep…

Save your watches…

dugz4 November 16, 2018 Leave A Comment Permalink

Circles of Joy! Vol 141

A number of years ago now…they put these %^&**&!!! roundabouts on Seabreeze Expressway. The speed limit went from…well…as fast as you could go between stop lights…to 40mph. We all bitterly complained. It slowed us down for sure…but it also exposed the “stupid” in drivers. Who has the right-of-way? Do we have to go ’round? Can I go now? Now? NOW!? Do we have to brake for pedestrians? All these questions.

I tolerate the dad-gum things now…what else can I do?

When Kathi was visiting me 6 years ago…I took the opportunity to drive round and round each of these stupid things multiple times on my way back to the house (as only a full-grown adolescent can) never knowing how Kathi really felt about these over-sized speed-bumps.

“Circles of Joy”…yup…that’s what she calls them. Turns out she loves them…all of them. When she sees them she knows she’s close to home and that makes her happy. (and when Kathi is happy…I’m happy!…)

I think everyone has some sort of landmark they look for to let them know that “home” is close. Might be a roundabout, a majestic tree, a pond…maybe a statue…I don’t know. But it’s comforting…even exciting…because we know what coming home means. For me it represents all I love and have worked for my whole life. Family, acceptance, peace, love…rest.

I know that’s not true for everybody…I wish it were.

For believers, our true home is heaven. This “here and now” stuff is only temporary. Heaven is a home like no other, where you are always welcome…never hungry…never alone…always loved…never in want of anything. It’s where the family gathers…forever.

It’s hard NOT to see that today we are closer to going home to heaven than ever before. The signs are incredibly disturbing in one sense, but unbelievably exciting in another…if you are ready.

Are you?

2 Peter 3:9

dugz4 November 16, 2018 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Creator In You! Vol 140

I’m sitting in my studio this morning listening to music…working on a mix… and being thankful to God for the ability to “create.”
Not just music…but to create anything.
To imagineer, to harness brain power, raw materials, energy and sizzle…then put it all together in a form that is uniquely you.
Not everybody is going to like what you create…
or want wear it… 
look at it…
or listen to it.
So what?
It doesn’t matter.
That’s not why you do it…well…mostly anyway.
It is because it is in you to do it. I believe it is put there by our Creator, God.
It is your “voice.” The way the inner you speaks. That voice is the catalyst of your desire to create.
Haven’t found your voice yet?
Keep dreaming, keep working at it.
You are worth the effort!

dugz4 November 16, 2018 Leave A Comment Permalink

Loss…lingers Vol 139

Feelings of loss linger… forever.
They hide in old photos. They surprise you old memories. They sneak up on you baking Christmas cookies. They tear at your heart when you look into the eyes of your kids who miss their mom.
My heart breaks for my kids…often. Even today…right now.
The Lord blessed me with a new partner in life 6 years ago. Kathi loves me…I know it (often in spite of me.) My kids and her kids have become our kids…bumps, bruises and all.
I’m grateful that the sharp edges of loss soften and heal in time…but they never go away. And they shouldn’t. We shouldn’t want them to.
We need to be reminded of loved ones lost…and they need to be remembered through our joy or tears…maybe both…probably both.
And for those lost to us now who know the Lord…they aren’t really lost at all. We know right where they are. 

There is coming a day when we’ll see them again. When faith and hope become sight.

dugz4 November 16, 2018 Leave A Comment Permalink

It’s Who You Know…Vol 138

It’s who you know…

How many times do we hear this? Sometimes it’s from a place of discouragement… like when we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of an opportunity because someone else had an “in.”

But other times, it’s because God orchestrates the situation. Maybe to teach us…provide for us…or maybe just to bless us. It’s one of those things you can’t explain…but you’re thrilled and thankful that it happened.

God does that…a lot.

I think that maybe we make this life too much about us…

When it’s really all about living for Him…our reward…is later…

And Jesus has provided our “IN”…eternally.

dugz4 November 16, 2018 Leave A Comment Permalink

It’s hard to move forward when you’re looking backwards… Vol 137

I’m realizing this morning how much “life” is behind me at 63

Not that there aren’t more things to accomplish…more life to live…but I find myself looking backwards a lot more.

Makes me think of my friend Barry and his reasoning for not doing social media like Facebook. He simply says “I want to move forward…” I get it.

It’s hard to move forward while you’re looking backwards. But it’s hard to ignore that hindsight rule. You know the 20/20 thing.

Anyway… I’m convinced a balanced life requires you to do both well.

That’s also true in your walk with the Lord. It’s imperative that we learn from the past to apply it to the present.

Plus…if you spend too much time looking backwards…you’ll get a crick in your neck…

Don’t worry…God can see in the dark. Vol 136

I have been following my former pastors updates on his daughter Emily as she goes through chemo on her way to what we hope is a full recovery from cancer.
It’s been tough for her and tough on her family as they go through this together.

I can empathize.

David was my pastor for nearly 10 years and was there for us when Lori was going through her battle with cancer.

“Don’t doubt in the dark, what you know to be true in the Light”

David shared that he and Sue had given that thought to Emily on a wooden frame for her hospital room…something to remind her of what she already knows. To encourage her with the truth of God’s love and plan for her as this painful and arduous path she is on, continues on for a while longer…

God can see in the dark. I know that may seem like silly statement. Of course He can see in the dark…He’s God! But it’s a truth we can sometimes forget when tragedy comes.

Don’t worry. He will find us when we get lost in the darkness of our pain and fear. He is always good and loving and forgiving and comforting to his kids… despite our darkest circumstance.

He can be no other way.

We can rest and rejoice in that.

Is Good Enough…good enough? Vol 135

Good enough.
I so often find myself at this crossroad. Whether it’s a guitar performance on a recording or a sales presentation…or my walk with the Lord. I say to myself…It wasn’t my best, wasn’t great…wasn’t excellent. it was good enough.
Why do we stop at good enough?
I find myself here way too often… not because I don’t know what “best” and “excellent” look like…feel like…sound like…but mostly because I haven’t given the effort to get there. Wherever “there” is. It might take one more pass at that guitar riff…or one more phone call to reach that prospect…one more awkward conversation with that pretty girl to get a date.

Sure…there are some things in life we can’t do ourselves…
Does that mean they don’t get done…or does it mean we find another way, or a different way to do them? Do we stop at good enough or do we break out of that box to get to great and excellent…maybe even WOW!
I choose the later.
“Good enough” is just not good enough…

God gave his Best in Jesus. Good enough wouldn’t do.

There is joy in getting to great. Yea…it takes some work…some effort…
but nobody really wants to eat a pre-chewed steak.

I qweet! Vol 134

Sometimes you gotta know when to quit.

For the past couple of years I had waited for this day. I bought equipment…twice. I took the classes. I watched the videos. I hung artwork up in my office and in my home. I talked about it ad nauseam with friends and clients. But until this morning at 6:30 am, I had never taken a step into a stream in search of a trout. It was my first and last step. If you check Craigslist right now you will see my entire gambit of trout fishing finery for sale.
It was a romantic notion of gargantuan proportions that died a slow death on the 1/2 mile walk slip-sliding here and entangling my rod there on the way to the Oatka with the group from the ORVIS 301 trout fishing class.

As it turns out, there is absolutely nothing I enjoyed about my 2 hours on the water. My back and knee hurt from standing, the moving water made me dizzy…my arthritic fingers fumbled around trying to tie a fly on… and within the first 45 minutes I had entwined my line with the dude’s right next to me so ferociously that I had to cut the fly off and start all over again … burning what was left of my leader and having to engage my fumble fingers again.
Note: When I purchased the one leader I own…the dude at Orvis said it should last me the season. It lasted just over 45 minutes and then I had none. You could almost hear the one trout in the Oatka mocking me.

When I had enough of the humiliation and failure, I decided it was time to vamoose the creek and save what was left of my dignity …but I had no idea where we were or which muddy path to take to get back to the car. A stranger took pity on me and walked a few hundred yards with me, then pointed and said “go that-a-way”

Once back at the car the real fun began as I tried to take my waders off. Let me first tell you that after two hip replacements and a ruptured patellar tendon, I am not very bendy…in fact all my hinges are pretty rusty. Add to that the fact that I hadn’t worn any socks in my neoprene wading booties and had been sweating in them for the past 2 hours. So there I stood. My waders in a pile beneath my knees, booties sweat-glued to my feet. It took me nearly 25 minutes and some of my darkest vocabulary, before I finally pried those beasts off. Even the mosquitoes left me alone in my embarrassing predicament.

The first thing I did when I got home was pull everything out of the trunk… lined it up real pretty-like on the lawn, shot some pics and posted it for sale on Craigslist.

As the frustrated French chef once said… “I qweet!”

God had given me the desire of my heart…I thought…and now I am giving it back!

dugz4 October 12, 2017 Leave A Comment Permalink