Getting it all…

Posted: November 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

Did you ever hear about the guy who always got everything he wanted?
If not at first than after he threw a fit, pouted, argued, and taunted.
He would set his sights on something and ask for it again and again.
Then asks became demands as he crossed his arms and jutted out his chin.
He wore down resistance to get the countless things that he desired.
He was never quite satisfied with the stuff that he had acquired.
He got what he wanted, but never really got what was needed.
Some of the most important lessons were left ignored and unheeded.
He ended up with a personality that was not quite two inches deep.
It turns out waiting and failing can teach life lessons we should keep.
Not getting everything all the time is meant to build strong character.
But, this poor dude never learned that, it never seemed to register.
You see, getting everything you want can leave you like old cottage cheese: spoiled and sour.
Rather than full, it makes you empty and it can make your little life undeniably dour.
So, be thankful for all the gifts that you will never ever be seeing.
It is all meant to craft you into a properly constructed human being.

 

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Image  —  Posted: October 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Image  —  Posted: October 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hats…

Posted: October 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

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We each wear many hats every day.
Some are thrust on our heads by others. Some hats we choose to wear.
There are real life sorting hats that we let define our days. They tell us where we belong. They tell us who we are.
And we listen.
We all wear different hats every day.

We wear the ugly stocking hat of shame. It is a filthy hat that drops thoughts of unworthiness like dandruff on our soul. It tells that we will never be anything more than our past failures.

We loudly wear the big shiny hat of arrogance and pride, we accessorize it with feathers and beads. Then we boast about how big and shiny and feathery it is.

Or, we put on the big sloppy hat of insecurity. It slips right over ears And whispers that we will never be enough. We don’t have what it takes. We are too ugly or too stupid.

We look in the mirror and adjust the scratchy red beret of performance. This hat whispers in a phony French accent that we must perform to be loved. Acceptance is based on accomplishment.

We sport the sweat stained baseball cap of selfishness. But, we strike out when we think our life is all about us.

We pull down the ill fitting cap of comparison. We can’t help but look at the beautiful, skinny, rich hats that other people wear. It makes our greasy trucker hat look like road kill.

Some folks put on religion like a hard hat. Rules and a sense of rightness make their brain impenetrable to the opinions and feelings of others.

Very often we clothe our brain with all the wrong things.

We listen to the sorting hat.
It tells us where we belong.
But, it lies.
And sadly, we make agreements with the lies.

It’s time to put on some different headgear.
It’s time to put on truth like a top hat.
The truth brings freedom.
You are liberated when you believe the truth about who you are, who you aren’t, and the truth about whose you are.
You are loved by a ridiculous, relentless love.
You are valuable and significant simply because of that great love.
You were chosen and crafted to be the one and only, completely original YOU!
You are no worse or better than anybody else on this planet…just different.
The One who loves you, chose you, and crafted you longs for you to know the truth.
You belong in his family.
Try that on for size.
Get rid of the wrong lids!
Put on the top hat of truth.

 

 

 

Looking for Lugosi.

Posted: October 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Once…

When Darkness fell across the land,

And the midnight hour was close at hand…

We would gather around a big bowl of microwave popcorn and bask in the hazy glow of a black and white TV. We only got three network stations, a PBS channel, and an occasional UHF station, but inevitably this time of year, one of those was showing a monster movie!
Sometimes it was a late night show that served as a celebration of campy cinema. In Tulsa, it was The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting with Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi (who was actually Gailard Sartain in a pointy wizard’s cap). These shows showcased low budget scary movies that had been made 30 years earlier. The makeup was mostly mediocre, the special effects were pretty lame, but the story drew us in. Once upon a time monsters were fun. These were movie monsters that scared you in ways that made you feel alive more than anxious.

We met some amazing monsters…
Dracula, He was immaculately dressed and he had an interesting speech impediment. He was my favorite.
Frankenstein’s monster and his lovely bride, a match made in a laboratory taught us about unrequited love.
The Wolf man, my brother’s favorite, he is a tragic figure desperately in need of a full body waxing.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon was a fish stick with an attitude.
The Invisible Man was the result of a science experiment gone horribly wrong.

These were decent, hard working monsters. There were no creepy clowns or possessed dolls. Nobody wore hockey masks or razor clawed gloves. Dracula never had to start a chainsaw. The Bride of Frankenstein never crawled out of a TV.

Our monsters were familiar and recognizable by their fangs, out of control body hair, or the bolts in their necks. It’s easier to deal with your monsters when you see them coming.

Our monsters knew their place, and it wasn’t a summer camp!! It was usually an insane Doctor’s laboratory or a faraway land like Transylvania. As long as the monsters stayed in the swamp, they couldn’t touch us.

Instead of serial killers, our childhood monsters were cereal characters. Count Chocula and Franken Berry were delicious. It’s easier to deal with your monsters when you eat them for breakfast.

Sometimes there was a pathos to our monsters. They seemed to be victims themselves. They were misunderstood. They weren’t psychopaths, they were just people thrust onto the wrong path.

Honestly…
I really do miss fright delivered in black and white.

So now, I occasionally grab a big bowl of microwave popcorn and I bask in the glow of 354 channels and I search for Bela Lugosi.
He is nowhere to be found.

When I think about our modern movie monsters, I want my mummy.

Live Tie Dyed!

Posted: October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

It’s highly likely that from a very early age you have been taught that life is best lived in camouflage.
It has nothing to do with fun and functional redneck fashion.
It’s has everything to do with blending into your surroundings. It has everything to do with disguising yourself to get acceptance.
We are cultivated to be camo.
Blend in.
Don’t stand out!
Talk less, smile more. Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for.
Be camouflage.
We live in a cockeyed camo culture where the ultimate goal is just fitting-in.
You learn pretty quick…
Get in line.
Don’t be different.
Don’t ask questions.
Conform.
Don’t cause a scene.
So we spend our lives hiding our true colors with hues of mediocrity and uniformity. We cover our authentic selves with the subtle shades of settling.
But, Wait a minute! That’s simply not you!!
You are far too interesting to be invisible.
You were positively, absolutely, unequivocally not born to be camo!
In fact…
You were born to be tie dye!
Counter culture in the most breathtaking ways.
A myriad of colors on display.
Life isn’t designed to hide or fade your colors.
You weren’t designed to fade out or blend in.
The beauty of tie dye is that the colors are released through twisting and crumpling and folding.
It creates something that can’t be duplicated.
Life can twist you.
Don’t let that cause you to go camo.
Don’t disguise the design!
When life twists you, let it bring out bright, colorful, one of a kind beauty.
Live tie dyed!!

Hoop Dreams?

Posted: October 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

Once upon a time I was almost an NBA cheerleader…
Seriously!
A few years ago, when we lived in Dallas, I almost became an NBA dancer…oh, it’s true!
I was a HUGE Mavericks fan, and I saw in the newspaper that the Mavs were having tryouts for Maniaacs.
The Mavs Maniaacs are a hip hop dance troupe of beefy, uninhibited men.
They were the original NBA big man dance team.
They dance at halftime and during breaks.
The tryouts were being held at a local dance studio. There were about 100 big, sweaty, over enthusiastic dancing men. It was a sight to behold and a fragrance to be smelled. The judges were Mavs dancers and local dignitaries. I was dressed for battle: a bright orange Mavericks shirt, blue basketball shorts and Chuck Taylor all stars.
I’m a condensed beefy boy, I was at least a foot shorter that the other dudes. In fact, I Heard one of the judges say “look, is that mini-me?”
This didn’t discourage me.
This was my shot, I was gonna take it.
I knew in my heart that this was my only chance to ever be in the NBA.
They divided us into groups.
They taught us a choreographed combo that we did as a group and then we got to freestyle some serious dancing.
They would eliminate several people after each round. You would wait for your number to be called (or not) and you would proceed (or not).
Again and again I danced my guts out and made it through.
This was my shot, I was gonna take it.
We ended up doing the routine about 8 times. I hadn’t danced like this since…never.
My muscles were rebelling against me.
I’m allergic to choreography.
I’m not coordinated enough to keep up, but I can creatively shake my booty.
This was my chance…my ONLY chance to be a part of an NBA team.
Sometimes life gives you a free throw and you got to take a shot.
Whether you make it or not, you take pride in the fact that you tried.
I made it to the final ten!!! Then they told us that they were looking for five dancers.
One more round…
Ignore the pain…
Take your shot.
During the last round , one of the judges shouted words that I thought I would never hear: “Okay, we want to see some flesh…if you want to be a Maniaac, we need to see your stomach!”
This caused most of the guys next to me to start ripping off their damp shirts and flinging them around slinging warm sweat everywhere. I learned the true meaning of GUTS and glory.
Some things should never be seen…
Some things can never be unseen.
I. Just. Could. Not.
As much as I wanted to be a Maniaac, I wanted to hold onto some shred of dignity.
I couldn’t bring myself to unfurl my man boobs.
I didn’t make the top five.
I was ALMOST an NBA dancer.
I left with my dignity, a really sore back and a great story.
I had stepped out and lived a great story.
Life is about stepping out even when you don’t make the cut.
It’s taking risks, it’s overcoming the paralyzing fear of public opinion.

What if success were all about risking instead of reaping.
What if we realized that it’s better to be an “almost was” than a “never tried”.
What if success were found in the act of stepping out.

Sometimes you got to do something unexpected…unlikely…unbelievable.
We should live in constant pursuit of a better story.
Sometimes life gives you a free throw and you have to take a shot.
Sometimes it goes in the basket…nothing but air.
Sometimes it bounces off the backboard.
Sometimes you don’t even get close.
The point is that you took a shot…you played…you tried…you danced.
You got off your butt, you took a risk, you overcame fear.
And you gained something more valuable than any trophy…
A life lived in pursuit of a better story.
Step up…
Take a shot…
But please, for the love of God, leave your shirt on.