Archive for December, 2013



It is never too late to turn around.

It is never too late to turn around..

When your past comes back to haunt…REALLY?

Culture Monk

looking up

by Kenneth Justice

~ A few weeks ago at coffee a mid 40ish man who I had talked with in the past sat down at my table. “Kenneth, I never told you this before but up until last year I had been in prison for 10 years

It turns out he was arrested and incarcerated because he used to sell drugs and got caught. “The last year has been tough on me being out…my mother is nearly 90 years and has been letting me live with her…but she’s really one of the only people I have left in my life

Although I spent a few years working at the local county jail, I can’t imagine what it must be like getting out of prison after a decade….all your old friends have likely moved on to different facets of their lives and getting a good job is next-to-impossible.

My parole…

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More Than Soap

I used to panic when I or my hubby would be making something on the stove and burn our brand new stainless steel pans. “GREAT!! This looks awesome!! How am I ever going to get this out?!” I would sarcastically think to myself as I told my hubby, “It’s ok. It will come out.” See…I wanted him not to worry….while I did nothing but try and figure out what to do about the seemingly permanent stain.

Our mighty Creator wants me…wants each of us, to not worry. In the Bible, at Matthew 6:27 it says “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And in Matthew 11:28-30 these Scriptures say, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

To me these words are saying that Jesus knows we are stained…that He knows that God has the chemical to remove all the junk ….no matter how long it’s been burned into our very being…the Holy Spirit can remove…wash and make me…make each of us new again.

I did find an awesome chemical…AJAX….to remove the baked on grease…so I can use my pans over and over again with great pride as they shine when the light is on. Dear friend I may know you…or perhaps we might one day meet….I pray you understand your great value!! I praise God for each of you!!

More Than A Meal

The snow is falling gently with the sun radiantly shining through a white sky. Christmas music is playing with my emotions and I remember Thanksgiving at our church.  A few dear friends and their families gathered together to share the moment together. Our son had joined us with this celebration.

He had recently moved out, so it was such a great delight to share this time with him.

After visiting with him, when our time was coming to a close…my friends and my hubby prepared take-home packages for him with various containers that once held butter, whipped topping, etc. …that left me knowing he was eating.

Today I realize that there was a time where I would have just threw a food container out.  Rubbermaid, among many other companies, provide quality containers to be used over and over that don’t have some logo….other than theirs neatly stamped somehow….

Yet, as I wiped a butter tub with warm sudsy water….it wasn’t the shape, size, style of container that brought our son great joy….but it was the sharing with him that he will remember the most.

I write all of this because each of us are containers.  We all hold something valuable to someone…and doing so we bring great joy with the service of our lives.

Winter Roads

Yesterday I was out and about driving in the icy streets running errands with my son. Several times my car began to move in ways I wasn’t directing it. Panic began to creep in and I slowed down… WANTING to slam on the brakes, but knowing that’s NOT wise to do… It’s more of a type of coasting with a bit of acceleration, along with keeping both hands “at 10 and 2” as I maneuver my vehicle through the busy streets. One thing I was ever so thankful of is my 25 year old son’s tender “still small voice” encouraging me along. Don’t get me wrong… He can be very loud and booming… Like when having fun with his friends, or our dogs…. But at that moment, it was exactly what I needed to carry me through the stress … His calm gentle side .

Life can be icy too … Forcing people in dangerous directions.
1) don’t slam on the brake
2) slow down
3) don’t let go of the wheel
4) listen to “the still small Voice”

It may not seem like it now… But this season will end and spring will be here. Until then , drive carefully.

When we lose focus…REALLY???

When we lose focus…REALLY???.

Sleigh Bells Jingle

Last night about 9:30 my hubby declares he’s going to go to bed after he lets the dogs out.

Not wanting to be alone…yet not feeling tired enough to go to sleep….and knowing I had a project to finish…I did something that wasn’t very nice at all. As he was standing by the back door, tending to our dogs…I quickly scanned through Netflix to find a movie he LOVED, but one I could just zone out to as I focused on my project.

Bingo!! Polar Express. It was a movie that I could definitely zone out to. I’m not one big on comedy or fantasy…and with the scenes running on top of the train and what….forgive me….others may delight in these scenes, but it’s not in my top ten. (What grabbed me as I did notice some scenes was the floating ticket…where the eagle took flight with it. I could see that happening.)

And sure enough when he found out what I was “watching”, he was glued to the screen and eventually sat down to watch the process of this boy through a myriad of happenings, being tested on what he believes.

And that’s what the whole movie is about…..believing.

You’ll have to watch the movie yourself to find out the whole story….but I LOVE the last part about how Tom Hanks (the actor who plays the main character) unwraps a tiny package with a silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. The child jingles the bell next to his ear, hoping to hear the melodious jingle. He hands it to his sister and she jingles the bell and smiles at its ring. But as the parents ring the bell, they apologize for Santa giving him a bell that doesn’t work (In the story, the parents couldn’t hear the jingle).

Tom Hanks narrates as the main character, “At one time most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas she could no longer hear that sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old…the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

This is now being added to my list of favorites because it reminds me of holding fast to what I truly believe….and I pray everyone is able to hear the Jingle of The Bells!!

Putting others in our box…REALLY???

Great read!!!

Culture Monk

putting others in a box

by Kenneth Justice

~A couple weeks ago an older grandmother sat down at the table directly next to me with her college-aged granddaughter. For more than an hour the loud-stern voice of the grandmother spilled over onto my table; the older woman had brought the teen out to coffee in order to give her ‘the riot act’ regarding her lifestyle.

Apparently, the teen had taken a year off from college in a quest to ‘find herself’ and this did not fit into the grandmother’s plan for the young woman’s life, “I’ve had enough of your nonchalant attitude missy. You’ve got to take life more seriously and quit all of this silliness, your pissing away your life and I’m not going to stand for it anymore” said the grandmother.

.I’ve actually seen this type of conversation play out numerous times in the past but usually between parents and their…

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Earth Shaking

At the beginning of this blog writing adventure, I wrote about elephants….
I mentioned how they never forget, leave large footprints and are wrinkly. But what I am amazed at is how the ground shakes as they move across the earth . They are wiggly and jiggly and move with such graceful force that their surroundings rumble…. Though it’s difference may be so minute….. It’s change nonetheless. Oh to be an earth shaker like this gentle giant!! To move with such impact that life changes!

Poll – on a scale 1-5 …1 being not at all and 5 being TOTALLY!! How would you rate your love of reading about elephants ?

Please leave your answer in the comment box. Thank you!!!!