Thursday, February 10, 2011


So many stories of bad news come from Mexico.
Drug smuggling,illegal entry to the US,be headings and other crimes of all sorts.

I was there once as a kid and I don't remember much,just a lot of scary looking people on the border.
My friends and family have visited as lately as this past week.They come home with nothing but praise.
My work causes to me visit many homes in Chicago where Mexicans have come to this country.I have found nothing but the best of people,the best customers.
Friendly to a fault,we always have a nice visit with these people.
I just have a hard time understanding how awful some people are when there is so much good in the world.
Many of my friends on facebook are from Mexico,and you guys are all the best.

Small Things Going Wrong

Sometimes bad things come on threes.
Sometimes you might have a week that has more than 3 bad things.
I have had such a week.
Furnace went out,I was able to fix it.
Car idled at 70 mph.I fixed it.
Water tank went out..fixed it.
So far so good.
Next,furnace went out again.Fixed.
Car again-fixed it.
Morning at 5 AM,we both woke up freezing.I had forgot to shut the furnace door.
I shut the door properly,the heat came on.She went back to bed.I was wide awake.Ugh!
Started car to get it warm,Idle at 1000 mph.
Gave up on the car,called "the guy".He fixed it for $300.00.New sensors needed.
Made a few stops when we got the car back,came home,had ham sandwiches and tomato soup.
This is good comfort food.
Compared to most people in the world I know these troubles are not much but it's not fun to go through them.
So,reflecting tonight on the past week I am grateful to have a wonderful wife and a great family. Life is good.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

He Hid Most of the Time

In high school and well grammar school too.
I noticed John when I was very young.I noticed he kept away,he kept to himself.

His mom would come to school to feed him lunch.
We were all afraid of John,He was subject to strange fits.Violent fits.

After he would with withdraw,he stopped speaking.He would not look at me.Or anyone.

He is in a few class photos,looking tall,standing always in the back row.
Looking away and looking scary.

I don't think I ever said much if anything to him and of course now looking back I regret this a great deal.

I know he was with us in high school until one day his mom came for him.She told us John was going to a special school where he would receive special treatment.

I don't know what brings John to my mind after so many years.I just know now that I take the time to talk to those who may not even understand me.

Life lesson learned.

All My Life I Have Picked Up Pebbles

Small stones,small pebbles.
If there is a lake nearby or a river,that is where the pebble will go.

It may be silly,but I will look at it and wonder how old it is.How long has it lain there waiting to be picked up by me?

Sometimes these small pebbles just bog to be skipped across the water,I was at one time quite good at it.Now sore shoulders and sore hands make me not as good.Ah,well life goes on.

I guess I spend my life throwing small stones.I love disturbing the water a bit and watching the ripples until they fade as if nothing happened.

This is best when you are alone and you then sit by the waters edge.

Sometimes your mind needs to rest and do nothing important.

Be a kid again,throw that stone.

The Burden

He often travelled the world,the burden was always on his shoulder.No matter where he went it was there.
It was heavy and becoming heavier.When he was old he could barley lift it.He had to lift it,he had no choice.
The sky looked good,the water even better but the burden never left him.Days and nights it was with him.
Nights were supposed to be the relief,sleep might hide it for a while.
Sleep interrupted suddenly made the days worse.A sudden awakening at 3 AM made it so.
It was there at 3 AM it was there when he was in mid day.

The thought of doing something drastic slowly entered his mind.
He tried to put the thoughts away but his burden would not let him.It never left him.

He saw friends go.He knew it was true,when you got money you got friends.Now he had no more money,he had just a few friends left.No one wanted to be around him with that burden he had on his shoulder.
If he believed in God,it no longer mattered,he still carried it.He could never let it go how could he?
A night in confused and mixed up prayer brought him to what was the only answer he ever could find.He found it in the book of Psalms.

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
He didn't feel righteous but he knew God was truth.
He did not feel religious but he also knew he could not be alone with this burden one second more.
When he threw it,he threw it far.It could no longer be found.
He knew he would be going Home to say thank you,thank you,thank you.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I saw Joe minor league baseball a few years ago.
He was of course a superstar in high school. Everybody had the highest hopes.

He signed with a new minor league team a few years later.

The team manager like him,his team mates like him too.
Baseball came natural to Joe,he played everyday when he was a kid.
He was well grounded in the fundamentals of the game.Second base was where he lived his life playing defence.He was good,very good.
He was offered a contact with a major league team out west.The kid showed great stuff his first year.The second year was not as good but still not bad.
Year 3 things fell apart.He seemed lost as second base and his hitting plummeted to a pitiful .198.
A wife came along this year,a baby boy soon followed.
Year 4 things started to look up.His coaches instructed him.He worked harder then ever.His average at mid-season climbed,people once again adored him for his abilities.
He once again became the heart of his team,everybody loved Joe.
Joe played many years in baseball.He had an excellent record,he had many friends.His family loved him and was very proud.
When it came time to retire Joe had it all planned.He would buy several car dealer ships.He had enough money to buy several.
When Joe was killed by a drunk driver it was a cool and quiet morning.
When Joe got to heaven everyone asked"what was the greatest thrill in your life,there must be many to choose from.
Joe said quietly and humbly,it was the day I gave my life to Jesus.I found out He was real,he was involved in my life.He died for me.
All heaven applauded Joe.

My question to God was,why? Why Joe of all people?
He was loved here,he had a family.He had everything.
My Lord put His finger on my lips and said it was not his will that we die like Joe.
The He said,I took your place in death so you will live eternally with me.
I don't think I understand it all,but Joe does and Jesus does.That is a good thing.

The Irish Girl

She came to America 6 years ago when she was 17.
She came with her mom and 3 sisters.
The accent held on although she always tried to hide it.She wanted to fit in.
A mistake 3 years ago brought her a son.A fierce devotion to him is what kept her alive. The father never came through with all his promises. Proving for her son was her responsibility.
There was no time now for an education,only her sisters could go on to school.
The family back home did not scorn her,her uncle John even sent money when he could.
Her mom was her help,her baby sitter.She knew she was loved.
Thoughts of the next few years frightened her.She didn't date now,she stayed home when she didn't work as her crummy waitress job.Thoughts of the future consumed her.
Where would she be when she was 30? What future was there for a poor girl who had a hard time fitting in anywhere?
Reading was not easy,writing almost impossible.
Her weight problem was a constant battle,another reason to stay hidden inside.
Hope was fading fast for Kieran. Her life did not count but to see her son grow and get the education she wanted for him.
Day dreams of her son Ryan making it big consumes her.Her hopes were that he become a doctor.
When her own doctor told her she had breast cancer she started the fading.Her mind went away.She neglected herself,her son,her life.
When she died she died alone.Her mom and 2 of her 3 sisters went to her funeral.
Only heaven could have loved this Irish girl with the accent.
A Sunday School teacher had told her once about God's love for her.She believed that old lady for a day or two.
That's all she needed.Heaven did welcome her.
Good bye Kieran,I will see you soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

To The Boy and The Old Man Who Was Lost

I saw you from here,it was easy for me.I am one who loves you as you are.
You knew,down deep inside that I had been watching and waiting for you a very long time.
You had been close to me and sometimes you were quite far from me.I knew you would come back of course,it was just a matter of time.
You did not need to worry like you did about passing a test.There was never a test I gave you.There were trials you needed to understand your life and to point your life more towards me.

You did not need to worry about your family.
While your time is getting close,you do not have to worry about your wife.You know that I will watch over her too like I have for so many of your years.
You did not have to hide the bad things from her,she loved you deeply.Just like I do.
She understood you better then you thought.She and I both knew your needs.Your fears were understood and you needed to let all that go before you came home.
The deep love you have for all your family always made me smile.The friends that came your way were special.They were people that you needed at the time.
I have been waiting for you.I have helped and protected you when you did not know.
Your blessings arrived in your life when you needed them most.
Angels have been with you.They will be with you again when you get here,that is something to look forward to isn't it?
I laughed along with you at the absurd,the strange things people do.I always love your sense of humour.Your God laughs easy and often.Did you forget that?

The children brought us great joy.They are wonderful people.
I know the times when you thought you failed with the children and I know you still have doubts.Have no fear,all children are in my hands.Always.

Remember my forgiveness,I know you don't always.Put the past away now and live.
No, I am not telling you the day or the hour.Be ready.
Think of me as I think of you.
A friend of ours recently wrote about how I said I was very fond of him.
You know I am awfully fond of you too
I will see you soon.
With Love Everlasting,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Friends Down Under

For many years I have secretly been in love with another country,Australia!
I have read many books,scanned the local papers I find online published in the smallest towns with most odd names ever. The stories usually make me asking more questions.

I read about the animals which to us Americans seem so bizarre! We have snakes and bugs here obviously but they have bugs and snakes that can kill you right quick!

I read about the history,early settlements,how they became our allies in all foreign wars and most of all I read about the people.
We seem to have many natural disasters here in the USA and so do they.
Wildfires where it seems half the country is fire,dust storms that reduce visibility to zero and now of course the floods.
My friend Will Lanting sent me a link where I can watch the coverage.I saw the damage,the heartbreak,and now I see the water is coming down a bit.

The damage remains and now the people of Australia are coming together to help clean up and rebuild.
Nothing has impressed me more then to see the courage and tremendous spirit of the people.
Complete strangers showing up a house to clean it,not for money,not for thanks,just because this is the right thing to do.
It reminds me of 9.1.11 when we had that same spirit of coming together to fight terrorism and to mourn for the lost.

The times will be hard,the loss is great yet I see the spirit of my friends down under and I love that country even more.
God bless you.

When are you going home?

I do wonder now that I am a year older again.

How much time is there left?

So many people I have met who are now in their 90's.

They are living out the end of all this the best they can.
Some have smiles a mile wide,isn't that the coolest thing ever?

Some have gone demented,some cruel joke played by some chemical imbalance or maybe it's just because they got tired of trying.I don't know.

Some of said,cover my face with a pillow.Well we can't do that.
We remain hopeful that there will be a cure.Or we pray for release and a home going.

What is our lot in life now? Shall we live in memories? Shall we live for the smiles our grand kids bring us?
Shall we weep and mourn for the things we wanted but just never came?

Some older folks have got it.They got it right.The Bible says the whole duty of man is to fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

As much as I am able,this is my life's commitment.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Day For Remembering Our Sailors

Not long ago I sold a book to a sailor on the USS Juneau.
I sell a lot of books on the Internet and don't give much thought to who gets them.
This time I had to stop and think about where this book was going.
The sailor said there was no rush to get it because he would not see land for another 4 months.
Four months.
So tonight I am grateful for your service son,and I thank you.

This one one of thousands of sailors patrolling seas that are danger filled.How may sons,daughters,moms and dads are serving on the watch tonight?
They are serving for me and they are serving for you.
24 hours a day,they are serving us,we must always remember the dedication these people have.They remain watchful for us.They are diligent for us.They are following the orders they receive.
Think now of sailors in the Atlantic,the Pacific,the Barents Sea,the Indian Ocean,the seas of all the world.Think of them as family,think of them as loved ones who are away for a very long time.
Today I honor you,and I thank you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Facebook is Cool

A few years ago I join Facebook and really did not have many expectations about it.

Well,it really surprised me how many people I have connected with,not only from my past but people I did not know existed have become very good friends.
I don't know how many countries are represented but it is amazing to me.
If I don't know the language there is Google Translator which is an awesome program.Google continually is updating this and adding more languages.

Facebook has bugs and flaws but I can deal with that,it's a small part of it.

I found many people who lived on 104th place when I did as a kid.
The girl next door(Janis),the girl across the street(Mary Ann) and Kenny who lived across the street and a few houses down.
Using my last name in the search function I found hundreds of Lantings spread around the world. How cool is that?
I enjoy Facebook a lot,five hundred million of us do.

Simple Easy Times

It's now the second day of the new year 2011.
Looking back over the year 2010,I find the simple things are the things I liked best.
The times with family of course mean the most to me.Christmas,Easter,Thanksgiving we all get together,all 23 of us.

The next best thing is I joined a local church which I am very happy to attend.
Great people there and I enjoy them very much.The church is very old and well established.
The are many old people there and our pastor is 27.Pastor Matt Waterstone has his hands full and does and excellent job leading us.

Business was up a little but still nowhere near what it should be.I am grateful for the work I do have as I really love what I do for a living.We will try to match our record income which happened a long time ago.

I guess I am an optimist,I have to be.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year 1-1-2011

Tonight Linda and I spent a nice evening with some excellent friends.
There were just 6 of us there so it was a small intimate celebration of the new year.

These are friends who know my faults,flaws and even the slightly crazy parts of me.
I would rather be with them on a night like this then anyone in the world.
Except my brother Bud,he is the best brother imaginable.

It is a good thing to have friends,they are reminders of good things,and good things to come.
Thank you Phyliss,Larry,Lindsay,Donna and Linda.
You make my life better.