October 2014 here we come!!

Okay, I know, I know. For those of you reading this on the day I post this blog October is a couple of days away, but It’s close enough for me to point out the popularity of the month. I count at least 16 things celebrated in October each year for the entire month. You want to know what they are?

Drum roll, please, because it is International Drum Month. You didn’t even know there was such a thing. Did you? Now aren’t you glad you opened this blog up?

Food is quite in in October. For breakfast you can have Apple Jacks since it’s Apple Jack Month. At lunch you can feast on either ham or seafood anytime this month as it’s both Eat Country Ham Month and Seafood Month.

Whether you call it supper or dinner you can have pizza during National Pizza Month. If you prefer to avoid meat that’s okay during National Vegetarian Month. I guess if you want to be totally correct you can have a vegetarian pizza.

For those of you who just made a rude comment this month is for you since it’s Sarcastic Month, too.

Because this is National Popcorn Popping Month you can have your popcorn and pop it, too. If you prefer cookies that’s fine during Cookie Month. Don’t forget to save me some.

No need to worry about overdoing the cookies during National Diabetes Month. If you’re not that sick feel free to visit your neighborhood pharmacy during American Pharmacist Month.

For you nerds out there you’ll be glad to know this is Computer Learning Month. I can’t confirm any connection, but this is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

If any of those celebrations upset you there’s a week for that in October. The second week is Pet Peeve Week.

On a more serious note this is Lupus Awareness Month. So don’t be surprised if you doctor tests you for that if you complain of constant tiredness.

Ladies, don’t forget to give yourself a self-test during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I get choked up thinking about my mother-in-law being one of the first women to “successfully” survive Chemotherapy over thirty years ago.

Remind me to send her a card on Mother-in-law’s Day toward the end of the month. I don’t know who the wiseguy was to place that so close to Halloween, but I do love my mother-in-law. No joke!

Don’t forget to visit your local animal shelter and pick out a pooch during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you don’t want the dog for yourself you can give it to your pastor, priest, rabbi, or whatever your spiritual adviser of choice is during Clergy Appreciation Month. Don’t tell them who gave you the suggestion.

I’ve just been burdened to make October another month of note. In honor of those Christians being persecuted for their faith let’s make this Worldwide Pray for Radical Muslims Month. These individuals are seriously misguided. It’s only by interceding for them before the throne of grace they’ll ever see the light and accept Jesus for who He is.

Join me in spreading the Love of Christ all year long.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A LONELY REVELATION

The gavel fell hard and loud. “You shall live out your life in isolation on the island of Patmos. A ration of food will be delivered to you as needed. No visitors may come to you. Are there any requests for more?”

John swallowed as he looked in the judge’s eyes. “Only one, your honor. May I have an allocation of parchment, ink and quills?”

The judge stroked is beard a few times. “I don’t see any harm in letting you send letters out, but you may not receive letters in return. Is that clear?”

John nodded. “Yes, that’s fine with me.”

The judge raised the gavel. “Very well, writing supplies will be included with your food. Case closed.”

John jerked as the gavel fell one last time.

****

John paced the perimeter of Patmos for the umpteenth time. His mind relived those precious times with Jesus. The lessons, the miracles, the changed lives sometimes felt like they occurred yesterday, not a lifetime ago.

He prayed again for the apostolic ability to walk on water as Peter did so he could be with the churches who needed his guidance.

A seagull screamed overhead.

John looked up. “Why, Father? Why am I here alone when others need me so badly? First I cared for Mary while the others advanced Your message. Now she’s gone as are they. It’s only me of Your followers.”

He looked at the stack of parchment protected from the weather. “What am I to write? I don’t know what the churches are up to. I haven’t felt compelled to write anything. Why am I still here? Use me or take me Home. Please!”

A heaviness fell over John as he approached the rock he used for a bed. He laid down and drifted quickly off into a dream.

He cringed at the sound behind him. Was it a trumpet? No, a voice spoke to him.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.”

John’s heart skipped a beat. That could only be Jesus.

“Write what you see and send it to the seven churches in Asia: To Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

John spun around and noticed seven lampstands. In the midst of them stood the glorified Jesus. How do you put that into words? Seven stars were in Jesus’ right hand.

John laid prostrate at Jesus’ feet. A hand grasped his left shoulder and raised him back to his feet.

“Don’t be afraid, John. I am the First and the Last. I was dead, yet I live and will forever. Write what you’ve seen, what is now and what you will yet see. The seven stars are the seven angels of the churches in Asia. The lampstands are the churches you are to write to.

“To the church in Ephesus tell them they’ve left their first love…”

Of course You know these people better than I do. That’s exactly what’s happened to them. Why couldn’t I see that before?

****

The last book of our modern Bible is known as The Revelation of Jesus Christ according to the first few words in it. Who better to write that book than the last person alive who spent personal time with Jesus Christ when he walked on this earth?

How do you prepare any person for such an important undertaking? If You’re God you place him in isolation.

We aren’t told how long John spent on Patmos before he was given this divine revelation, nor are we told how long he lived after he wrote what he saw. We’re merely grateful he obeyed this calling to him.

John would have written the gospel account that bears his name, and the three letters to churches he led, previous to this endeavor. So, we know he could write, so did he.

His main challenge would be putting in words what he saw in the spiritual realm; i.e. the glorified Jesus, whom He’d seen on the Mount of Transfiguration; and 21st century objects with a 1st century experience and vocabulary. Now you know why there’s such a shroud of mystery attached to the book.

God often gives someone a time of solitude before He uses them in a mighty way.

Joseph was placed in a foreign country with a foreign language, then a prison for many years before he became the 2nd-in-command of Egypt.

Moses was sent to the back side of a desert for 40 years before he was called to lead God’s people to the Promised Land.

David was driven into exile by a madman Saul for several years before he took the throne of Israel to its mightiest point of power.

Even Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness to fast after His baptism and before His earthly ministry with the disciples began.

So, if you feel like your life is stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for your next assignment, enjoy this time of rest. God may tap you for service anytime, my friend.

“But, I’m way too old to be of any use to anybody. I can’t even walk anymore.” You claim.

I have a question for you. Can you type? If so go to WordPress.com a start blog. It’s pretty easy to do and it’s free.

Write out your life experiences and how God showed up when you least expected Him to. Or, give advice you wish you’d heard before you knew it.

Consider that your mission field. You may not get many followers, but you may impact one person who’ll go out a changed person by what they read on your meager offering.

Perhaps someone will set your posts into a book after you’re called Home and it will become a best-seller reaching thousands for Christ.

With God anything is possible. But, He can’t use what you take to heaven with you.

John simply did as he was told in his time of isolation.

Because he did we have a refined hope of what to expect in the future.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Follow Fest 2014

I hope I didn’t wake any of my regular peeps up with this mid-week post, but my blogging buddy Melissa Maygrove has a nifty-neat-o thing going on this week. It’s called a Follow Fest. It’s a chance for bloggers to find like-minded writing folks to follow them and/or get to know other bloggers.

To get involved in it I have to answer a few questions on my blog so I can link back to her site so others can find me in the blogosphere. Of course I had fun responding to her questions. I hope y’all enjoy reading my answers. 🙂

After you read these replies you may return to your regularly scheduled boring lives.

Name: Wade Webster

Fiction or nonfiction? Mostly fiction with devotionals thrown in the mix

What genres do you write? That’s like asking a schizophrenic how many personalities he has. Let’s see, I just sent off a MG proposal to a publisher at their request at Blue Ridge. Before that I sent them my Christmas devotional proposal. I also have an adult contemporary semi-romance in the works. And a picture-bookish poem I’m thinking about turning into a book app. I warned you it was complicated.

Are you published? I’ve had a few magazine articles published in a now extinct local magazine. I don’t think it was my fault, but if it’s linked to computers it probably was.

Do you do anything in addition to writing? I are a trucker, I mean I drive a truck for a living, locally for Con-way Freight.

Tell us a little about yourself. I actually enjoy running, but not marathons. Dark chocolate is my preferred means of sustenance. I was born a Michigander, but I’m now a firmly transplanted Texan. There was quite a wilderness wandering to get me to God’s promised land, but I’m here now.

What are you reading right now? I’m reading these questions so I can answer them in a somewhat meaningful way. I hope.

Which authors influenced you the most?Besides those guys who wrote the Bible I’d say Steven Bly and Chuck Swindoll would top the list.

Where can people connect with you?See the links below for that personal stuff. Puleeze.

Blog Since you’ve obviously found my blog here don’t be rude by skipping to sign up for more fun and surprises. The top subscription form is for those of y’all who want my newsletter, blog and some free samples of my writing sent directly to your email inbox. The second form is for those who either just want my newsletter and samples sent to your email and/or you prefer to get your blog posts sent via RSS feed. So, do it now before you forget!

I post a Funny Monday post every Monday morning and a Faithful Friday devotional post each Friday evening.

Twitter @WadeWebster1 

Facebook AuthorWadeWebster

Goodreads as Wade Webster

Google+ wadeis3rd@gmail.com

LinkedIn wade-webster

Pinterest Not yet, but keep a look out for me someday when you least expect it.

YouTube Oh, yeah, I have a channel. I use it for a monthly humor vlog post on this here blog. It’s a reality dose for my subscribers. I don’t know if they’ve gotten over the shock, yet. Just look for that guy with the name Wade Webster.

Do you have a newsletter? Of course I have a newsletter…now where did I put that thing? Oh, you want to know if I put a newsletter out on a regular basis to my subscribers. Why didn’t you ask me that then? I’ve been writing a monthly newsletter for the past few months giving my peeps the inside dirt of my writing life, such as when I’ve sent out a proposal, or two. I also request prayer when I feel led to ask for assistance from above. Oh, yeah, I need that by the truckload. I’ve been putting it out the 1st of each month so far.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know? I’m a member of ACFW. I write a weekly prayer on the children’s fiction loop.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

The ultimate mode of transportation

These past few months at work have been a bit of a challenge for this aging man. Forget about just work, come to think of it everything is becoming a challenge for this aging man. I guess that’s fodder for a future blog post.

At the beginning of each year we’re given the opportunity to choose our start time assignments. I’ve had the same time for the last three years now. The only problem is I’ve been bumped to the bottom of the seniority level for that time. That means I now get the dregs of the work assignments that come in for us.

Most of the time there isn’t much difference, just a change of scenery for each of us. We’re each assigned a tractor to use to pull whichever trailer is loaded for us when we arrive each morning. The trailers vary in length from 28 feet to 53 feet, 48 footers are another option.

But, for some unexplained reason, perhaps I’ve made somebody mad somehow, I’ve occasionally been stuck in what Texans call a “bobtail.” Normal folks call them box-trucks. It’s a truck with a straight frame for the cab and cargo hold, or box.

In other words I never know what I’m going to be driving when I show up to work each day.  Which got me to thinking, yeah, that can be dangerous, about some of the means of transportation I’ve experienced over the years.

I fondly remember Velma. She was the most docile milk cow a boy could ever ask for. Our original barn had a foundation jutting out the back of it. Apparently the former owners never built the addition on it so this cement rose out of the ground for no good reason other than to help me get on Velma’s back.

I’ll never forget the time the cows were taking a break from eating grass in the barnyard. I walked out onto the foundation and called for Velma. She walked over and stopped with her side against that cement. I hopped on. She walked around a few minutes and stopped back where we started so I could get back off. Then she rejoined her bovine friends. A fond red-neck boy’s remembrance for sure.

Sure, I’ve ridden my share of horses since then, but who can claim to have ridden a cow on her volition? I guess I just have a way with animals.

I’ve driven a few different tractors and various pieces of machinery, too. Bicycles are nothing new to me. I’ve walked to several places. I even jogged a-mile-and-a-half to pick my van up from the garage after it was “fixed”. I almost got there ahead of the rain. I was wet, not drenched, by the time I arrived.

No, I’ve never been on the back of a camel, nor an elephant. I haven’t even been in an airplane. Yeah, I know it’s the 21st century. I just haven’t had a good reason to fly anywhere. That’s all.

My best friend has found the ultimate form of transportation in my humble opinion. I got a glimpse of it the last week, or I was reminded of it at least.

It was one of those moments in my life where I find myself saying, “I wish I had a camera right now.” Well, modern technology has made that a reality. My cell phone has a built-in camera. You see, this red-neck is living in the 21st century. At some level anyway.

There had been a glorious multi-colored sunrise earlier that I imbibed as long as I could while still keeping my job. I continued doing whatever was demanded of me by my employer with my mind on the Creator of the heavens.

As I drove around to the west side of the loading docks to hook up to one of the short 28 foot trailers, called a “pup” just because its a small trailer, I guess.

I looked up at the sky and saw one of those clouds with sun beams streaking over it. The building was blocking the sun from view so I took my phone out of my pocket and captured the moment for y’all to enjoy.

While I was at it I stuck the Bible verse on it I was thinking about to let everyone know what means of transportation my Best Friend will be riding on when He comes back to earth. Yeah, I’m talking about Jesus coming on the clouds when He comes back to establish His earthly kingdom.

My Best Friend's mode of transportation

My Best Friend’s mode of transportation

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20

Keep smiling.   Wade

A REMINDER

“But, I’ve never dictated a letter before.”

Peter turned toward his friend. “That’s okay. All you have to do is keep some notes about what I say. It may come across as being in your own words. That’s quite all right. I want to get this message out to as many people as possible. I don’t have much time left. Compose it and spread it to as many churches as you can. Can you do that for me? Please.”

“Yes. Yes, of course. You’re right. There’s not much time. I’ll do whatever I can for you.”

Peter waited for his friend to set up some parchment and ink on the table before he began.

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who’ve received the same precious faith by righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to you…

“I’m compelled to remind you of your sufficiency in Christ through God’s provision. Live out your faith in increasing measure. I must put off this tent, soon. So, I’m writing this for you to have something to remember these truths by after I’m gone. We haven’t devised clever stories about Jesus to trap you. No, we witnessed His glory on the mountain, even hearing the words of God: ‘This is My Son, in Him I am well pleased.’

“The prophets of old back us up on what we declare. Nothing we say is of man’s knowledge. The Holy Spirit guides us along to write what God wants. False prophets have come to twist the truths of God to their advantage. They lead some astray simply to have their own following. I did not choose this way of life. Jesus chose me for this. I merely lived out His plan for me.

“Some claim the resurrection has already come. Others say nothing will ever change, each day is as the day before. They  purposely forget about Noah’s actions in the flood that destroyed the world. These men are like empty stream beds, or clouds that produce no rain. Their ruin is waiting them.

“Remember this one thing, my friends: with the Lord a day is as a thousands years, and a thousand years are like a day. He delays judgement so as many as possible will receive Him. The day of the Lord will come as a thief. The elements will burn up. This earth will disappear to make room for a new heaven and new earth. Jesus’ kingdom will be established in God’s time.

“So, how are you to live? Live lives pleasing to God just as Paul writes in his letters. Some of what he says is difficult. Others twist it for their own reasons just like they do all scripture. Be leery of them so you don’t fall into their destruction. But grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. To Him be glory for all eternity. Amen.”

The door to the house opened as a guard walked in. Peter looked at his family, then at the soldier.

The soldier waved his arm in an arch toward him. “You are all commanded to follow me now.”

Peter’s wife fell into his chest and sobbed.

Peter’s hand competed with those of his children as they rubbed her back for comfort. “I don’t understand this, but it’s God will. Let’s go home.”

She pushed back, wiped the tears from her eyes and nodded. Peter followed his family out the door.

****

Tradition tells us Peter witnessed his wife, and the children still  living with them, being executed before he was crucified. His convictions were so strong about how Jesus ruled in his life that he demanded he be crucified upside-down. He wasn’t worthy to die as his Savior did.

His convictions were also so strong he composed the letter we now call 2 Peter before his demise occurred. He wanted people to know he didn’t lie to them, but others would. His legacy in ink holds some true gems.

We get a glimpse of God’s eternal point of view in the phrase: “with the Lord a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day.” A timeless truth told in a timely manner.

2 Peter is his last words to us who follow Jesus. This is what would be his legacy. His legacy is full of warnings to us today. False teachers still abound. Holding true to scripture is as important now as it was then.

The end of the world as we know it is much closer than it was when Peter had this letter composed. Strive to study God’s word as He wrote it. Don’t make it say what you want it to say just to please your whims.

No, it’s not all easy reading. Some of the truths I’d rather not deal with. I’d much rather tell people they’ll be blessed if they follow a set of plans found in the Bible. But, the first test that comes their way will destroy their faith and make them question their salvation.

I need to repeat what Jesus said, “When troubles come…”, and so do you. Because this world isn’t the place we’ll find complete happiness and fulfillment. Heaven is that place of ultimate peace and tranquility. Never forget that.

Each day will hold enough trouble of its own. Sometimes it feels like they hold too many troubles for us to deal with. That’s when we need to lean on Jesus for strength.

That’s what life on this world is all about. Our tests are designed to improve our faith, not erode it.

We must acknowledge our inability to do it on our own efforts. Jesus is supposed to be our source of hope.

Let’s not fight that. Let’s cling to that with all we have.

If you’ve come to the end of your rope and tied a knot to hang on longer, let go and fall into the peace-filled hands of Jesus.

He’ll never let you go. Never

I’ll see you later.   Wade

A red-neck’s list of what NOT to bring to the ACFW conference in St Louis

Bubba, I know you’re all fired up about going to the big city of St. Louis for that writer’s conference put out by my friends at the American Christian Fiction Writers. I feel the need to make a few suggestions to you that should make your visit more enjoyable for everybody, including yourself.

First off don’t go bring your pipe. They don’t allow smoking at this thing, especially that stuff you experiment with. Trust me, don’t even bother with it.

While we’re on the topic of odors. Don’t take that liquid you call cologne. You know what I’m talking about. That stuff that makes a pig’s tail curl. You’re the only one who seems to be able to stand it. Some of these folks have sensitive noses, so don’t even think about it, Bubba. Do shower with soap and water at least once a day.

Don’t go showing up without your shirt, Bubba. I’ve seen you with no shirt on. For the love of God and His people, these are my friends we dealing with! PLEASE, DON’T go without a shirt. Nobody will be interested in your…um, trust me, they don’t want your life story that way. Just wear a shirt.

Don’t go to your favorite store with the smiling G to get your shirts, neither. Nor any sore with “Thift” in the name. You can buy some new shirts at a store with “Mart” in the name, or something better. The clearance rack will work. Just don’t tell everybody how much you spent. They won’t be impressed that it’s you first store-bought shirt. Act like you do it all the time.

Don’t forget to make sure you take all the little pins out of the shirts before you put them on. Ain’t nobody impressed by blood stains on a new shirt. I don’t care if you insist they don’t hurt. That won’t impress nobody, neither.

Don’t go gathering road kill to eat while you’re there. My friends will feed you real good. You’ll think you done died and gone to heaven with the way they treat you at meal time. So, whenever you see something dead on the side of the road just tell yourself it’s leeverite roadkill. That’s right, just leave ‘er right there, Bubba. I don’t care if my good buddy trucker just run it over while you watched. Keep driving.

While we’re on the subject of meals. Don’t bother with that knife you got with the spoon and fork on it. Keep it home so you don’t loose it. Don’t be surprised when you see more than one fork next to your plate, neither. No, that’s not a mistake. Act like it’s normal, cuz for some folks it is. You can indulge by using them both at the same time if you like. But don’t do that for the whole meal. This isn’t a race, Bubba.

Don’t go expecting everybody to want to pay you for your story. I don’t know how you made a tale about a toad searching for a pond during a drought so he can get baptized so interesting, but you did. It may not be the right time for that story to hit the public. Tell everyone who’ll listen to you about it. Then leave it to God to bring about the publisher He wants to tackle that project. If it’s meant to be God will make it happen. You’re doing your part by showing up and getting the word out about it. That’s farther than most folks get in the process. We’re all proud of you for it.

I need to warn you that this event will be dominated by women. That means there’s more women there than men. No, they aren’t there for you, Bubba. So don’t go bringing your goo-goo eyes. Leave your eyes in your head and your thoughts clean. Yes, some of them are a might pretty to look at. Just remember God gave them stories, too. They’re doing their part to let folks know about their story.

Most importantly, don’t go thinking this is all about you, Bubba. Some folks will be there more scared than you are. Make friends with them. You’re good at that. Listen to them talk about their stories. You’ll all feel better. Before you know it you’ll feel a part of this writing family, too.  We’re all just brothers and sisters listening to God and trying our best to please Him.

Enjoy the experience, Bubba.

Make sure you say “HI!” to my friends and tell them I can’t wait til they scurry back here to Dallas next year.

Keep smiling.   Wade

THE LAST LETTER

Paul waited for Luke’s eyes to open from his nap. He raised a hand to wipe a tear from his eye.

Luke stirred and opened his eyes. “You really need to learned how to rattle those chains quieter, Paul.”

“Do we have any parchment and ink? I need you to compose a letter for me.”

Luke sat up. “Of course, if you make it on the short side we still have enough for a note. Let me get them for you.”

Paul watched Luke set up at the table.

Luke counted the sheets they had. “Is this going to a church or a person?”

“Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. To Timothy, my son.”

Luke raised his eyebrows as he wrote. “You better make every word count. We don’t have that much parchment.”

Paul leaned forward. “I fully intend to, Doc.”

Luke dipped the quill. “This ink’s good. I’ll write small.”

“I remember you in my prayers night and day. I’m impressed with your faith. I know it was passed down from your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice. Stir up the God-given gift you received by the laying on of my hands. Be sure to pass along the truth of the gospel to capable men.

“Be ready to suffer persecution for Christ’s sake. Impostors will come in to deceive many who’ll love to hear what they long to hear. Remain true to the truth of God I passed on to you.”

Luke continued to keep pace with Paul’s heart cry. He reached the last sheet. “Time to bring this to a close. Paul.”

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Be watchful in everything, suffer afflictions, be an evangelist, complete your ministry. I am being poured out as a drink offering. I’m finishing the race, my fight is over. I’ve kept the faith. I’ll receive the crown of righteousness, as will all who love His appearing.

“Try to come before winter with the parchments and my cloak I left with Carpus in Troas. The Lord Jesus Christ be with you, my son. Amen.”

Luke tipped the ink well to finish the last word. “We had just enough of everything we needed to complete this task.”

The door to the room burst open. A squad of soldiers filed in. “The Emperor wishes to see you.”

Paul stood.

Luke’s knees wouldn’t obey him. He looked at his friend. “I’ll see this is delivered personally.”

Paul nodded. “Thank you, Doc.” He strode to the door. “Take me home, boys.”

A soldier grunted. “I don’t know where he thinks he’s going. He’s had his last meal.”

Luke watched Paul walk out. “He knows that. He meant what he said.”

****

If you knew this was the last hour you had to breathe air in this atmosphere what would you do?

Would you make a phone call? Perhaps an email you’ve been putting off needs your attention. Maybe you merely need to walk over and say the words, “I’m sorry.” Followed by a hug.

The letter we know as 2 Timothy was the Apostle Paul’s response to that question. We’re all the richer because he didn’t put off writing that note.

Paul poured a lot of himself into Timothy’s life to the point of calling him “son.” In return Timothy loved Paul to the point of being in tears when they parted ways.

Have you done that with a younger person?

If you have children I pray your answer is in the positive. God’s gifts are given to us for many reasons. Pouring our love and affection into them is one of the main ones. Living in close proximity should make it easy to hand down your values and the reasons you do what you do.

They may rebel and do their own thing despite your best efforts. Paul had many others who left him when things looked grim in his life. Perhaps that’s one reason he was drawn to ask for Timothy’s presence near the end.

You’re responsible to do your part. You can’t control how others live their life.

Here’s a suggestion for you. Live your life like the country song says: live like you was dying. Because you are.

None of us knows when we’ll take our last breath. We don’t know if the next time we enter the road to get to work if someone else’s mistake will cost us our life. So, live like you’ll never see your loved ones again.

Let them know you love them. Don’t leave them guessing. Say the words: “I love you.”

They may not return the sentiment, but they’ll know how you feel. Leave that taste in their mouth when they think of you.

Paul gave Timothy a list of people for him to avoid, and some to include. One name stands out to me.

Paul requested Mark accompany him to Rome because, “he is useful to me for ministry.”

John Mark and Paul had a history that was shaky at one point. It was so bad that Paul refused to include Mark on one of his trips since Mark deserted him at a critical moment.

The two men obviously came back in contact with each other and made amends. Paul’s second chance wasn’t wasted. The composer of the second gospel account made the most of the opportunity.

If some time has passed since you were hurt by someone, and there are signs of a change, give them another opportunity to prove themselves to you. The pay-off will likely benefit both of you.

Practice the words “I’m sorry,” and “Let’s start over,” so the next time you see that person they flow from your heart.

Life’s too short to be on a list of people to avoid.

Do your best to be someone requested as one who is useful.

You never know when it will be your last chance to have a second chance.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Happy International Literacy Day everybody!

If you read that headline on your own you owe a teacher somewhere a huge “THANK YOU!!”

If you had someone read that headline to you then you have some catching up to do with those of us in the blogosphere. We rely on people who can read to read our posts so it makes us feel like we’re doing something worthwhile by putting these blogs together.

I guess if you can’t read you’re more likely subscribed to Youtube than to real blogs. I suppose that’s why the internet is so diverse.

For those of you who can read in multiple languages, then thank you , gracias, and however you say gratitude it whichever dialect you understand. In Texas we say “thankya kindly.” So, thankya kindly fer readin this here blog o mine, as I tip my hat to y’all.

If I spit without thinking about it I hope I miss your boot in the process. If I don’t then I can take advantage of the other day today is. Because today is also National Pardon Day.

So, “pardon me, ma’am. I didn’t mean to spit on yer boot.”

There actually is a history as to why this is dubbed that today. In 1974 President Gerald Ford pardoned President Richard Nixon for any wrongdoing he may have committed during the Watergate fiasco. It was his attempt to put the matter behind us as a nation so we could heal from that and move forward.

It likely caused him to loose the election in the long-run, but I still applaud his effort. More of us need to look past other’s wrong actions so we, too, can move forward.

So, if you’d just hold still I’ll wipe my own spit off yer boot, ma’am. Feel free to call it a spit shine if it’ll make you feel better. I know I feel better about it now.

PARDON: verb, to forgive an offense even if the offender was in the wrong.

I’m sure glad God included this word in His vocabulary. Aren’t you? Without it we’d be doomed to eternal judgement.

Because of Jesus’ life-sacrifice on the cross we can claim God’s pardon for all the sins we commit. Not only those in our past, but the ones we’ll commit in the future, too. Yeah, we’re still imperfect, even though we’re God’s adopted children.

We’ll make mistakes we think would get us kicked out of the Family. The problem with that thinking is it isn’t the way God reads the adoption papers.

Our love for our Heavenly Father urges us to want to please Him in everything we do. Our gratitude for Jesus’ action impels us to love Him with our whole being. It’s our selfish sin-nature that keeps dragging us down to earth when we long to reach heaven.

That’s why God came down to us. His pardon was completely completed from His end of the transaction. All we have to do is accept His pardon.

The best way to experience God’s pardon is to use it in reverse in your life. Grant a pardon to someone who offended you. Release your judgement on them so you can move forward. You’ll be surprised how freeing you’ll feel in the process.

You’ll never know I’m right until you put it to the test. Don’t wait for the feelings to lead you to do it. It’ll never happen. The action must precede the feeling.

Trust me. I’ve done this first-hand. It’s amazing, my friend.

Keep smiling.   Wade

My walk with God in Plano

We recently celebrated a holiday in the US known as Labor Day.  Even though it’s called that most of us get a government-issued paid day off from our normal form of labor. I took full advantage of this three-day weekend.

After pushing through in the month of August to get a proposal out I decided I needed a bit of a break from writing. So, I self-imposed a writing sabbatical for at least a week. I guess I broke it by writing my weekly blog posts and such. But, I gave myself grace for that, and for this post. You’ll see why in a bit.

I knew I needed some spiritual refreshment on my off-day so I went to a park the city of Plano named Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. My goal wasn’t to run my legs off. I saved that for later in the day. I simply wanted to commune with God in His creation. Something I’d neglected for far too long.

There were two categories of folks using the park: those who wanted to improve their physical shape, and those who wished to maintain theirs. They had their speeds while I had mine. My cruise was set at amble.

I was surprised when my object lessons came at the tenth of a mile mark on the wide cement trail. It’s a section of hillside that was removed to keep the trail even for people’s enjoyment. The limestone developed in layers over the years in Texas. Yes, God did that on purpose.

Texans agree that when God placed people in the Garden of Eden at the intersection of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers He lived in Texas. It’s a simple fact in these parts.

The second thing I noticed in the limestone mini-cliff was a plant growing between the cracks of non-soil. Small yellow flowers drew my eyes to this delicate creation. The phrase “bloom where you’re planted” immediately entered my mind.

Being a weaver of words I twisted that familiar phrase into “you can’t always choose where you’re planted, but you can still decide to bloom.”

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I resumed my amble and witnessed a cardinal land in a tree. His destiny was set before he ever hatched. He was cursed with that gorgeous set of red feathers and a loud chirp that would both draw predators to him. I wondered if he ever took advantage of that to draw them away from his family in the nest. He went about his merry way being the best cardinal he could muster.

I carried on greeting others using the park. I knew I had to stop to let the two corgi’s greet me. My own brief experience living with one taught me they loved a few seconds of attention from anybody sharing the planet with them. God graced them with that joyful spirit. They bloomed well.

At about the half-way mark along the trail I sat on a seat designed into a rock wall. A yellow and black swallow-tailed butterfly flitted by. I thought about how he began life as a caterpillar, no wings to lift him sky-ward. His destiny changed at some point so he could develop into what he is today.

The same thing held true for the dragonflies I saw, and the housefly on my water bottle. They began life in one form, yet shifted into something else when God called for it. Even the trees started out as seeds before they became plants.

That drew my thoughts to the first thing I’d noticed in the limestone mini-cliff. A tree root grew between the cracks of stone in search of water to feed the main plant above ground. This root was cut off to be exposed when the stone was removed for the trail. What remained was something a bit bigger than a man’s finger.

The unusual part of this root was the leaves it now sported. Yeah, branches were growing out of that root. When the root’s first purpose was cut off it decided to adapt and feed the main plant in another form. In time I’m sure those branches will form seeds and reproduce into normal trees.

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When the circumstances of life change adapt and grow.

As I continued to amble back to the parking lot for another hour I saw a third type of person using the park. I’d guess this young lady was in her third trimester of pregnancy. She sacrificed her shape to bring about the next generation.

God took my thoughts back to a booklet I read almost thirty years ago. It’s title was: “Born to Reproduce.” The premise was that we’re designed to make more of our kind. Much like the creatures in the park. As Christians we’re called on to bring more people into God’s family.

My life was laid out before me as I drank the last of my water. I could choose to be the loner truck driver I found myself being for these many years. Or, I could choose to become someone different, a writer and speaker for Jesus.

It should be obvious which path I’m on. And I’m NOT turning back now.

I’ll see you later.   Wade