On paper

Understanding myself within

Recording the events of life

Nurturing my creative soul with spewing words

Always able to rant and rave, love and cherish without fear

Lines without structure, sentences without plot, paragraphs without pace; no rhyme, no reason

Ejecting the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling, allowing originality to brightly shine

Nibbles of inspiration radiating streaks across the page, waiting for me

To capture and create, mold and shape

Rebuild with structure, pace, plot

Ideas are born

Evolving into


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This Saturday we lost one of the most talented singers of

our time.  Whitney Houston, whose soaring voice and enormous talent were overshadowed in recent years by her battles with drug addiction, was found dead Saturday in a Beverly Hills, California, hotel, hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy party hosted by the songstress’ longtime mentor, Clive Davis. She was 48.

I grieve for her family and friends along with the rest of her fans.  The tragedy of her life inspires me to speak out against drugs.  Whitney said in an interview with ABC’ News anchor Diane Sawyer,”Nobody makes me doing anything that I do not want to do.”  She chose to do drugs and it destroyed her voice, career and impacted her quality of life.

Many families face family members who are involved with drugs and I am frustrated by the mothers who complain about their drug influenced child stealing from them and not kicking them out.  For the fathers who keep making excuses for their daughters who enter rehab program after program and never finishing.  For the extended family members who say “that is just the way cousin Sammie is and he will never change” when they show up high at a family gathering and then disrupts everything.

As a pastor  understand never wanting to give up on a family member but my experience with Project Impact as a ReEntry Specialist I understand that addicts must hit rock bottom to make a decision to change.  Saying no to drugs also means drawing the line with family members and friends.

I dare not be insensitive to the pain the Houston family is experiencing but this is a teaching moment about how drugs can negatively impact a persons life.  Whitney was raised in the church, developed her skills in church choirs and dazzled the world with her voice since she was 19 years old. Our choices matter and we all have a responsibility to make choices for our lives.  My prayer is that we remember the unbelievable gift and talent of Whitney Houston but we do not ignore the impact of her choice to engage in drugs.

Choices do Matter

Proverbs 6: 4-5

Don’t procrastinate— there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,  fly like a bird from the trapper!
The Message

When we know that we have a task or project to complete waiting to the last minute produces an inferior product.  So how do we move beyond procrastination? We make excellence the greater priority. The challenge is “just enough to get by” is the mentality of many people.  This produces mediocrity. The pursuit of excellence is a discipline that challenges us to immediately begin projects and engage in precision planning on a personal level and organizational level.

Every workshop attendee deserves to hear the best presentation not one that is just good enough.  Every congregant deserves to hear my best sermon not one that is thrown together.  Every person attending a meeting deserves to have the best agenda to achieve the mission vision and values of the organization.

Our text focuses our attention on three things that will help us to move beyond procrastination

  1. The time is now, tomorrow will be to late
  2. Eliminate distractions, they can be costly
  3. Passionately pursuit is essential

“Amazing and Uncomfortable Grace” Several years ago, there was an absolutely fascinating study done of America’s favorite music and one of the discoveries was that for many Americans one of their favorite songs is actually an old hymn, Amazing Grace. Perhaps you know how it goes: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.” But what exactly is grace? And what makes it amazing? You know, when we use the word grace in ordinary conversation, we tend to downsize the word. We’ll say things like, “She’s a very graceful young woman,” and we mean she dances well. Or, “He’s a very gracious host,” and we mean he says nice things at dinner parties. We tend to use the word grace in small ways. But when the New Testament uses the word grace, it uses it in a very big way. It’s a powerful word. It’s an amazing word. In fact, it’s so powerful that sometimes grace can be quite uncomfortable. When the New Testament uses the English word grace, it’s actually the translation of a Greek word, charis, which means “gift.” And this is the New Testament’s way of saying that at the very center of life there is a God who is not a punitive judge or a scolding parent, but a God who gives gift after gift after gift. That’s grace.

Dr. Thomas Long is from Atlanta, Georgia, where he is Professor of Preaching at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Tom is a Presbyterian minister and the author of several books on the art of preaching. Read the Entire Sermon


This is the Power Point for the workshop that I did on Dealing with Difficult People.

By Brian McLaren, re-posted from the Emergent/C email newsletter:

Dear Friends of Emergent Village,

It’s been an amazing year. For me, it was the 10th anniversary of my first book being published, and the 10th anniversary of my discovering the community and conversation now known as Emergent Village. It’s hard to believe how much has happened in just 10 years.

This is the year that Phyllis Tickle’s book The Great Emergence was released, and many of us feel that this book is helping us understand in a greater way what’s been happening in and among us over this decade, what we’re participating in, what’s trying to be born.

And this is the year that thousands of us participated in an online survey that gave us the chance to express what Emergent Village means to us, along with our hopes and concerns and needs.


“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”
Og Mandino