Unhinged- Signs of a Sick Laptop…and the Remedy

When my laptop unhinged this morning, I unhinged.

4 days before a conference, the screen once connected by metal screws to the plastic strip base…is hanging on for dear life.

So, I ran over to the urgent care at Frye’s, with the purchase receipt from 2014.

Gently, I lifted my little writing companion, my R2D2, from the pink carrier pouch and placed it on the counter. I shook the pink sleeve upside down…a small black piece fell out. The young serviceman stared.

“Little black pieces have been breaking off every time I put my laptop down. It started last week. Yesterday I lifted it up from the couch where I worked…and a cascade of black chips clustered behind. The attachment piece is basically crumbling before me.”

“Where is the strip?”

I looked at space hinges and …no strip. “It must be laying on my desk when I picked it up to come here…I didn’t even notice.”

He listened, picked it up again and examined it every direction. Then he looked up parts at his desk PC …after a few minutes gave me a prognosis.

“No? You can’t fix it?” I asked incredulously.

“No, because the strip the screen is attached to is gone.”

“You mean I have to get a new computer. I bought this two and a half years ago! Never had a PC break like this. Have you seen this before.”

“A couple times. It’s best to open laptops from the middle top and not from both sides…”

“Really? I open it from both sides all the time. But I’ve never dropped it and it’s usually hooked at my desk. I don’t carry it around much.

He shook his head.

“You mean it can’t be fixed and I spent almost a K on this two years ago? He nodded no. I needed a second opinion. So, I headed over to Best Buy.

The young man at Best Buy shook his head too—but offered hope.

“Yes, we see this sometimes with laptops. It starts with malalignment.”

“A few weeks ago my husband noticed that when he opened it up. At first, it was a few pieces and then it just crumbled apart this week,”

“My Toshiba is starting to misalign too,” he gave me a knowing look.

“It would take us 2-3 weeks to order the parts and have it fixed for around $300 the screen ($150) and the hinges ($40-60).

“If you need it quick turnaround go to a mom and pop store.”

 “I need my documents from the PC for the conference…and I will have to use my IPad, which I only use for fun. Ugg. How do I transfer docs to it?”

He ran off and returned with a small box containing a cord that transfer documents to an iPad for around $40.

“Wow, I didn’t even know they made that….if I have google drive can I use the cloud?”

“Oh yeah, that’s a good idea.”

In the meantime, he told me how to download my docs, pics, and videos from the OS drive and I purchased a 64 GB flash drive to save my important content.

“Even if the screen goes out at any time, you can hook it to a monitor and still use the PC part.”

“Oh yes. My husband hooked it up to a monitor for me…Could you walk me through how to save the docs I need onto the flash drive?”

“Sure. Plug in flash 64 gigs. Open yellow folder. OSC drive (flash drive is under OSC)

Users will pop up on the right side column. Click and drop Users to Flash drive.”

Before I left he gave me the # to customer service # of my ASUS. (1-877-339-2787)  “You can call them but don’t expect to get anyone to answer on the other end. If you send it to them, they first send you a box and you send it back. It will take 6-8 weeks turnaround time.”

I headed over to the closest mom and pop, Core Tech, hoping my R2D2 might still be able to attend the conference with me.

After pulling out my sick friend from the pink pouch, along with the black crumble, the slim man in the polo shirt shifted his eyes from the counter to me.

“We only fix Apple”

Silence.

“Oh. Okay.” Pause. “Since I’m here could I ask what you would recommend as the best app to download my docs from this to my iPad on google docs?”

“Do you use Word?”

“Yes”

“Pages is the app they use.”

I began to peruse the app in my iPhone. He noticed.

“You will need your iPad to download the app because it is different for the iPhone, the iPad, and the Macintosh. The apps are all different”

“OH. I’ll wait until I get home to use my iPad.”

I turned the a/c higher to beat the triple digits in my mMazdaand headed over to Tech2U, a franchise computer repair shop.

“The guy at Best Buy said you might be able to fix this in a quicker turnaround than they can.”

I showed him the little black crumble and cradled the screen as it flailed on it’s base.

“Yes we see this all the time.”

“Really? Which computers?”

“All of them. See, they use metal screws and metal hinges. But most laptops use plastic strips to connect them to the screen. Over time the metal screws wear into the plastic holes and what is stronger. Metal is stronger than the strip. So the up and down motion over time…”

“Why don’t they make a metal strip? Stupid. Is my laptop generally a good one?”

“Yes, most laptops are the same. Plastic strips. Except Apple. They use metal.”

He looked at the ASUS logo. “We recommend ASUS and Lenovo for laptops”

“What would it cost to fix it?”

He scanned his work pc. “$150 for the screen. $120 labor, $4 plastic strip.

We order it from SoCal. It takes two business days to get here, then 2 days for us to fix it.”

I felt shaky. “’This feels similar to a car decision. Is this a total or should I put the money in to fix it?”

The man with the pukka necklace smiled. “I get asked that all the time…It’s a personal decision. Are you happy with it? Does it do everything you need it to? Or have there been things you would like it to do, but it doesn’t?”

“It does everything I need it to. I am fond of my R2 and don’t want to learn a new one—it will be hinged. We will work together again—after I return from the conference.”

 

 

 

Knights of the Light, a Star Wars devotional

shield
Knights of the Light

The Jedi knights in the Star Wars films  are brave guardians of the Universe destined by blood lines, they train from youth at the Jedi Academy through the power of the Force to defeat the tyranny of the Dark Side.

Recently while my husband and I watched the series, spiritual parallels surfaced.

In the New Testament Jesus states, “I Am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness…” (John 8:12)

Who is the Prince of Darkness? Satan. Deft at mental warfare, he throws fiery darts of doubt, fear and unbelief to keep us from completing God’s purposes. He intends to stamp out the Light of God’s presence, diminish God’s goodness and benevolence to man and steal the peace and health God gives His people.

Targets of the Dark Side

The Emperor taunts Luke Skywalker to react emotionally when he attempts to do what is right. If Luke reacts in rage, fear or pride, victory is aborted. In the same way Christians daily gird our minds to overcome the Accuser who lurks at every turn. Not until the End of the Age will we be free from Satan’s strategies to sideline us from accomplishing God’s goals.

We are Satan’s targets. He is like a “roaring lion who prowls” (I Peter 5:8) seeking to devour us. We call upon God to warn us internally, by the Spirit’s nudge, to avoid traps and temptations the enemy uses to weaken us.

How the Spirit Leads

Paul, out martyred leader of the faith, aware of his own tendency toward pride taught young believers, “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10)  “In your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord.” (I Peter 3:15)

When we decide to follow Jesus, we experience the force of His love and power of His words. Only then, will we obey what He says instead of what we feel. We trust Him more than ourselves.

When we walk in the Spirit, God may lead us in ways we can’t understand. The Jedi closed their eyes, shook off fear and doubt and let the Force lead them. We must shut off our barrage of thoughts. Stop the anticipation and internal conversation and ask God to lead us, and help us to hear the voice of His Spirit. Often His principles and ways may not sync with our human reason or the timing of those around us.

Those closest to us, even our leaders, can crumble with fear under duress. All can drift from the truth found in the pages of the Book, from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17) We all face dark principalities that seek to undermine humanity and destroy God’s Kingdom. But each of us are equipped with divine spiritual armor.

Saber Lights and Teamwork

Jedi’s pursued the discipline, focus, and skillset to handle their saber lights—amazing laser-like swords which deftly destroy creatures of any composition. The Believer’s sword is the Word of God. To grow strong in their faith and deft with their sword, they must desire to know the Word as a baby craves milk. (1 Peter 2:2)

Unity, teamwork and trust within the Jedi Council is imperative in decision making and a successful mission. Suspicion causes hesitation and can undermine a timely strategy. Guided by the will of God to serve Him and His purposes, we will care for one another and refuse unhealthy competition and pride.

Maturity helps us to share our victories and exalt our Commander. Our motives are transparent, our actions reveal integrity.

Obedience to God’s command to wait or stay, rather than move out of His will provides peace and safety when pricked by darts of restlessness. The discipline of restraint produces composure in anger, reason in conflict, and effort over ease. It creates the character necessary to persevere through crisis and challenge.

  Shield and Helmet

Wear the shield of faith. When we accept His wisdom, and act and speak accordingly, we retain dignity. If others are given assignments we desire, fiery darts of jealousy or self-pity stop when we raise our shield of faith. When we deflect those poisonous darts—the enemy is disabled, unable to sabotage our trust in God and loyalty towards each other with lies, the way the Emperor poisoned Vader toward the Jedi Council.

“Now faith is being certain of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV) Similar to Jedi, each of us are open to attack through our mind. The helmet of salvation safeguards our identity when we are assaulted by thoughts of inadequacy. We belong to the One who has the power. “In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.” (Psalm 89:7 NLT)

We must keep a strong mind when any voice assails our faith. When we are surrounded by unfamiliar people in new territories, we center our spirit by acknowledging the presence of our Master and positioning ourselves to listen.

Time is short—our eyes must rest on the Light of the World, His voice and instruction. Sharpen our sword of truth to forge our destiny as it once did for His disciples in centuries past.

“Go then, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold I am with you ‘all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion) to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” Matthew 28:19,20  Everyday Life Bible

.                                                                              © Dee Aspin

 



 

Framing the Picture with Patience

I am quick to toot the horn at the left turn signal, to my husband’s chagrin, if the person in front of me doesn’t step on their gas pedal around three seconds into green. So I read again recently, The fruit of the Spirit is Patience. (Galatians 5:23)

A fruit of the Spirit? A virtue from God? How many times have any of us had to pray for patience because we have run out? Some people seem to have more than others, but I have noticed it is definitely not in me to be patient too long. Anything longer than 3—3 seconds, 3 days, 3 months… and the three of us have had it… me, myself and I.

God gets that, and so He sprinkles throughout His Word these pinpricking verses as, “The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)  God pricked my conscience with that one once, before I  picked up the phone to call a friend—ripe to complain so they would prod their family member who was behind on a project. Did the verse work? Yes. I stopped myself and prayed for the person instead. In God’s time, the project completed without my help or ill feelings.

Patience is a bitter plan but it bears sweet fruit. There are rewards to patience. Recently, I watched a couple of young athletes impress their viewers as they championed their sport in playoffs.

Patrick Reed was 4th back at the 17th hole in January’s PGA Hyundai Tournament in Maui. “He’s just plodding along patient and steady,” the announcers mentioned as an aside to the other top three contenders at that point on the course. The time came and Reed tied for 1st with Jimmy Walker and plodded on into overtime. He won.

“I tried to stay patient” he said when asked how he felt through course and what he did to get to champion spot.

Later that night during the NCAA championships. the announcer stated the Ohio States sophomore quarterback had to take over the last 3 games of the season after the starting quarterback was injured during playoffs. He had given a remarkable performance and their team won, his talent shining through. How was his game critiqued by announcers?

“He displays patience—rare in a young quarterback. Seasoned vets learn that. You have to be patient enough to wait for the pockets of opportunity to appear as the game goes on. Wait for the receiver to appear that will give you a possiblilty that didn’t exist a second before. Patience makes the difference in a quarterback leading a team to victory.”

No matter what the goal before us the presence of patience is necessary for completion, whether in sports, work or in our personal lives. We must establish our hearts with patience (James 5:8) and continue to rejoice in hope staying patient in tribulation, (Romans 12:12). In other words keep a good positive attitude while we plod along, like the golfer, step by step, or the quarterback, play by play.

We must be patient to wait for God to move in the heart of a spouse, child or friend for goals we are hoping they succeed in. We give grace to ourselves to falter and learn from our mistakes as we learn and grow in becoming more mature and diplomatic individuals. We must be ready to respond with the deeper fruit of patience when opportunities arise to reach personal or relational goals

Patient perseverance reasons not to throw in the towel. Not to give up—drowning in doubt or apathy from ourselves, others or difficult situations. We must speak intelligently to ourselves and not let disappointment turn into discouragement. Instead, let disappoint keep us in the game, change our strategy and polish our performance. What tools can we use? What truth will prevail if we persevere and overcome being battered by impatience?Emotional and mental sobriety are gifts that are given by the Spirit of God as we trust in His ability to work in and through us, others and changing winds.

We want to know the outcomes of life. Of relationships. Of challenges. What will happen?We must be patient and trust God, and as James 1 says, “count it all joy when you encounter various trials….and let patience have its perfect work.

Patience is the frame around the picture. It is the finishing touch to times in life when no one, even ourselves, knows the whole picture and how it will turn out. We are not expected to know the outcomes in life. But we are expected to be patient and use the tools God has given us to move forward day by day responsibly and with trust.

The God who gives patience knows when its time to frame the picture.

 

Bigger than Life; Sherwood Carthen . A Sunday memorandum at Bayside North.

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“He was bigger than life in every way,” this morning Pastor Ray Johnston of Granite Bay Bayside shared the untimely death of fellow pastor Sherwood Carthen of BOSS church. His passing Wednesday saddened many in Sacramento.

The Sacramento Bee honored him and noted his passing left a “grateful city” for the help and encouragement he gave us. Because of his life and legacy, we are a “kinder, healthier, more stable city…we need more people to be like him.” Bishop Carthen touched many beyond family and friends including his church, the Kings (as their chaplain), the Mayor, pastors, the Juvenile Chaplaincy, (he worked with gangs) to mention a few.

Sherwood’s two shining gifts—the “gift of preaching and encouragement” were remarkable as Ray explained.

 I was listening to a CD from his visit a year ago at our church the day before he died. He shared God’s Word and spoke it through the power of the Holy Spirit with application—like no one. Maybe, because as he shared in a clip today, he was a “drug baby.” He was drug to church morning, noon and night by his parents growing up in the south. Of course we, the Bayside congregation, laughed this morning. Sherwood Always made us laugh—not to mention cry and well up with tears or conviction whenever he preached!

He spoke from his heart, his life and his true love for our Savior. Quotes via video of Sherwood talking compelled us to strive, to aim, for excellence –

“The Lord spoke to me; ‘at your best, at your best—at your best, Sherwood—you are a Servant.’”

“I want to hear… well done you good and faithful servant… you were faithful over the few, now I will make you ruler over many… If I do that I will be a success.”

“I just want to be able to say I was the best I could be as a Dad, a Pastor a friend, a Husband….”

The Bayside worship leader explained Bayside’s worship team spent a

week with Sherwood at Mount Hermon this summer. He felt the urgency Sherwood taught, “Pursuing Christ relentlessly.” “Are you pursuing Christ with all you have?” remains his baton phrase.

“On Wednesday, Sherwood changed addresses,” Pastor Ray stated and in the next comment referred to Sherwood’s book, Amen, all by Myself. His quirky phrase visiting white congregations always drew laughter, after a huge point he made in a sermon was followed by—silence!

“Amen, All by Myself,” he would pout {pretend} and mumble into the microphone ‘how hard’ we are to teach!

“He will never be able to say “Amen all by Myself.” He is with the saints now,” Pastor Ray Johnston concluded.

 

The funeral service will be held Friday at Capital Christian Center on Micron Avenue at 10am and will last from 4-6 hours most likely. The Bayside Granite Bay campus will video live stream the funeral for those who would like to drop in and pay respects in a manner their schedule affords beginning at 10am.

A Life Well Lived, Lives On – Coach Wooden, UCLA Legend

Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. John Wooden

The legendary UCLA coach, John Wooden, knew first-hand the potential traps of temptation, pride and competition. He kodaked countless eager-eyed youth riding on basketball scholarships and harboring dreams of playing professionally. He knew the lure of riches and being baited by strangers hoping to profit from their talents in the competitive world of sports.

Prior to the second game of last week’s NBA finals, Bill Walton of the Celtics and Kareem Abdul Jabar of the Lakers who are each in the Hall of Fame, tearfully paid tribute to the strong Christian man who had shaped their lives. The young players destined to learn from him said he was more than a basketball coach—he was a life coach.

Before passing away at 99 years old, Wooden was still bearing fruit in old age. (Psalm 92:14) The fruit of a life planted firmly in the soil of his faith, he spent a lifetime sharing phrases much like Proverbs and popularly referenced as “Woodenisms” as: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

Does this sound familiar? Jesus told the Parable of the Talents instructing his disciples to use their God-given gifts wisely. He wraps the premise if we have been faithful in little we will be faithful in much, with a reward. “You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” (Matt 25:21)

Jesus taught if we are faithful in little, we will be faithful in much. So we practice living conscientious of others, keeping our commitments to visit a sick friend, pay a bill on time, exhibiting basic love and responsibility. We learn to be a team-player, adept at enhancing those around us, not a selfish shooter on a ball court or in the work place.

Wooden relayed the importance of values to his impressionable athletes. “Be more concerned about your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are and your reputation is merely what others think you are.” He followed Christ’s example mentoring young men, not only on the court but in all aspects of life, just as Christ mentored his disciples who eventually turned the world upside down. (Acts 17:6)

True champions live excellence beyond the boundaries of a wood court just as true worshippers honor God in their daily lives—at home, at work, in the grocery store—beyond their church pews.

Athletic champions rise to the occasion when the chips are down, when the pressure is on, when those positioned around them to perform their part crumble. They may hear the cheers or jeers of the crowd, but their focus is on doing their part and doing it right. They think “basics”—solid shots, controlled dribbling, safe passes when tensions are high, the hype is on, and others are looking for quick points by doing crazy things. They trust the wisdom and perspective of their coach.

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics were known to master the fundamentals and excel at their gift. They honed their craft arriving before their teammates for practice and known to leave last. They challenged themselves and prepared for the rigors of the season.

True worshippers respond to crises in life by grounding themselves in the Word of God, and acting with faith. They exhibit perseverance in the face of obstacles, instead of giving up. As Nehemiah sought God in the worst of times and endured the taunts of enemies to rebuild Jerusalem’s’ walls (Neh 4:9), so true worshippers block the ridicule of rivals and keep working to complete their goals. They consider their labor as service for the Lord, and so work with excellence whether others are watching or not. (Col 3:23)

Like Jehoshaphat when surrounded by enemies, they know to position themselves in prayer and move with God. (2 Chronicles 20:12) They practice the basics—trusting in God’s love for them, “Trust in God and His unfailing love (Ps 52:8); trusting Him in all situations, “Trust in the Lord at all times” (Psalm 62:8). After years living as seasoned disciples they agree with Peter, “…the one who trusts in Him, will never be put to shame.” (I Peter 2:6)

If we listen and let His voice lead us, one day when the crowd is gone and our body says it’s time to stop playing the game, we will stand at the Throne of Grace in the courts of the Kingdom of God. And just as John Wooden stands looking into the eyes of his Life Coach today, among an audience of angels, we too will hear those sweet words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21

Link to Coach Wooden: http://www.coachwooden.com/index2.html

OLYMPICS AND LIFE

This week I’ve been watching the Olympics. Inspiring, especially Aksel Svendal, the Norwegian skier who trained back from a broken neck and facial fractures in a 2007 wipeout. Now he’s won 3 gold medals including the giant slalom and conquered the jump that took him out. He is always filmed racing in conjunction with his dad in the stands watching. His dad is jumping, cheering, clapping –feeling every bump in the course Aksel takes. His dad taught him to ski and introduced him to the mountains.

 

Television footage of those mountains reminded me of Norway when I visited at the age of many of these Olympic atheletes. I remember the chilly ferry ride, gazing amazed at the beauty of the fiords winding a path to the small fishing village—the little town of Bergen.

At 24 years old my quiet exterior didn’t convey the inner excitement I felt wth other young hostellers, watching puffs of cold air form with each breath in the land of the Vikings.

 

One evening, even the smell of coffee rising from the warm mug I cradled in my hand mesmerized me. The hot liquid calmed my insides as much as the turtleneck wool sweater and goose down jacket sealed off  the chill around our table. The “closed” sign hung on the door as the manager swept around us. The table where we sat in the small café in Norway.

 

That night I heard the melody again. A hauntingly beautiful piano piece that seemed to float around me wherever I roamed in Europe. The ballad of pour Adeline, by touring popular pianist Richard Clayderman, was the rave of the mainland. Try as I might, it was never my destiny to see him on tour. I planned then that this lovely song would be in my wedding. Wedding?.

 

Fast forward. Three years ago, after a time of worship at my church, moved with a mix of wonder and disappointment, memories and musings. The café in Norway. The tranquility then and there, amidst recent challenges here and now. I spoke to God, my Father.

 

Long  Ago and Far Away

 

Sitting at that Café

Young and In Norway

My hopes were

So alive, so strong.

You never told me

It would be

So long.

But looking back now

I would have

Asked, “How?”

And you already knew

I would have asked you “Why?”

And then,

I would have tried

To live without your grace

For today.

I had to live and learn

That You are.

That grace is…

The Way.

That life flows

Like Grandma’s prose

“One day at a time, sweet Jesus,

One day at a time.”

 

From seasoned mountain trekkers of life, like me, to young ski racers like Aksel, strength and victory in life come by taking the next step on the next day. Setbacks start young as Aksel's injury relays. All of us face adversity on our journey. No matter if our trial is new or one we are familiar with, we are always in the process of moving forward in small steps or large.

 

 Svendal, did the best he could with what he had in spite of what he lost from his injury. So must we. He came back and won the gold. He hoped and pressed on, as we do in our daily lives, with resolve and resiliency from the tragedies to the triumphs.

 

We trust God each today well lived produces a life of purpose and character because of the trials. He is our coach and He is our Father, just like Aksel's dad. Our Fathers eyes never leave us as we negotiate the dangerous turns and ruts on our course of life heading toward the finish line. The disappointments and injuries. He is always with us, just as Aksel's father so visibly supports him.

 

We know that if we follow the course laid out for us, heeding His instructions, applying what we've been taught, we will complete our race. He will cheer us on; He has a stake in our lives. We belong to him. He is with us in Spirit all the way through to the finish line. And we will each have a reward for crossing. For finishing our course. A gold medal we can carry into eternity. That no man can take away.

 

 Let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us.

“An athelete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that will never disappear.” I Corinth 9:25

 

.

 

 

Economy and Sovereignty

I am shuffling through the book, Candles in the Dark by Amy Carmichael. this morning she logged (they didn’t have blogs in those days) she noticed Paul when bound by chains in Nero’s dungeon as his prisoner, never referred to himself that way. Not once did he mention being a prisoner of Nero. He only referred to God’s sovereignty in those times. So I read this former writing posted again this morning concerning our times (relayed by a friend last year) with yet more perspective:

 

“Some of Mary’s girlfriends, who are all career twenties, were telling her they feel like we are in the end times. I was reading the pamphlet our church is sponsoring “Praying for the Success of the Gospel,” and there I found that in 1837 the burning issues of the day were slavery, unemployment, failed banks, closed factories, bankrupt railroads, and civil war seemed unavoidable.

At this time many preachers were predicting the end of the world was near.
History continues to run in cycles. God continues to rule heaven and earth until He puts all His enemies under his foot. And until He brings all of the redeemed into the family of God then He will return and then the final judgment. We can continue to trust and obey, for there’s no other way…”

 

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40;28

Goodbye MJ

Listening to Ben and Michael Jackson nostalgia music. Reading comments today makes me sad again for MJ. I was in elementary school when I saw the Jackson Five on the Ed Sullivan show singing Ben.

Later we saw the movie with the song about the rat.The sweet words and melody stayed with me for years. It is still my favorite song MJ sings. I named my little dog Benjamin Sterling with that song in mind. Today I'm listening to some of my favorite songs after reading many comments and heartfelt messages from his fans. Last week I was too busy to give the time I wanted to and think about his life a bit. His music has followed us Boomers down through the years.

How times have we danced to the music the DJ's have played through the years?

LIstening to the music and lyrics to Ben, hauntingly beautiful seem sadly prophetic…

"With a friend to call my own I'll never be alone…"  

He wrote other songs with Alone in the title. A theme in life, "leave me alone", "You're not alone"  other songs as he moved through the decades escaping people and ploys that surround the wealth and fame of someone of his magnitude.

"If you ever look behind and don't like what you find"

Certainly an issue since his hermitage after the trials and ignominy of recent years

"Most people would turn you away, I don't listen to a word they say"

The loyal fanbase he built worldwide that relate to his abusive childhood and are angered by those who charged him with illegal acts these later years to even consider he could bring harm to anyone. 

His child voice incredibly strong and lilting in the melody background harmony by his brothers..I wonder if he had a friend in his brothers? Where was his family when he was alone in that decrepid mansion? Was he so ill he kept others away?

"They don't see you as I do, I wish they would try to.."

Always trying to appear outwardly - What? What was he looking for in his appearance? It became painful for so many of us to watch him alter his looks. At the end 107 pounds on a 6 foot frame. My neighbor asking me questions, so concerned with his death; another friend told me she regularly prayed for him those last few years.

 We could all see he was dying and in emotional pain. I truly pray he met the King of Kings and knew his friendship, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Heb 13:5, the friend that sticks closer than a brother, the Savior who forgives the bramble of our past, and clears a way to a bright future with HIm, in a place where our Heavenly Father has mansions far surpassing Neverland. Where peace is the order of the day through the love and security of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.  RIP MJ was the predominant wish from many …and me too…

PGA OPEN – Glover wins slow and steady

Today I watched the last three holes of the 109th
US Open Golf Championships. The final four players, Lucas Glover, Ricky Barnes,
David Duvall and Nick Mickolodean. It was a first for me. The first time I've
ever been seriously interested in golf, one of the slowest games on the planet.

is because it was the 16th, 17th and 18th holes and each point counted so dear.
The pressure was on.

I loved hearing the perspectives from each of the four players, the winner and
three losers, all interpreting their final outcome through different eyes and
life experiences leading up to today.
Today I could appreciate the pressure of each player in their final 3 rounds
and how they felt. Why now?

 Simply because not only did the commentator give a brief description of
each player, thier life, their thoughts comments before and during the
tournament, but also by describing to the audience what it feels like to be
close to winning. The pressure each player deals with in words I could
envision.

He described the players hands wrapping around the golf club and the pressure
of each shot when millions are watching and the stakes are high.

“Your hands feel
like porcupine quills.”

“Every cell in your
body is at rocket mode. It’s hard to describe what your body is doing… This is
why experience helps. You know how your body reacts and what to expect.

“This is the
ultimate test.”

 

As the commentators waited for Lucas Glover to make another
drive, or hit another putt to keep the lead they wondered aloud how this
first-time US Open PGA contender would do.

Can he perform
under pressure?  asked commentator Gary.

 “We’ll see
Gary," stated the other commentator

Then came a long
pause with the statement,“I’m nervous.”

 

I have watched my
dad head into another room if the tension and trials during the last minutes of
a game make him too nervous to watch his favorite team lose or win.

 

So I left today's
victory talk feeling much closer to the players than I ever have and tuned into
their lives. I was glad the underdog, Glover rose to the occasion and showed us
his talent. His ability to wait for the wind to die down before he took the
shot at the 17th. To wait and flip through his play book to make another
"intelligent shot."

 

His calm and
"classy" demeanor as a polite Southern gentleman throughout the
tournament which would mark him as a "good representative for the US"
in the next big tournaments to follow.

 

In his acceptance
speech he said, "It was a test of patience. It was just hard out there
today."

 

Such is life. May
we all become better at the trials of life in our daily rounds of living as we
ponder the attitude and victory moves of a “classy champion” like Glover.  And as he alluded, “something was working for
me,” may we declare in all our trials, “He is with us not against us; He is
backing us up.”

 

For we have a King
and a Kingdom to represent too.

 

 


 

Play it Again

Some times the same message revolves through life like the wind pulling all kinds of twigs and branches down along the lawn and driveway. Different twigs than the ones I picked up an hour ago- and the same ones, really.

"Please keep the crumbs off the counter," I've asked many a roomie politely. But with the best of intentions, invariably I'm wiping them off again. Why? What's important to another is not important to us. And sometimes, the other …is God. ( With all reverence.)

Friday my DLS gave up the ghost. What is Life without internet around my house? Well, my Dad left Easter Sunday early. He brought his laptop and couldn't connect to the wireless for something he Planned to do at 6pm. Se le ve. He had a hard time getting on the web seminar he had booked at his house too.

 "I wish I had stayed," he told me Monday morning.

"Now I'm going to be even further behind with all my social internet connections and sending out projects and ….were the first panicky thoughts when the calm DSL help line attendant surmised after some simple diagnostics, "You'll need to come in and pick up a new Comtrend…Monday. How should I feel about this horrible news?

"Let it go" came that inside voice. I felt it must have been similar to how the Israelites must have felt when God said, "In the height of the harvest- you must rest."

And then today someone asked me "Did you use Twitter this weekend? A bad virus hit it on Saturday."

Wow, I thought to myself. thank God my DSL went out.

And so today I'm posting late. My new Comtrend sparkling…after I just put the garbage cans out and spent time cleaning up dry pine needles trailing the gutter in front of my house. My neighbors gutter has looked spotless all week, unlike mine, even though the pine needles are from their trees.

 But today, I'm not complaining. I'm thankful for the trees that loom high above my head. And thankful that God's ways are higher than mine and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.(Isaiah 55:9) 

 Hopefully we will learn more about His thoughts and His ways this very day in some small or large way.