Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Me Maw

I wrote this tribute to my mom and women is my life who have been like my mom to me when I lived on my own (Mother's Day 2010).

To The Women... 

To the woman who gave me birth,
thank you for carrying me and caring for me.

To the woman who raised me, dotted on me, dressed me and encouraged me to grow, 
thank you for loving me.

To the woman who nurtured the teacher, artist, and adventurer in me, 
thank you for helping me mature into a woman.

To the woman who over the years has helped me grow spiritually and taught me the value of prayer,
thank you for sharing your deep faith and love in Christ.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Door

In life and in one's daily living you have to shut doors.  If you think about it, one shuts doors for as many different reasons as one opens doors.

Some doors we shut for safety to keep intruders and dangerous people out and some doors we shut for space, a retreat from the noise, into a quiet space.  We open doors to get fresh air.  We open doors inviting people in for sharing life, goodies, and fun.  

Are there doors in one's life that are open, that need shut?  Are there doors in one's life, that need opened?  Are there doors you just pass by without giving much thought too at all?

What influences someone to open a door or close a door?  Is it a choice from within or influences from without?
Copyright free photograph.

Some doors you cannot tell if they are opening or closing.  Some doors are squeaky and others are silent in manner and appearance.

Oil is a good thing; it keeps the hinges working properly.  Is your door well-built and lubricated with a good oil?

People come and go in our lives for better or worse.  We ultimately have the power to open the door or shut it.

Snap judgments, snatching doors open, slamming doors shut is damaging.  Repairs cannot always be made.  Some repairs are costly.

There are great books, web sites, and even a few posters that share the beauty of doors.

Doors are fascinating, functioning, and fabulous works of art.

Do you appreciate doors?

I hope you are inspired to think about them a little differently.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What is missing in this photo?


What is missing in this photo? It is somewhat like, where is Waldo? Tie on the blue shirt, in case you missed it.  

I have a thing for men in crisp shirts and ties.  I do not know what the meaning is behind liking ties.  I have always liked ties and tying ties.  I loved tying my dad’s ties as a kid. 

I like going shopping for ties.  I like tie displays.  There used to be a tie store at Station Square Mall in downtown Pittsburgh along the waterfront that was the cat’s meow of tie stores!  We are talking hundreds of brightly colored ties, every hue in the color wheel and design known to man.

Once, on a vacation, I found an old bookstore with old tie holders displaying ties and I thought, WOW!  Here are two of my favorite things: old books and ties.  I read all afternoon in an old chair, surrounded by colorful ties, and old books.  It was like being in heaven.

Recently, helping out one of my cousins return items to several stores, I ran across this display of shirts and ties and had to take a picture or two.  They have great displays of ties and shirts, and this one caught my eye.

Do you see it now?  Look in the upper right hand corner.

One lonely shirt without a tie, it looks a little out of sorts, so I found a tie to match. What can I say?  There is just something about a man in a crisp shirt and tie that makes me go weak in the knees. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Setup, The Players, The Game, Set, and Match

Did you ever watch or play tennis?  It is a great game!  I do not watch it as much as I once did.  I enjoyed watching the game usually on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.  I played it a little, just for fun and companionship.

A lot of detail went into setting up the matches.  Like where the game is played.  What type of court, clay or grass?  The requirements for being a contestant in the match checked.  With every game, the players changed.  Older players retire and new talent recruited through the ranks of the amateur circuit.

The game has rules.  It is a skilled endeavor.  Talent (some people have a gift or talent they are not in full control over), strength, and especially endurance all account towards ones potential for success.  The ability to serve, backhand, and maneuver quickly on ones feet is crucial to getting the kill shot or final serve(score) for the match.

A few players who I thought were playing for fun, but really were competitive have hit me.  Some players have very interesting temperaments; you wonder why they are in the game in the first place.  What motivates some players? Moreover, what game are they playing is a mystery (outer darkness).

Professional players are much more skilled at the game.  They are not as much fun to play with for leisure.     Some players are aware of their motivations and others are just practicing what they have been taught or told to do.  There are cruel players (people) who only see the sport and do not consider who they are playing with or even know the reason why they are playing a particular game.  Some players just enjoy life and are not that concerned for the game, the set, or even winning the match at all costs, but wanting companionship and fun.

Each set within the game has limitations that changes the serve and points awarded.  The line judges call the balls in or out depending, if they are on the line, before the line, or after the line in play.  The net judge has the final call.  He sits high in a chair with the microphone.

Each player, plays to his best ability.  The level of skill of the players, field of play, psychology of the athletes, and the environment or atmosphere all come into play, as well as, the line judges, the net judge, ball persons, and even the crowd gathered have to a degree, influence on the game.  
I did not play the game much, although I practiced the game for companionship and fun.  No hard hitting or ruthless gaming as some like to make it out to be.  I am not that much into sport for sport.  I do not play at all now and wonder why some are still playing.

With the new players, it is a different game these days.  They do not follow the rules and they constantly push boundaries.  Denying, breaking and changing the rules while in play.  Even the judges seem persuaded at times to fix things.  

I liked the game when you knew the players.  You appreciated each player for what she/he brought to the stadium and played accordingly to his or her best abilities.  No one wants to get hurt.  Some players do not know when to stop.
They change the game to fit their own preconceived notion of what they want. They are usually poor sports, looking for "one up man ship."  They rarely look inward.  Only seeing what they desire and consumed by sport.

Tennis, like life can be fun.  When terms of engagement are skewed, the game loses value and is not fun for everyone.  When the game is played by constants, it is more fun.  Rules can and often change.  When you change the rules everyone need to be aware of the rules.  Not everyone wants to play professionally or even enter the amateur circuit.  There are single matches, doubles, mixed doubles, and other arrangements.

No one should be played with or be forced to play with those they are not interested in playing by the rules by all.  Sincere apologies for poor sportsmanship is welcome and deeply appreciated.  Especially when the foul was first called on the player in violation by the line judge who cried, OUT!

What game are you playing?  I do not think it is a sanctioned tennis match.  The net judge may have to be called and then the entire event venue has to be examined, along with several of the last places of play because there is a string being strung on account of bad play, poor record keeping or the fixing of prior games to save face of the whole system.  False allegations without investigation make for poor rulings and everyone suffers.  The player (victim) and the bystanders are blindsided and caused pain because a gang must have vengeance.  No one enjoys a match or game that violates the rules of conduct.  People leave the field and the stadium by the droves.  The event organizers wonder as to why all of a sudden disaster strikes, but they cannot see beyond their rage to see they crushed an innocent player in a stampede they caused in the first place because of not following their own rules to seek the truth first and then justice, doing right by all.  

Games like tennis have an end, like in life.  There is a last point served.  The match is called.  The game is over.  We remember some of the players, for their talent, for their skill, and others for their conduct during play.  The net judge from his viewpoint high above it all knows the truth and the important participant in the game.

Nevertheless, like in other aspects of life there comes a time to hang up the tennis shoes, put away the racket, and walk away.

The last serve has left the server's generous hand.  The ball is in the air.

A tie game would be nice in this match, especially since both sides where possibly doing their best service and gave it their all.  Errors on both sides, not communicating clearly, cost all players very much.

Game over.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Believe in Christ, He Is The Catalyst For Change

We are all a work in progress.  Change is possible in Christ.

Christ came because He, like His Father, believed that everything He created is good.  He died for His Bride the Church.  Our hope, faith, and love is like a three strung cord; strong, dependable, and unfailing.

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8  

One day we will see Him face to face.  For now we see only let your light shine before men.  It makes it easier for all on the narrow path.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Enjoy A Break From Your Labors

Can you picture yourself at the beach?  You don't have to be 'Ocean Side' to enjoy a great beach.  The Great Lakes are Great!  Even some state parks and county lakes have beaches.  Check out the following  Keystone State ParkRaystown Lake, and of course Prince Gallitzin State Park have many good spots to visit.  If you can get away that's great.  If you can't get out of town take a moment to visualize yourself in a beach chair looking out over this beach scene.  Have a Relaxing Labor Day Weekend.