August 1

Well I skipped July again. The only thing I did  exciting was catch one large mouth bass from a pond. 3 hours of fishing. One fish.  But it was the first fish in Arkansas that I have caught in years.

Today is the 16 anniversary of my son Marc passing away. I won’t go into details but it was from cancer and it was very hard on family and friends.  It is very easy to remember the good things about Marc.  His ear to ear smile. His bounce in his walk and his very funny humor. Marc never was mean but he did like to pull pranks sometimes at others expense.  He toilet tissued  our neighbors trees one time then he tried to push it on some one else. Well we had no proof but I knew the person he blamed wouldn’t do it without help.  He was very good at sports. Any he played he seemed to excel in. T ball through Little League. He made several all star teams. He was even better at basketball. He had an excellent shot and was quick enough to play good defense. It was early on that step dad was out of his league.  His later years he played some basketball but loved golf even more. I cannot say how good he was because he never played in competition. He played against the course and himself as golf should be played.  I would play that also and had even less of a chance of beating him.  In fact if I beat any of his friends I was very happy. Yes I did keep my exuberance in check.

The most amazing about Marc was his inner strength. Oh, it was shown at times in ball games and other things that had happened in life, but it was his bout with cancer that it  shown like a beacon. From the very beginning he had strength that came through. We all had high hopes at first and we all thought it would go away. But as time wore on instead of letting it get him down to depression he was always ready to tackle any problem that arose. Now I won’t say he never got sad. He did, but what 14 or 15 year old wouldn’t. His amazing attitude never stayed sad. He was always fighting, smiling and good to people.

The world lost a very special person that day. I lost a very special son.  But the only thing that helps now is the FACT I know he is with Jesus waiting for us to join him.

I have shed a few tears writing this I am not ashamed to say. It has been a while since I have expressed my feelings about him.I miss him a lot. Thanks  Ben C.

When I look in the mirror

When I look in a Mirror who do I see? Do I really see me? Where did I go? Does my belly really have to show? The gray I can see but the hair where did it flee. When I look in a mirror is that really me.

My poem will be short because it was harder than I thought, to rhyme words, see my brain is shot. Every one changes and we all can’t do what we did 20, 30 years ago. I can’t do what I did 10 years ago.  Does this make me sad? Sure it does some but I know I can’t do anything about it. So like most I have to adjust. I have to drive the 1/4 mile to the post office instead of walk. I take more pills than I ever thought I would. But if you look at it differently that is only a small part of a person. Yes an important part but I think the other 2 are more important. What am I talking about , Body, Mind, and Soul or Spirit. We all have seen the pics or words telling how we came not able to take care of ourselves and we may leave the same way. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t really like it but there is absolutely nothing I or you can do about it. Whether we live to 65 or 105 , whether we can drive when we reach 90 or talk at 80 doesn’t really mean anything.  That is the course we have been given.

I have seen some things on Facebook about how we should or shouldn’t live our lives. The one where the lady did every thing right in her life but got all these thing that you think she would  never get. Then the old man that ate bacon and butter all his life and lived to be 90.  The moral is live your life to the fullest while you can. But that isn’t true. We should all lead full lives but this moral is more like Eat, Drink and be Merry for tomorrow you may die. That is stupidity. This is in Luke about the rich fool. 16-21

6Then He told them a parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundance. 17So he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and will build bigger ones, and there I will store up all my grain and my goods. 19Then I will say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?’

21This is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Or the scriptures in Mathew about worrying. 6:25-34. These passages aren’t saying to be care free and do as you wish or how your friends act. They say depend on the Lord. Then no matter how your body is when you get to be 63, like I have, that is only a physical and the physical is dying. . The mind can always grow and be expanded. Yes I know people that have dementia. But they still have the spirit. Jesus is what makes the spirit grow. Always from the day we accept Him as Lord. Whether it be 5, 17, or 85. We can grow in Jesus. Whether our bodies are only a shell of what they were in our youth or our minds can’t remember this morning, our spirits grow. Do I have proof, no, but I have faith. I have faith to trust in the Father that He is always with us. I have faith that when we are gone we will be changed.  We will have bodies and minds that will never decay.  Sorry too long but I really felt the need to share.    BEN C.  Please feel free to comment.

WE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER.

We have gathered together, what do you think of, when you hear those words? Is it a wedding, yours or some one close? Is it something else, a birthday celebration or a baptism.  It might even be a funeral.  How about we are gathered together to celebrate life? Does it change anything? This isn’t a running down on how, or how we use those words but for me it has struck a chord deep inside of me. I have said before that I am very emotional. At the drop of a hat I can be happy or sad.

We come here small, helpless, and totally in some ones care. Hopefully that some one has given us love from the very start. It is true we may get that way in the later stages of life.  Hopefully then we will still receive that love and care we need.

I went to a funeral today. usually they don’t bother me that much. I didn’t know Lacey all that well but I am good friends with his parents. Lacey was 37 and had Huntington’s Disease. He was a very strong, happy, person that showed every one the simple things of God and life. Like I said, I don’t think it was his passing that made me so emotional today[ I shed a few tears] it was seeing my close friends there and remembering that we were all young, getting married and looking forward in life. Don’t get me wrong, no one was negative and I am trying not to be but we are coming to the stage where weddings of our children and seeing grand children are upon us. All great and wonderful things. But the last time I heard the words “we are here to celebrate life” was at another funeral. I just miss the days of weddings and parties where we all had joy in our hearts and we weren’t together to review old times, but was making those times.

Yes, death is a part of life. It is a reality we all have to deal with. We all have lost close relatives, friends and associates. You would think we could get used to the idea. But for a reason unknown to me, it will always be hard no matter how hard we try to celebrate life, or how many we attend. Maybe God is letting us know that we are fragile beings and life can be very short. That is a very good reason to know Him as Savior and Lord.

Tears are being shed all around but there is a celebration going on too.

We struggle with the reason why, while the one we lost is being told why.

We come to celebrate life or we try hard to do so. But the one we lost is at the table having a feast.

We dress sometimes in dark colors while there is nothing but light where they are.

We go home and feel the loss may not be going away, while they are telling God how we blessed them and the love we gave.

We want the day to set but sleep is hard to do while they receive energy that will last forever.

We go along day by day,our hearts at last feel not so heavy, while they are greeting with happy smiles the next loved ones to enjoy the good news.

Yes, death is a part of life that is true. But life does not have to end but forever it shine.

No, none of this did rhyme but I will try harder next time.

Eat with Family.

I recently saw a video of British families. The adults and the children were separated and asked the same question.  If you could have dinner with any one who would it be with, dead or alive.   Well the answers varied in a large way of course for the adults. Paul Hogan, Jimmy Hendrix, to Bob Hope. There were 6 families on the video.  Then the kids were brought out. The adults were able to see the children’s answer but they were not out there with them.  As far as I know they never saw the adult answers. Some said right off that they wanted to eat with mom and dad. Those that hesitated and thought for several seconds said mom and dad. Each parent was shocked.  Some cried, others just smiled real big.

I was brought up in a large family. 6 kids. 5 were at the dinner table for many years. My oldest sister was married by the time my little brother was born. Supper time was the big meal for us.  My mother did most of the cooking but my sisters began helping at a young age. We never had a large table so with the parents and kids at the table it was a squeeze. I loved it. I don’t remember any one time or what we always talked about but it was a time of being one and a time we knew we were loved. Fried chicken, hamburger gravy, stew, and chili. It was all good.I don’t know when it happened but I know it was after my sisters were married and my oldest brother was out of the house, but we soon seemed to have more and more suppers in front of the tv.  I don’t remember complaining about but I do know that I missed those time around the table. Did I complain, no, so I have no excuse.

I don’t know if families stop to have suppers around the table now or not.  I am sure it does happen but families are so busy now that I wonder if they realize what they are missing.  They have many reasons and none of them are bad but I don’t think the parents know what is being missed. Do you have to have your 5 year old in kiddie soccer, or  T ball.  What I hear a lot is every child does it. But I don’t think the kids care. The parents do it for 2 main reasons. They want a child to get an early push in sports so they will be good some day. Others do it because their friends do it.  Believe me mom and dad your child wants to be with you. If this sounds like I am against sports for children it truly isn’t. When the child is old enough to know where all the bases are and are more interested in playing ball than picking flowers or butterflies then go ahead. Also when games and practice gets in the way of eating meals together then you had better make sure your children get parents time. And that isn’t in left field for 5 innings.

Now I am not getting on any ones case. I will not ask whether or not you eat supper with your children. It isn’t my business. But your children will be glad when you have those special meals together even if they don’t know it.  Well I have said my peace. Send a comment if you want, I always welcome them.

Ben C.

Mish Mash

Well it is past April 15. I hope every one got their taxes done and have lots of refund to use.  I did get some back but I used it already. Easy come easy go.

Today is Sunday the 17th of April. The middle of the month and the day I try to write this commentary to myself. You would think it would be easy but this isn’t a diary but a note to myself to what I think is important. Not every month do I expect parables like the Gray Mouse That Couldn’t. I am still sharing that and if you haven’t read it please do. It is copied 3 times but that was not on purpose.  We had a mish mash at church today also. Several people spoke. It was all good and worthwhile. In fact one or two will have to finish next week or soon there after. I got to say goodbye to my friend Ryan Helmer. He is moving to Southern California to be near his girl friend.  If that isn’t love nothing is. He and his brother Alan are two of my favorites.

April is also the month Britain’s Got Talent is happening on youtube. I have said so in the past but I like it more than America’s Got Talent because the US show the judges try to make themselves the stars.  Now and again the judges in Britain will do something stupid but they rarely distract from the show.  I haven’t seen much of this years acts but the 3 I have seen were quite good.They make me happy and blesses me a lot more than I even thought it ever would.

April is the start of Baseball, end of Basketball,  The Masters Golf tournament, as well as the beginning of the Hockey play offs. I don’t do the NBA anymore so they don’t count. It also means the Naturals are back in Springdale.  I haven’t seen a game yet but they seem to be struggling again. Doesn’t matter, I will go any how. I will take Hannah, my daughter, to a game this month and will go on my birthday and I hope July 4th.

I really don’t know how to put this into words. I am a very emotional person. I laugh and cry very easily.  It used to bother me, a lot, but God has said I am not a mistake, any of me. Lately I have been listening to music, all kinds, and I just well up in tears. Not sad tears but I am special to God tears.  I try to praise Him and thank Him for where I am and who I am. I have been getting that way a lot lately. Some it is just the music it self. Strong but yet sentimental tunes. But still they are not Christian by a long ways. I am so glad my mother gave the appreciation for music. My family is not talented for the most part in the music areas.  Tim does sing his rock and roll and play a mean guitar. Sue has a great voice. I have no idea about Max or Tom. Janice and I are not singers and I am the worst.  I play a mean CD or Pandora and that is about it. But all my childhood I was surrounded by music.  My mother had a beautiful voice. I grew up with Roy Rogers old musicals as well as the 30s and 40s musicals of Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller .  A wide variety and that is what I still listen to.  I am not into rock today.  I lost that ear in the 90s but every once in a while there will be something I like.  Movie themes of today and yester years I play a lot also. From Henry Mancini to John Williams..

Time to quit. My fingers are aching. Maybe more later.  Ben C.  Feel free to comment.

Time again

I don’t know if I am running out of new ideas or I am getting tired of the old ones. Politics is getting old and tiresome. I have done Easter several times. Now I love Easter or Resurrection Sunday but my ideas are coming slow to present something new.  This past Sunday was special though. As always Pastor Flack had a good teaching on how we should treat Easter.  New beginnings and new hope, new vision. I have said it several times now, I love that church. The people in it and the direction it is pointed. It makes my life real and not like things are over my head or hearing a good story for the hundreth time.

It was also special because my good friends Laura and Rob had me over for dinner.  Now for those uneducated people that is also called supper. Dinner has  more of a holiday ring to it. Steaks off the grill, great conversation and two of the children to round out the night. Great time.

While am writing this I am listening to Pandora Radio. First song was Baby Elephant walk by Mancini. Now I have Floyd Cramer  Sweet Dreams.  Great music to write by.

I have thought a lot about new beginnings and how that affects me. I am 62, poor, and not as healthy as I want to be. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is my provider and He has always come through for me.  But even I should have new things ahead of me. My problem is that I wish I could or would do a lot of things. But most of what I want is not really anything worth while.  They are not bad things but a Godly vision or a new beginning should be something that will improve me and help others. At least that is the way I see it. It will take some self debating and inquiries with friends along the way.

The weather is warming and it is about time to get out the fishing gear, This year I plan on doing a lot more than in the past. To much time spent on this machine.  Money will be tight this summer but I hope to see the Naturals at least once a month. They play on my birthday and July 4th. Two I plan on.

I want to leave you with this. No matter your political persuasion do you think we are better off now than we were in the past.  I am not talking things. Is America a better place.  You don’t have to comment on that. I just want you to think about it. If you have read this in the past you know my answer.

Good night,    Ben C.