Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Grandmother...

We just got news that my Grandmother Maria Vidal has passed. She is with the Lord and no longer suffering from the ailments of being 96 years old.

I got to spend time with her in January. She was already blind and needed to use a wheelchair. My mother got to spend three months caring for her, even though she had just gotten done caring for my father for so many years.

My aunt Herlinda has had my grandmother in her house for so many years. She has seven sons and one daughter and is a single parent. If I could, I would bring her to the US and spoil her rotten.

Mom has decided not to go to Peru at this time. I know she loves and misses her mom. But she believes that the money she would spend to get there, would be better spent on her burial expenses.

The thought of having more loved ones in heaven is something I never put much attention to. But I rejoice at the thought of having "my posse" grow for the time that I will see them again.

Take the time to make the connections with your loved ones. Be kind to them and let them know that you love them. It is so unfortunate that we wait for the bad times to appreciate what we have.

God Bless to you and your loved ones.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning...

Dear Lord,

I have wanted to talk to you all day...

You see I wish I could start today all over.

My heart is so heavy with dirt, grime, and anger.

My mind wanders and I can't seem to keep to the task at hand.

The tears threaten to fall and all I long for is your peace.

Your promise that You will not give me more than I can handle...

and yet it feels like that today is the day that You didn't come through.

I know it isn't You that is failing me, but me failing you.

And when I fail You, I tend to fail the others around me.

Help me take the focus off myself and put it all on You.

Help me take the garbage from my heart and put You there instead.

Help me to be the best I can be at all my jobs.

Help me let You shine through me like a clean vessel of light.

In your Son's name,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Today's Truth
"Love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

Friend to Friend
A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in homespun, thread bare clothes, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly into the Harvard University President's outer office where they had no appointment. The secretary could tell with one glance that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge. She frowned. "We want to see the president," the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied.

For hours, the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't and the secretary grew more angry and frustrated by the moment. Finally, with great hesitation, she decided to disturb the president. "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll leave," she told him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard and was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed so my husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus." The president wasn't touched. In fact, he was shocked. "Madam," he said, gruffly, "we can't put up a statue for every person who has attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery." "Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard." The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit and then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven-and-a-half million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard." For a moment, the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now.

The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?" Her husband nodded. The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

I wonder how many blessings we miss because we are quick to judge and slow to love. It may surprise you to know that God does not love us because we are so lovable. God loves us because He is love! We all long for someone who will love us just as we are, but wonder if such a love even exists and if it does, is it available to us. Unconditional love does exist and it is available to each one of us - just as we are - through Jesus Christ.

God's love is a gift. It is neither earned nor deserved. Just as with any gift from God, His love is not only given for our benefit but for us to share as well. When we experience the love of God, He then calls us to love like He loves and teaches us how to celebrate the differences in each other instead of insisting that people change. There must be a thread of elasticity running through the very fiber of every relationship - especially our relationships with difficult people. The truth is that those who deserve love the least need love the most. Just as we cannot allow others to define us, we must stop trying to control, change and define others.

Let's Pray

Father, forgive my arrogance when I judge others. I want to learn how to celebrate the differences in others instead of trying to shape them into something I find pleasing. Forgive my impatience when someone does not "measure up" to my standards and then forgive me for even having a standard by which to love and accept others. You love and accept me -- just as I am. Thank You, Father. Please help me see others as You see them and love them as You love them.
In Jesus' name,

Now It's Your Turn

Remember a time when someone wrongly judged you. How did their attitude make you feel?

Read Luke 6:37 carefully. What are the consequences when we judge others? When we condemn others? What does this verse promise when we choose to forgive others?
Take a few minutes to think about the people in your life -- at home, at work, in your neighborhood. Do you ever judge them? Why? On what basis? How do you think God would evaluate your attitude toward these people and how does it line up with the attitude God wants us to have?

Are you willing to love the unlovable, accept the unacceptable and forgive the unforgivable? Remember, Jesus has already done that in your life and in mine.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I'm an old person at heart. I really am! I love old movies, old music and goofy things like Readers Digest.

This month I read a blurb on Suzy Welch (wife of Jack Welch) and a book she has out. Just the blurb has me thinking so I thought I would share.

Editorial Reviews
"This eloquent, witty, intelligent book is a triumph on several levels. Not only does it provide insightful and instructive lessons for making personal decisions but the intimate life stories illustrating Suzy Welch's decision-making process are endlessly absorbing, captivating the reader's interest from start to finish."-- Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals

"Suzy Welch sparkles with brilliant ideas. In 10-10-10 she offers a profound, easy-to-apply tool for making tough decisions simple, finding clarity amid life's confusions. If you're wondering what to do, which path to follow at the fork, whether to stay or leave -- no matter what it may be -- 10-10-10 will help you find your way."-- Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

Product Description

Any choice you make -

any decision -

will benefit from


We all want to lead a life of our own making. But in today's accelerated world, with its competing priorities, information overload, and confounding options, we can easily find ourselves steered by impulse, stress, or expedience. Are our decisions the right ones? Or are we being governed, time and time again, and against our best intentions, by the demands of the moment?

A transformative new approach to decision making, 10-10-10 is a tool for reclaiming your life at home, in love, and at work. The process is clear, straightforward, and transparent. In fact, when you're facing a dilemma, all it takes to begin are three questions: What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes?

In 10 months? And in 10 years?

Sound simple? Not quite. Recounting poignant stories from her own life and the lives of many other dedicated 10-10-10 users, Suzy Welch reveals how exploring the impact of our decisions in multiple time frames invariably surfaces our unconscious agendas, fears, needs, and desires -- and ultimately helps us identify and live according to our deepest goals and values.

10-10-10's applicability is uniquely broad. Whether it is used by college students or busy mothers or senior business executives, artists, government administrators, or entrepreneurs, 10-10-10 has shown its effectiveness in decisions large and small, routine and radical, consistently changing lives for the better.

Readers of O magazine discovered this pragmatic and innovative idea when Suzy Welch first introduced it in her column. Now, in this immensely useful and revelatory book, she fully explains the power of 10-10-10, a transformative idea that can replace chaos with consistency, guilt with joy, and confusion with clarity.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I am writing you from Clarion, PA. We are on our way to Lake Champion and pulled over for the night. We are at a Holiday Inn and are over halfway to our destination so we plan to take advantage of the 12pm checkout tomorrow morning.

The hotel is full of taxidermists and another convention of people wearing Hawaiian shirts and leis. The restaurant got moved a small conference room and if it wasn't for the fact that kids eat free, we would probably be at Applebee's down the road! :)

It is so awesome to get away from your real life. The drive has been full of sunshine and the kids have been good.

We plan to hit the pool after dinner and just veg.

Life is good!