Lessons from the Toddler Whisperer

Another summer with the toddlers has closed for the Toddler Whisperer. Since I never had children of my own I get my grandfather fix during the summer months. More firsts were encountered. More lessons learned by this old man.

God directly answered one of my emails at the very beginning of the summer. When I entered room C119 I quickly discovered there were ONLY 6 cardboard blocks in the entire room. A toddler whisperer can’t possibly effectively toddle whisper with only six blocks…especially when some of those were bent.

So I sent an email to the lady in charge of the kiddo department at my church. She quickly sent in a requisition for more cardboard blocks. When I showed up to whisper the following Sunday I was met with astonishment before I ever got to C119. Somebody donated some blocks during the week…before the requisitioned ones could get there.

It just goes to show that prayer takes on many forms. When we don’t know what to ask the Spirit groans for us. When God’s kiddos need blocks they’re going to get there quicker than a toddler can knock them down. Trust me…that’s pretty fast.

I shared a few posts back about becoming a toddler magnet one Sunday when one of the boys ran straight to me rather than welcome the hug from one of the women volunteering then. Well, the following Sunday I was transferred to a different room with younger toddlers. The exact same thing happened to me there.

I know for a fact I had never seen the second boy. Apparently grandfather fixes work both ways. Some people need to have a grandfather figure in their life too.

They say we’re all built with a God-shaped hole in us that only God can fill. People try every sort of substitute only to be disappointed. Well, little kids need someone with skin on to fill in for God until they understand how to regain that all-important personal relationship with the Creator of the universe.

It’s quite on honor to fill in for God at such a crucial part of a person’s development. I don’t take that lightly.

A third first surprised me to no end. Toward the end of the time together we go to a different room with other rooms of kiddos for story and singing time. It’s called JAM time. JAM stands for Jesus And Me. After then we come back to our room and play until the parents come to claim their toddler. No, we haven’t had one kiddo left unclaimed…yet.

Well, one Sunday I began stacking blocks…as usual. Laughter soon began as the blocks fell repeatedly. My arms were getting tired from trying to stay ahead of the falling.

Usually when the parents arrive the whole world stops and the little toddle legs carry that small person to the door as quickly as humanly possible…not this Sunday. This boy heard his dad’s voice and he started crying. I told you a toddler whisperer can’t possibly effectively whisper without cardboard blocks.

It made me wonder how many people are going to do that exact same thing when the rapture occurs. How many folks will be so caught up in their life on this planet that they don’t want to leave it?

Now me…I’ve experienced so much heart ache and loss I can’t wait to go Home to be with the Lord.

But, who among us will yearn for another month to complete that degree they worked so hard for? How much of a loss will somebody feel when they were so close to making their first million dollars? A woman held her purity til her marriage night only to be taken to heaven the day before her wedding. Will she regret her life here then?

Will there be crying while we’re being lifted off this planet because of unfulfilled dreams here?

I hope not, but I don’t know. I never thought I’d see a boy cry when his dad came to pick him up neither.

How about you? What will your attitude be when you hear that trumpet blast?

Are you so earthly minded that you’re no heavenly good?

Or, are you so working for the kingdom that you can’t wait for it to begin?

There’s nothing wrong with trying to make money, or completing a degree or staying sexually pure. There’s everything right about those endeavors if you have God’s will for you in the front of your mind and heart.

Building a strong family is also important. But, if you’re doing it for your legacy on earth you’re missing the bigger and more important picture of everything.

If you look back and see your family wondering what happened to you as you ascend to heaven during the rapture you will be crying and regretting you missed it all.

It’s not too late to do the right thing.

Pray for wisdom and clarity about your daily life.

Ask God to become preeminent in all you think and do.

Focus on meeting His agenda in building His kingdom by leading your family and friends to Christ before it’s too late.

You won’t care how long your bucket list is when you see Jesus face to face.

I know I won’t anyway.

Keep smiling.   Wade

I Think My Identical Twin is Charlie Brown

I’ve heard it said that everybody has an identical twin somewhere in the world. The longer I live the more I’m convinced my twin’s name is Charlie Brown.

Apparently Charles Schultz watched my life story when he came up with the idea for this fictional character. If he didn’t he sure could have.

You remember Charlie’s friend Lucy? She’s the one who would hold her finger on a football and egg poor Charlie to kick the ball. Then Lucy would yank the ball away at the last second. Charlie was putting so much effort into kicking the ball as far as he could he always ended up on his back.

That’s been my business efforts thus far. I had one guy who was all gung ho about having me create a logo for his young business. He told me what he was looking for. Nothing too complicated for my simple mind to grasp. He offered to pay half up front. I told him to give me a couple of hours to see what I could come up with.

Two hours later I made what he was looking for. I felt good about finally getting this thing off the ground. I shot him an email with the logo attached…nothing. I called him…no answer. I messaged him through the link we met up with…still no response. I sent up a prayer. “Okay, God. Did you kill this guy off in those two hours I was working for him?”

A couple of months later I called again…he answered. He remembered me then said they decided to go a different direction. He didn’t even know the direction I was taking them in. So there I am lying on my back.

Charlie liked to fly kites for fun. The only problem was every time he sent a kite up it inevitably got caught up in a tree. I literally had this happen to me in college during spring break…but that’s another story.

That’s been my writing history. I have a few different books in various genres. I’ve spent several years going to conferences in many parts of the country looking for an agent or publisher who might be interested in what I wrote…cricket chirps is all I get.

So I decided to self publish with a company that gave me a great price to get it done…only to have them go out of business before they printed my copies I paid for. Pesky trees anyway.

Charles Schultz decided to give our friend a bit of a love interest eventually. Do you remember who it was? That red-headed girl was the only thing she was known as if my memory serves me right…which it sometimes does.

I have some advice for poor Charlie. Leave those red heads alone! Wife number one was one…she left after too many failed expectations and such. So I asked God to bring someone else along who He wants me with. You guessed it…another red-headed woman.

Just like our friend Charlie it takes alot of nerve for me to ask a lady out…especially when I’ve been rejected by the love of my life recently. Nothing like having someone rip a scab off a wound before it has time to completely heal.

The difference between Charlie Brown and me is that he’s a cartoon character. He never gets a chance to grow up and change. Me…I have no choice but to grow up and change.

The business is showing hopeful signs of taking flight. It might be as far as the Kitty Hawk’s first flight, but it will be positive progress. From there the sky’s the limit.

I have another self publishing company calling me about reprinting my 100 Prayers of a Writer book. They say they’re interested in showing it off at the world’s book fair or something like that. We’ll talk further about it Monday morning.

I was sent a lead for my middle-grade book, Eek’s Gifts. It’s a Christian publisher expanding into youth and children’s books. Oh yeah, I’m excited about this prospect.

As far as my love life is concerned…well, let’s just say I’m taking it easy for now. I kept berating myself for not talking to the red-head every Monday for too long. It sure looked like God was giving me indications He wants us together. I kept telling myself “if God wants us together it will happen. Just give it time.”

Well if God wants us together then He needs to let red know about His plan, too. Until then I’m waiting for God to send the next woman to rip that scab off. Ouch!

Seriously, I’m just doing the best I can to delight myself in the Lord. It’s up to Him to give me the desires He wants me to have.

I’m simply doing the best I can, one day at a time, to follow His leading.

That’s all He expects of any of us.

Let’s keep putting one foot in front of the other my friends…to the glory of God.

Keep smiling.   Wade

I got a promotion at church this week

Some days God steps in and surprises the gigglies out of me. This Sunday was one of those days.

First, let me back up and fill you in on the week I had that led up to this promotion.

Last Saturday I drove late which meant I slept less than 6 hours before I went to church. A cup of coffee was enough to keep me alert for the sermon. Not that a Chuck Swindoll sermon needs much outside stimulation.

I turned down an early Monday morning driving option for two reasons. 1) I needed a 34 hour reset by federal law…so noon was my earliest start time available. 2) I had an important meeting at church that had absolutely nothing to do with foresaid promotion.

The meeting was to determine who would be awarded the Howard Hendricks Memorial Scholarship this year. Yeah, it is an honor to be included in anything Howard Hendricksish.

We had to pick which male graduating senior and a female counterpart would receive fifteen hundred bucks for college. The guys were relatively easy since there was only two who filled out an application. Six ladies took a bit longer to sort through.

They blacked out the names on the papers so we couldn’t guess who these folks were. They gave each of them a color for us to keep them straight.

The boys were red and blue. Did anybody think this through? Especially coming off the most contentious national election aver. Boy blue never stood a chance. My buddy Steve’s letter of recommendation helped a lot, too.

The ladies required a lot more attention…as they usually do. We whittled it down to two. I felt I contributed when the last words out of my mouth were, “Yellow has my vote.”

We put the required paperwork in the proper envelopes and packed up to go home.

Tuesday I finally got to work with the Apainter Paul again. He had an interior project the folks wanted done asap so they could put the house on the market ASAP.

Since I still owed Paul almost two full days of work to repay advances he gave me to pay May’s rent it worked out well all around.

Wednesday found me driving to San Antonio before sunrise for a 13 hour day.

Thursday I was back to painting for the Apainter again. We got enough done that he could finish it on Friday…cuz.

Before midnight Thursday I was off to LaLA. I’m guessing that since New Orleans uses the acronym NOLA then Lafayette, Louisiana goes by LaLA.

Even if I’m wrong I was praying I didn’t doze off to lala land while the wheels on the eighteen wheeler were going round and round down the interstate. My eyes were heavily suggesting that possibility was possible just before the only rest area along my route in Louisiana.

Since federal law required me to take a half hour break I lost consciousness with the wheels stopped. Which is a good thing.

A couple of hours later I was killing bugs in a motel room I used for more sleep. Even my boots were stored off the floor whilst there.

I drove home the last half of Friday to get the required time off to drive to Houston on Saturday.

Yes, for any mathematicians reading this that’s six days of work in five days. That’s the type of “it never rains but it pours” life I live these days.

I crawled into bed with a potential of six hours of sleep before corporate worship time. I think I slept about four of them. That’s what I get for trying to sleep at different hours of the day and night.

Pastor Chuck delivered another winner of a sermon during first service. Then I was off to C-119 to fulfill my role as the toddler whisperer…or so I thought.

I recognized some faces of kids and adults in the room when I stepped in. Mild chaos was in it’s regular place.

Then Everett was brought into the room. One of the women held him to try to settle his nerves. He squirmed out of her arms and ran around the table straight at me. Since both of his arms were held high I knew that meant one thing. I was his only best source of comfort in that room.

I picked him up as his momentum flung his body toward me. His head landed on my shoulder before his next sob.

We spent some time in a rocking chair while everyone else ate cookies at the table. Our cookies tasted just fine in that chair, thank you very much.

Everett felt at home after a few more minutes together so I consumed the chocolate cupcake that was brought in for me. I like me some perks, too.

Another boy had a meltdown after that so I picked him up only to have another fella want my attention.

With a boy in each arm Everett decided he needed more of me then, too. The only choice I had was to reach around each boy and lift my little buddy up with my hands.

That’s the moment I was promoted from the toddler whisperer to the toddler magnet.

When one of the ladies in the room saw me she offered to take one of my friends. I said, “No, I got this.”

We sauntered over to a rocking chair until. One by one, the tykes decided to go off and play.

I recognized what was happening there. I was being Jesus to those boys when they needed me most.

Have you ever felt like your prayer request is a nuisance to God?

You think He’s got His hands full with another shooting or war or disaster or whatever. He doesn’t have time for little old me.

Stop thinking that way. His arms are more then big enough to reach around every little thing happening in this puny world we live on to stop and give you the attention you want from Him.

Don’t ever hesitate to tell God what’s on your heart…no matter how small it might appear to you.

God adopted you into His family to spend all the time you need with Him.

Even when everything seems out of control, God will stop and give you His full attention as He says, “I got this.”

Fill your love tank with God every chance you get.

He’s got a lot more energy than this old truck driving toddler magnet will ever have.

Keep smiling.   Wade

I’m back from 3 days at Tres Dias

Tres Dias…Spanish for three days. That’s how long I spent near Lake Lavon for a men’s retreat.

This event had a lot going against it for me.

About the worst thing you can do to an introvert is plunk him down amidst 150 guys he doesn’t know. Let’s see how long before he comes out of his shell this time. Gulp!

Another thing this country bumpkin didn’t appreciate is being next to a lake with no time to enjoy the nature of the setting. We hardly had enough time to use the restrooms let alone time of solitude.

And whose idea was it to use a liturgical theme for this event? This free spirit appreciates more spontaneous prayers and such. Why did we have to recite from page 14 of that little book again…and again?

Don’t even get me started about that silly chicken song they made us sing before we could eat a meal.

Does that drummer really have to break my eardrums on every other beat?

Why are so many men discourteous about others when it comes time to go to bed? Can’t those loud conversations wait until daylight…please?

The tradition of this retreat began a long time ago in Spain. That silly chicken song came about while a broken down bus was awaiting a repair returning from one of these retreats. There were originally 99 verses to it. We only had to sing three of them. I guess they were broken down a very long time.

When I remembered the church I’m a member of supports at least three sets of missionaries to Spain I realized this world has sure changed.

The main thing this retreat had going for it is it’s a Christian retreat. As long as they’re honoring God and trying to get us to focus on Him I can put up with some discomfort.

Symbolism was huge here. I appreciated that, too. We don’t use enough of that in this country in my opinion.

One of the first things they did was offer us a white handkerchief to use as a surrender flag if we declared our surrender to God for control of our life. I had mine conspicuously hanging out of my pocket for the entire event.

At one point they gave us a small piece of thin paper and told us to write down the name of someone we needed to forgive or something we needed to forgive someone for. I wrote my ex-wife’s name down.

That evening they gave us time to write down on other slips any sins we wanted to confess and/or something that we desired to give up.

When we finished they had us fold the papers and nail them to a cross, literally. By the time we were done that cross was covered in nails and bits of paper…until they set it on fire.

In a matter of a couple of seconds the things we wrote down were burnt up. We were told we can now let those things go from our lives.

Saturday evening was extremely special. They treated us to a fabulous meal. Then, as someone prayed they snuck a few dozen women in around us. They began singing when we opened our eyes.

My sponsor, Marcia, was one of the first women I saw…before my eyes got too wet to see anybody. I was immediately missing Barb all over again. Not because Barb could sing, but because this was something I wish I could have shared with her.

The other time I cried was when they brought us into the chapel after a talk on prayer. They had some of the cha’s (Christ’s Hands in Action) praying for the speaker there. They explained that they do this with each of the speakers. Then they showed us the papers on the wall that listed the names of folks from all over who signed up to pray for us during this retreat.

They hadn’t given my 100 Prayers of a Writer book out yet. So I couldn’t let anyone know why that spoke to me so profoundly.

Other than my book being given out to everyone there I didn’t know what to expect at this retreat.

The first surprise was when I discovered I was a candidate. Candidate for what I didn’t know. I thought the election was over.

I learned that this was the first step to being able to lead this retreat in the future. Marcia’s son was the rector for this particular retreat. It takes serving at several retreats over many years to get there. I would have been extremely elderly by the time I got there.

I may go back next week on Saturday evening to sing to the women who will be there to repay the favor that was bestowed on me. Other than that I’ll wait on God’s leading about whether to go back to help with other such retreats.

I mentioned cha’s earlier. That’s the first round of entry into this “club.” Many of them actually carried our trays to the tables for our meals. Some of them spent most of their time there praying for us. A few were assigned to kitchen duty.

While I appreciate the ideology behind this it just isn’t quite my cup of tea, I guess.

At my first meal I sat across from a guy who has been divorced slightly longer than me. He lives in Frisco. I got his number so we can connect in the future. I guess God had a reason for me to come out of my shell quickly.

Marcia hoped I could get to know her grandson while we were there. We were both assigned to the same discussion table for the event.

Another guy at the table gave me his number and invited me to call him whenever I need to talk. I told him there’s a good chance I’ll take him up on his offer.

While I missed four days of potential work and a Sunday of worshiping at my home church I’d say the time was well spent for me.

I’ll be keeping my spiritual eyes open to anyone who I feel will be a good fit for this type of retreat.

At least six guys committed their lives to Christ and a couple dozen others re-committed their’s so it’s working to build the kingdom.

De Colores, mi amigos.

Keep smiling.   Wade

Is Monday the 13th Really Unlucky?

Happy unlucky Monday the thirteenth Y’all. I have no clue how Friday the 13th stole all the thunder from Monday the 13th, but that’s what we have to live with in this fallen world I suppose.

What makes this Monday the 13th unlucky to the uber degree is the fact that it’s the second month in a row we’ve had to endure one. If you don’t believe me just flip your calendar back a page a see for yourself.

You see…February had a Monday the 13th, too. Now you hurt my feelings by actually checking. Shame on you.

It’s a good thing I’m not actually superstitious or nothing because last month would have done me in to the uber degree.

I was working with the Apainter Paul on an interior job. The tall ceilings made it necessary to use ladders to paint the tops of the walls. No, I didn’t walk under any of said ladders at all if I could at all help it…not that I actually believe it’s unlucky or nothing.

The real problem came from the three cats the lady had for fur children. Yeah, she never got married so the cats are her kids…not that she considers herself a crazy cat lady or nothing. That’s what I overheard her tell someone on the phone.

Anywho…all three of these felines are black. She can tell them all apart. Good fur her.

Now I can’t think of an unluckier event than to have three black cats cross under a feller’s ladder on a Monday the 13th…but I lived to tell about it, y’all.

There are some folks who hope they’re lucky enough to get into heaven after they die. They think if they go to church enough times and give the appropriate amount of money to the right charitable organizations they’ll make it.

Not by the hair of their black cat’s chin.

They count on their good deeds being enough to earn their way through those pearly gates.

Not by attaching all the ladders together will that get them to reach heaven’s foundation.

They pray they’re better than just enough people to make the cut to be selected on God’s team.

Not by any number of anything will that work neither.

There’s nothing anybody can do to get to heaven. There is something one man did to get you into heaven, though.

Jesus Christ was a unique individual…actually He still is. It’s a stretch for our puny minds to comprehend, but Jesus was God and man in one package. His perfect life made him the ultimate one to become the ultimate sacrifice to die in our place in God’s eyes.

There’s nothing superstitious about this. By admitting your inability to reach heaven on your own efforts because of your sinning you have taken the important first step to getting there.

The second step is accepting Jesus’s death as done in your place.

The third step will be when you walk across that threshold of those pearly gates.

Your eternity with God won’t start when you get to heaven. No, He wants to develop that relationship you’ve always longed for right here and now.

Yeah, I’m not hawking a religion here. Christianity was always meant to be a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Jesus always called God His Father. Once you become Jesus’s adopted brother or sister you can, too.

No amount of black critters, ladders nor numbers will ever take that away from you, neither.

This will all make perfect sense when we all get to heaven.

You can thank me when you see me there someday.

Keep smiling.   Wade

Who Really Believed that Overgrown Underground Rodent Anyway?

As I recall Phil said there was going to be six more weeks of winter on February 2nd. You know…that groundhog in Pennsylvania.

So why are we in the 70’s and 80’s here in Texas already? I’ve even seen where it’s in the 70’s back in Michigan…and it’s only the middle of the month.

I drove to Houston and San Antonio this week and can decisively report that the Redbuds (with their purple flowers) and the daffodils are blooming.

The redwing blackbirds are warming up their vocal chords for their mating songs.

We’re either entering an early spring or those folks who tell us what that fat rat says were totally off this time or we’re in for an extremely rude awaking some morning and some dead purple flowers on red trees.

As you can tell I’m totally confused, but that’s quite normal for me these days…or is it daze?

To add to my malady of mix-uppedness the president’s wife just read the Lord’s prayer in public. Can she do that?

Okay, I’m pretty sure she can since she actually did, but why does that seem un-normal?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled she did it. I just wish that simple act of reverence to God wasn’t out of the ordinary.

Either The Donald has been completely transformed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ that he’s a new man from who he used to be, which is so like Jesus to do that to a fella, or he’s bamboozling everybody for a rude awakening some morning.

I’m believing the first case is correct.

The liberal leaning media folks don’t know what to make of such a transformed individual or his wife. But that’s okay. Let them squirm for a while while God sets things back to His track of biblical responsibility.

As I recall Jesus’s disciples were more than a bit confused more than once in their time with Him.

Their most confusing time came after Jesus died on the cross.

All of their predetermined dreams of a kingdom ruled by the Messiah were shattered. The bitter taste of death lingered that whole Sabbath…until Sunday morning broke with the most unprecedented news anybody will ever hear.

The tomb was empty.

Jesus was not there.

Did they dare remember Him telling them He would come back to life?

They sat in their shock and wonderment and confusion…until the room brightened and the smell of burial spices filled their noses.

The war for the souls of mankind took a decisive turn that day. The Savior had accomplished His task.

His death was the sacrifice God demanded of us all.

The war goes on. That’s why the Lord’s Prayer is still causing an uproar when the first lady reads it in public.

The Messiah will reign on the throne. But more people must be touched by the news of Jesus’s sacrifice.

Rodents don’t determine the future. God does.

The media can’t control how often we tell someone about Jesus. We can.

This war is far from over, my fellow soldiers.

Let’s not let up on our efforts just because the leader of this country is a Christian.

Large scale victories don’t need to be won. Win souls one at a time.

Keep marching on our knees to the battle.

Don’t worry. I’ve read the end of the Book.

Our side wins.

Keep smiling.   Wade

I’m More Valuable Than a Bird or Flower

I’ve been shang-hide lately for toddler duty by the fine staff in the early childhood department of Stonebriar Community Church.

I don’t really mind it too much. I mean what’s a toddler whisperer going to say when asked to watch tots so their parents can worship in big church?

This all started on the first Sunday of the year, which was also January first.

They purchased new tee shirts for the department. Shannon insisted I take one…for the summer months, she said. It was in the 70’s today, but that ain’t summer in Texas.

I told Shannon I felt like I was being drafted into the duty. Now I know I should have a jersey with a big number on it and print my name in the program they hand out to the parents.

There’s only been one Sunday I wasn’t with the kids so far this year.

Mateo really needs Mr. Wade to give him attention when he first arrives. He typically settles down in a couple of minutes.

Isabella got tired again, but she didn’t nod off into a nap as she often does.

Emma and Kate, the twins, settled in pretty quickly, too. Even though some of the other adults wanted to set them on the buggy. After Mr. Wade assured them they’d be fine we were all happy.

Today’s Bible lesson covered the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus talks about worrying, Matthew 6:25-34.

He goes on to say the birds don’t have 401K accounts, yet they survive just fine. The flowers don’t shop at the best stores in the mall, but they’re prettier than anybody.

Don’t worry. That’s my paraphrase, not something the church adheres to.

I think about those verses often whenever I run in Archgate Park. Last October we had a fantastic migration of Monarch butterflies moving through.

There’s some native growing plants that were loaded with flowers at the time. Those bugs tanked up on the nectar so they could continue on their trek to Mexico.

One week later the plants that were blooming for the bugs had gone to seed. Not to worry, though. God had the plants that were still green the previous week in full bloom.

That was extremely handy since there were at least three times as many butterflies at the park.

I just smiled and thanked God for proving His faithfulness yet again.

God has had me on a manna diet for quite a while now. The driving jobs that were plentiful around Christmas are drying up. My bank accounts are low, but I’m not worried. Jesus says He’s got me covered.

How about you? Are you sweating the details of your life?

Don’t think you can’t make changes to help your situation out. I’m planning on implementing some business tactics that I hope will get me out from behind the wheel of an eighteen wheeler soon.

When the publisher I was using to print my books closed their doors I didn’t fret then either. I was frustrated, but I know God’s timing isn’t for those books to come out now.

An interesting thing just happened at the Super Bowl. The team that won was only in the lead at the end of the game.

Don’t give up, my friend. If you’re still walking the face of this earth God has a plan for you.

He’ll provide what you need in His time. And it will be glorious, just like the flowers and birds.

Keep smiling.   Wade

The Donald and the Constitution

I’m taking a chance and diving into the political arena with this post. Humor will hopefully get folks to breathe a bit as they watch the video I recorded here.

I pray the message of chilling comes through as much as the call for action to protect those without a voice.

I’ve held my tongue long enough. In order to have a clear conscience I’ve spoken my heart here. This probably won’t make a difference, but it’s the platform I have so I’m doing what I can for the glory of God.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

How Did You Ring in the New Year?

Okay. A show of hands, who watched the ball drop on New Years’ Eve? If you’re in Idaho did you watch the potato drop? They actually do that there. The country bumpkin in me believes it.

Full confession…I didn’t even consider it this time around. I witnessed too many midnights in 2016 to stay up for yet another one.

I did see the first one of 2016 thanks to some friends who asked me to help keep some millennials in line with them on that eve of 2016. They were all Christians so it was actually a piece of cake. Not that we actually had any cake…never mind.

I had to work on December 31st. I drove back from Amarillo after delivering some windows in the morning.

The sun had set before I got to Ft Worth. Clifford, the big red van, was the only one at the window factory waiting for me. The building sets on a hill overlooking the south end of Ft Worth.

Shortly after I parked my phone dinged. That meant I had a Facebook message sent to me. Ruth wished me a Happy New Year. I smiled and thanked her.

You see Ruth lives in Uganda. Since it was officially 2017 there that meant I actually celebrated the new year, even though it was just after seven o’clock on my watch.

While I was filling out my log book I heard a crackling sound. I looked up to watch a thirty second fireworks display. Now I DID feel like I celebrated in style.

Since I still had over an hour to drive home I sent up an earnest prayer for safety on that leg of my journey. Fortunately that prayer was answered in the affirmative.

I have no idea what the next twelve months hold for me. I may be rich and famous when the next December 31st rolls around.

I may be famous but not rich, or rich but still a nobody, or just Wade who still has to drive through the night just to pay my bills on time.

I do hope I have a closer walk with Father God by then. That will mean I’ll be more like Jesus Christ, His Son.

I pray I inspire more people to strive for the same goal in some way.

I know that will mean more tests in the days ahead, but they’ll come anyway. Might as well make the best use of them to further God’s kingdom.

Each day will hold its own troubles. Drivers will still take stupid chances on the roads I drive. I’ll struggle to keep my eyes open occasionally on those same roads.

I wonder what I’ll be inspired to write this year. I’m working on songs now. Caught me by surprise, too.

My writing may win some awards. That’s not why I write, but it helps get my stuff noticed more.

If the first week of this year is any indication I’ll have to come up with a better sleep system to keep up with my work demands. Yeah, I’m very tired.

I’ll still pray for others and ask for prayer from others. That’s what spiritual siblings are for. Right?

I’ll keep pursuing Barb and ask God for wisdom, patience and guidance on that front.

I’ve watched enough races to know that it’s not important how you start the race that matters most, it’s how well you finish it that decides the outcome.

Don’t fret if you couldn’t stay awake to see one year end and the next one begin. That will happen with or without you.

Make the most of every moment and decision in your life.

God has a plan for you. Follow that plan.

How do you know how to best do that?

Spend quality time in the Bible, God’s guidebook for people.

Invest quality time with God’s people, your spiritual siblings.

Devote quality time in deep prayer, your link to God’s ear.

Resolve to do those three things and you’ll be more like Jesus Christ when the next December 31st rolls around.

Keep smiling.   Wade

Do I See What You See?

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. I’m been all over Texas…from Houston to San Antonio to El Paso to Amarillo to Wichita Falls and all over the Dallas area this month. Outside of Texas I’ve been to Oklahoma City, OK, Memphis, TN, and Shreveport, LA multiple times.

When a truck driver does that type of delivering there are two options for sleeping away from home. You either konk out in the back of the truck if it has a bed or you luck out and the company pays for a motel room.

I’ve been fortunate enough to fall in the second camp of camping in a well-equipped, climate-controlled setting.

The last motel room I was in had an interesting phenomenon in it. Each wall had the same picture on it whether I wanted to look at it or not.

It’s not that I was unfamiliar to this picture. I see it often, whether I want to or not.

I think one of the reasons the picture was tiring was because it looked tired, at least the subject matter did.

The glossy surface of the portrait made me a bit suspicious as to the motive of the motel personnel who decided on this motif.

I guess they didn’t want anyone leaving their establishment with the excuse that they didn’t know they had something stuck between their teeth.

Yeah, I was getting paranoid from all of the mirrors on every wall I looked at.

I understand the one in the bathroom over the sink. I fully expect one there. But do I need to look at my reflection while I’m working on something at the desk? And I absolutely don’t appreciate seeing myself sitting on the toilet when I close that door. Let’s get real here.

It got me to thinking about how often folks don’t really want to look at who they really are.

I’m not talking about their outward appearance. Anybody can change that easily enough.

I’m thinking about soul searching deep inside. How often do people do that investigation?

When did you last perform such introspection?

While driving these long distances I’ve had a lot of time to think about many things. Prayers frequently follow my thoughts whether it’s about me or someone else on my mind.

James 1:19-27 is a section of scripture that holds a lot of insight in it. Central to James’s theme is this thought of looking intently into a mirror and deciding what to do about what you see, if anything.

I pity people who don’t change after they’re shown something in the Bible about how we’re supposed to live.

I’ve never been a big fan of new year’s resolutions. I prefer to make changes as soon as I’m made aware of them.

The problem with most folks is they’re too caught up with living to actually live.

Their lives are too busy to step back to analyse anything for long.

Make the most of your reflection time. If you haven’t had any lately then set some time aside soon.

The new year is right around the corner. Now would be a great time to decide what you want to change so your life pleases God the Father.

All those mirrors in my room apparently did little to improve my appearance that day. The last thing the guy behind the check out desk did was point out where they had some coffee I could drink before I hit the road.

When you’re suffering through a cold good sleep can be so elusive. Don’t let God’s design for your life elude you as you decide what changes you need to make.

Keep smiling.   Wade