Sunday, September 22, 2019

My Rap and rhyme

Sometimes I have words and rhymes come at me so fast it's crazy. Just ask my wife, I come up with the stupidest stuff!

Just now I was on Twitter and LL Cool J quotes some lyrics so I responded "Gangster Boogie  . . . Gangster Boogie  . . ." and hit tweet.
Then I thought if I wrote a rap what would it be . . . Took me all of 5 seconds to write:

I'm a Lyrical poet and I just don't know it
Spitn out rhymes like an ocean, salty words in motion 
I say just what I will, I don't care how you feel
I might be white and lazy, but my rhymes sure are crazy
If I was much more funny, you'd want to pay me money
I got skillz to annihilate, you can never relate
Cause I'm dropping rhymes like mad, I'm just a gangster Dad
So don't try to step in my way, that bullying crap don't play

I'll keep this rhyme on going, mass assault of words I'm showing
Tired of reading this crap? Well you just don't know about rap
Cause these beats are so un-futile, I can make this go on a while
I might be white and lazy, but I can rhyme words like crazy
My wife is annoyed by me, but its just pure talent you see
I'd hate to just waste it, evaporate and taste it
I got to share my skillz, I got bad game it killz
I'm white and kind of crazy, my brain is fog and hazy
Now you're full of concern, wondering when will Ted return?
I think he's off his rocker, his sagging down his dockers
Maybe quit those meds? Go get in bed instead
I hate that he's so corny, but those rhymes  "make me so" ornery 

I hear all your views, but listen to my news
I'm kind of white and lazy, I think I may have gone crazy
I've let you in my head, should've gone to bed instead
I'm sorry to waste your time, buts you who chose to read my rhyme

"Gangster Boogie . . . Gangster Boogie . . ."

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The corner of the stairwell

I'll never forget hearing from a client that made it out of tower 2 on 9/11
He worked in the south tower and had already been trough the attempt in 1993. He told me that when the 1st building was hit he began going down the stairs and security was trying to stop a panic. They told him to go back up, but he decided to keep going down, but greatly slowed his pace. He had already gone down 70+ floors in 1993 and was in no hurry to run down, but he said he felt he needed to head down. His office was on floor 88, and he was in the stairwell of floor 80 (?) when the 2nd plane hit and he had a long way to go.
When the south tower was hit he said the people around him knew it wasn't an accident and his pace quickened. He said the thing that stood out the most was the piles of ladies high heeled work shoes in the corner of the stairwell landings. The woman would kick them off as they couldn't run in them.
He said when he got to the bottom he was exhausted and NYPD was yelling, "keep moving" while another officer yelled, "don't look up!"
He said he could hear approaching "whoosing" sounds followed by a thump or thud. He looked up and noticed they were people that had jumped out from above 99 floors. They weren't screaming, and he hoped they were dead as he knew many of them.
He felt safe once outside of the building and slowed his pace, but hadn't gotten very far when the building began to collapse. Fearful that this was going to be even more catastrophic than it was he made his way to a rental agency. I forget how many blocks away  it was, but he rented their last vehicle, I think it was a box truck, and headed out of town. He was covered in concrete dust and had a large gash on his shin, but didn't care. He needed to get out of town. After a few hours the pain in his shin intensified and he wrapped a piece of his t-shirt around it, securing it with his tie. He drove through the night, only stopping for gas, and would drive again. The adrenaline kept him awake. He ended up at his Mom's house in San Luis Obispo county, and the last time I spoke with him, about 2 years ago, he hadn't gone back into a building taller than 2 stories, and had given up his career in finance for a more low key life. He changed from things being about career and money to family and friends.
That's as real as 9/11 gets for me. I've never forgotten . . .

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Out of the heart the mouth speaks

When I was younger I would often come home from school and cry to my Mom because I was being teased and bullied. At 1st she told me, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." The problem was, that's not true! Words do hurt. Later she told me to laugh with them and they'll stop, but they didn't. My Mom was teased and bullied more than I and she was echoing and exhorting me with things she did. Later in life, after wondering why words hurt so much I read something in the bible, in the book of James 3:2 "For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water."

This morning, after a beautiful sunset last night, I am saddened and angry by the news of 2 more mass shootings.
In El Paso Texas it is reported a man wrote a manifesto about wanting to kill Mexicans and went to a Walmart and killed 20 people and wounded many more. Less than 12 hours later another shooting in Dayton Ohio with 9 reported dead.

I don't write this just because I have Mexican daughters or because the shooting last weekend in Gilroy California hit somewhat close to home, rather I write this as my manifesto in a way or as my frustration with the POTUS.

Many Godly men and women I know and look up to as well as many well know Pastors and leaders stand vocally to support our POTUS while others stand silent. We seem to cling to our bibles and the 2nd amendment. We hold the constitution or our understanding of it above the life of our neighbors.

While there are things to support of this administration, like the economy, unemployment (for all races), anti-abortion views and defense of individual rights, there are many things about this POTUS that Christian men and women, leaders and lay people should and must stand against.

In our public and private lives perception is reality. Our life experiences influence us and presuppose us to conclusions. Our experiences are vastly different across this nation and how we view the POTUS, SCOTUS, LEO's and those unlike us are affected by those experiences. And yet, though experiences differ, language may differ, and accent may differ, words still have power.

Look at the passage in James, large animals are controlled by putting a bridle in it's mouth, giant ships steered by a small rudder and monstrous forest fires set ablaze by the tiniest of sparks. No human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil. It is full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord. With it we curse people (all people) who are made in his image.

As I look at those words, reflecting on my life, the recent violence in our nation and the words out of the mouth of the POTUS (or written on Twitter), I see how his unbridled words have steered people to divide based upon presuppositions and perspectives wrought by experiences. I see how he had directed this nation, some ways for good and some for harm, like a rudder of a giant ship. I see how, if he is not the spark, but maybe the breath on the spark, has helped set ablaze a narrative of divisions for our nation, but more importantly to me, a division among Christians.

I heard people in my life slam Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Yet, they highly esteem Trump. Those words, written or said, and those thoughts carried out turn back hearts from Christ and harden hearts against faith in Jesus. Jesus did not neglect the downtrodden. He might not march in a Pride parade (For God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble), yet he would dine with them.

I have never been to Dayton, or El Paso, of Flint, or Ferguson, or many other places, but Jesus would. When he left he told us to go into the world and make disciples. Make people who are longing for him understand him through us. We are to love in word and deed, yet often, maybe not in person but on social media, our words are not loving or kind. He showed us what love is when "Christ died for the ungodly." He sacrificed his rights for the lives of others. Do we cling to ours at his detriment?

Jesus was accused to be the friend of sinners. Have we been? Do we know what a family crossing our border is scared of, running from or needs so much that they come here? Do we know why some black people are afraid of cops? Where I live I imagine the experience of most black people is different than those in Memphis or Ferguson or Watts. The words they hear and the deeds they see from us are they godly? Are they Christ like? Not knowing who is of the faith and who is not do we treat them as neighbors, love them like 1 Corinthians 13 and live as though we understand 1 John 4:7-12, "let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

As Christian men and women in the USA do we live the words of God through the prophet Micah 6:8, "He has told you, O man, what is good;

    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[b]
    and to walk humbly with your God."
Do our words and deeds reflect a love of mercy? Mercy for those not like us? Mercy to the homosexual, the muslim, the poor and needy? If we are merciful do people even know it? What about our mercy for the women tormented by an unwanted pregnancy. If they would rather kill themselves, drink poison, remove a baby from the womb in a back alley does our mercy extend? Or are we going to look at "do justly" as an excuse that they broke the law? If we believe in the sanctity of life shouldn't the womens life matter? Do we walk humbly before our God? Do we bow our will, our wishes, our wants, our desires, our laws to him and his? 

As Christians in this nation we have a powerful voice and a powerful life, backed by an almighty God and his spirit that is in us. That spirit produces, "ethe fruit of the Spirit: flove, joy, peace, patience, gkindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 hgentleness, iself-control . . ." Do we show that fruit to others? When we cheer the words and actions of the POTUS and pack stadiums to hear him speak do we cheer "lock her up," do we condone, "send them back," and do we cling to our ways over his? Do we not remember that "his ways are not our ways?" 

While the POTUS is not Pastor in Chief, and the USA is not a theocracy, we, as Christians, have held up President Trump in a way we did not President Obama. I hear, see and read leaders of Christian institutions call to pray for President Trump and I do not remember those men with the same petitions for Obama and Clinton. Is God the God of the Republican party? Did Jesus die to save the GOP or the USA? There are actions and words, written and spoken by President Trump that reveal to all what scripture has said, "that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks," and that abundance is not kind or loving. It is not the love of God found in Christ Jesus. It is not the love defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." The words of President Trump often boast and are rude. It usually insists on it's own way. His words many times are arrogant and rude. They seem irritable and resentful of others (reporters and news channels). Do the words from his mouth show that he bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things and if not why aren't Christian leaders and Christian men and women using their voices to stand against it? Eternal lives are at stake, or do we not really believe that? Are our 2nd amendment rights worth more to us than the men and women and children who have died in these mass shootings and streets of Chicago? And, yes, I know, the gun can't shoot itself. Mental health is a real issue, but so is the evil of sin. Sinfulness is why Christ died. Romans 5:6, "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." If Christ died for us physically, can we not die to our selfish desires? Can we not call out sin for what it is no matter who it comes from?

I really wish POTUS would walk to a Podium or go on Twitter and say something like, "I stand with the American people against hate in all it's forms. White power, white supremacist, race baiters, terrorists foriegn and domestic. Black on black crime, gang violence and men like the shooter in El Paso who's manifesto said he wanted to kill all Mexicans and the most recent mass shooting in Dayton Ohio. It's for the American people to step up as our leaders and lead their representatives to come together and unite us and it starts with me. I apologize for my language that many have seen as increasing or creating racial divide. I denounce any language that insinuates I support white supremacy . . ." Doubt it will ever happen but one can pray for it. One can hope for it. One can long for it. If President Trump changed his rhetoric I know it won't solve many things, and it may cost him getting re-elected, but if he changed it because Christians stood up and said, "enough!" If Christian men and women, leaders and those who attend his rallies said, "enough with the words that are hurtful. You represent us and we represent Jesus and we are doing a lousy job . . ." 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Love and loathing

Why don't I love my neighbors as my self? Why do I not do what I should do or want to do, but do what I despise?

#thoughts #faith #inspiration #hope #joyful #life #art #vlog #igtv #youtube #motivation #motivational

Monday, July 15, 2019

Life, sin and love . . .

I just listened to this sermon this morning and it stung, or struck me in a way I haven't been in a while. Perhaps it simply stirred my heart, but maybe it moved it.
If you know me and my life story then you know I have felt that I am supposed to be a shepherd to Christian believers. A shepherd is where the word Pastor comes from and when I was 15 years old at summer camp a man was preaching from John 21:15 "When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed ymy lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend ymy sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him athe third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep . . ."
As that passage was being preached it seemed to speak to me. "Ted, do you love me?" Yes Lord, I do! Feed my sheep . . . Tend my sheep . . . Feed my lambs.
The bible says that Jesus is the good shepherd. That his people are like sheep gone astray and that now they hear his voice, listen and follow (John 10:31) by reading his word, by the preaching of the gospel and  the way his Holy Spirit guides. Jesus is the example to follow. To feed his sheep and lambs by teaching them the word of God and tend them by protecting and providing. A shepherd watches out for the flock. He drags them back from wolves and snares when neccessary. A shepherd tends by staying watchful for them and thinking of them more than himself.
Ever since that day I have not wanted that burden! There are things about that calling that exhaust me just thinking about, things about Christians I find applalling at times and things about Christian living that doesn't seem to fit with how I understand the bible. It's been labourous as I've grown in faith to be able to walk through my life as both sinner and saint. Other people have seen this in me and have said that I "have a Pastors heart" and that God has called me to this.
At 35 years old I was ordained and volunteered as a lay Pastor at our church. In 2013-2014, when I was 37 years old, we walked the path of planting a new Church in Nixa Missouri. It seemed everything was on track to work, and then it fell apart. My health began failing. Perhaps it was in part to the stress of that endeavor. Maybe it was the wrong place or the wrong timing. For whatever reason it just didn't happen. It was like approaching an intersection that had a green light turn instantly to red and you have to slam on your breaks to avoid a collision. It was confusing and freeing at the same time.
Since late 2014 I have not felt nor believed that that is what I am supposed to do. I have had a complete peace during that time.. I've never shied away from sharing my faith as it is not just a part of who I am, but it is who I am!
And then, this sermon hits me. I thought about my kids and how I pray for them on most nights. My Granddaughter and how I sing to her. Friends that I dialogue with about the bible or life. Strangers I try to help. In this sermon a line that says something to the effect, "don't underestimate how God is using you" and also, "just as you can lead someone to safety and eternity with God you can lead them to hell and an eternity without him!"
It's been 10 minutes since that sermon ended and I began to write this and my heart, or soul, or spirit is still filled with butterflies and like every minute of every hour, of every day, I have know idea what the future holds, but for right now I am filled with such a wonderful, indescribable feeling and overflowing with love . . .

Sin is Serious, Hell is Real - Program - Truth For Life

Saturday, July 6, 2019


When I was a younger man I told myself there would be time. Time to climb, time to explore, to do the things I always wanted to do, the things I dreamed I would do. There were mountains to explore. Trails to hike. Waves to surf. There were road trips, motorcycle rides and far away countries. How much I looked forward to.

Now . . . Now I struggle to not look back. To not look at what was and long for it again. To look back so I can look forward and dream . . .

My Rap and rhyme

Sometimes I have words and rhymes come at me so fast it's crazy. Just ask my wife, I come up with the stupidest stuff! Just no...