Know Your Rights

Bad temper is a barrier to relationships but you have a right to be angry, nasty, miserable, whatever. Does that make it right?

You have a right to be depressed. You also have the right to overcome it.

You have a right to be negative. But why would you want to be?

You have a right to be positive.

You have a right to be free from anxiety.

You have a right to be even tempered and placid.

Know your rights.

A Haiku or Two

For those not familiar with haiku, it is a form of Japanese poetry, the criteria being to present an image, evoke a mood and make an observation. There are three lines with five syllables in the first and last line and seven syllables in the middle line. Example:

Peeling an orange (5) image

the bitter juice squirts my eye (7) mood, feel the sting

one blink and it’s gone. (5) observe disappearance

And now I’d like to share with you a couple of haikus I have written over the years which will appear in my upcoming poetry book.

He had a tantrum

it spoiled my serenity

and made me angry.


Dinner was superb

red snapper on the menu

tasty on the tongue.


Crouched low in the grass

sly cat watched bird eat its meal

one pounce, bird was meal.


His gait was rapid

head bent low against the storm

heading for shelter.


That’s all for now, folks. Thank you for any comments.





Another Life Lesson

I posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago and may or may not have blogged it in the past but it is a life lesson worth repeating. It comes from a book written by Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light.

Anger tends to destroy the body. It also tends to destroy the soul. The anger that solidifies into hate, resentment, or hurt feelings deposits a continual sediment of poison in nerves, arteries, bones and mind, and prepares the body for death.

Why would we do that to ourselves?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31 NIV

So You Want to Know What God is Like

Well, he is just like us…or rather we are like him…in the following ways:

He experienced sadness: Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…” Matthew 26:38 NIV

He experienced anger:  Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them…Exodus 32:10

He experienced frustration:  Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?” John 3:10 NLT

He experienced disappointment: Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Matthew 26:40 NIV

He experienced jealousy: for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…Deuteronomy 5:9 NIV

He experienced love:  “…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34 NIV

Now, here is Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” which takes us back to the opening sentence.

But like I said in Friday’s blog, we humans began to mess up on earth and God was sorry he had made us…just look at this statement:

The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. Genesis 6:6 NIV

But the Good News is this:  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Happy Sunday.

The Week that Was – Jesus at the Temple

Following Palm Sunday, Jesus went to the temple and found it being used as a marketplace. At this point he had less than a week to live.

Jesus at the Temple

45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’[c]; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[d]

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Recycling Anger

It has been my practice over the years to take notes from interesting books and tuck them away for future reference after gleaning the wisdom of the moment. The other day it was something from “Your Call is Waiting”. Today it is a passage from The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier. And it is simply this: “…I have a great respect for the kinds of people who are able to recycle their anger and put it to different uses.”

How timely given what’s going on in the world today. So as the saying goes, ‘take a page from that book’ (page 124). Imagine if we all recycled our anger into peace and reconciliation…we could then sing along with Louis Armstrong, “what a wonderful world”.

Thank you, Sidney, for another life lesson.

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club)

What About Cain and Abel?

Sometimes I wish I had studied theology instead of bookkeeping. There are so many Bible stories that confuse me, like the one a friend reminded me of this morning… the biblical brothers, Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. These boys were the first fruits of Adam and Eve, their parents.

The scripture says the Lord looked with favor upon Abel but not on Cain, and this made Cain angry; angry enough to kill his brother. It was the first murder ever committed on earth.

My friend posed the question, “If God looked with favor upon Abel, why did God let Cain kill him?”

My question is, if God looks upon us with favor…and we’re told he does…why does he allow bad things to happen to good people?

We have a dear friend and church member whose cancer is spreading even though we took the advice of James 5:14 and had the elders pray over her and anoint her with oil. Instead of getting better, her condition deteriorated to the point where the cancer has reached her brain.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalms 119:130

I am a simple person, Lord, and need understanding of James 5:14; and while you are at it, what about Cain and Abel?

Don’t Let it Fester

A few days ago I shared a joke which had come my way. It was about people being angry and not talking to each other, but it was written to be humorous and indeed it was.

However, anger is a poisonous emotion to the one who harbors it. There are many, many things that make us angry in day to day life, whether in the media, a family, a workplace, friendships, and yes, even in a church.

The thing about anger is to feel it, acknowledge it, speak about it if we must, but then try to get rid of it as soon as possible. It can be healthy to realize that there are things that do make us angry, that everything in life is not fair, or just, or even acceptable. We may justify what makes us angry, but whether or not we are justified is something only we can decide after a good long soul search.

Anger is a very natural reaction to unnatural behaviors. But a festering anger can itself cause unnatural behaviors in the person who harbors it, and it can be poisonous…very poisonous.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…Ephesians 4:31

Easier said than done, but healthier in the long run…don’t let it fester.





Free from fear…that’s courage
Free from jealousy…that’s trust
Free from hate…that’s love
Free from anger…that’s peace
Free from ego…that’s freeing
Free from war, bullying, murder, crime, meanness, unjust judgement…and the list goes on…that’s ideal
Free to live life better than our own ability to do so…that’s freedom.


Here is something different. In one of my writing books, the exercise was to describe in your own words the meaning of certain feelings we all experience–to just write down the first thing that comes to mind. It’s unfortunate that I don’t always note where I read these things, thereby giving credit to whoever dreams them up, but the truth is I don’t. In any case here is my take on the following feelings.

What is happy?  It is a light airy feeling that bubbles inside me out of the blue sometimes.

What is frustration?  It is a tear your hair out feeling when you can’t get through to someone.

What is sadness?  It is a pain in the heart and a lump in the throat for the pain of others.

What is anger?  It is a boiling feeling of inner turmoil.

What is love?  It is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and a heart bursting feeling.

What is scared?  It is a pee-your-pants weak-in-the-knees queasy feeling.

What is joy?  It is bigger than happy, bigger than love, and contains them both.

What is pettiness?  It is not a good feeling once you have participated in it.

What is excited?  It is the thought of something new coming your way, something new to explore and have good feelings about.

What is adventurous?  Doing something you have never done before regardless of the consequences.

What is critical?  Not letting people be themselves, always correcting or trying–picky, picky.

That was a good exercise, and I found it enlightening.

Sometimes it pays to pay attention to our feelings, and not just take them for granted. Especially anger–who needs that?

The Bible expounds on feelings over and over again, and the most popular of these is love. Just look in any concordance to see how many times love is mentioned…1 Corinthians 13 is a great example..But the greatest of these is love. (verse 13)