The Peasant Queen

She was born to be royal, but you’d never know it by he way he spoke to her. Jane dreamed her whole life about the day her prince would arrive and sweep her off her feet. On the day she met Aaron, her heart leapt for joy when he talked about the things he wanted to do in his life, because they mirrored the dreams she wanted to pursue as well.

Their courtship wasn’t a long one and within a few months his romantic proposal in the countryside caused her to fall even more in love with the man of her dreams. Soon the two were joined by their family and friends in a celebration of their love and as her father walked her down the aisle towards her waiting knight she couldn’t help but think about how perfect her life was.

A few months later as she was dusting one of the wedding pictures on her mantle, she noticed the smile on Aaron’s face in one of them and it made her wonder what why he rarely smiled now. “It must be some I’m doing, because he looks so happy there,” she thought.  Holding back a tear, she dabbed at her eyes to keep the moisture from falling down her cheeks and continued cleaning.

One night at a party with friends, she watched as he laughed and joked with his buddies. It seemed as if the man she married had returned, but on the drive home afterwards when she mentioned how much fun the party had been, he was sullen and had very little to say in response. Later, as she was removing her makeup and getting ready for bed, he asked why it was taking her so long? “Hurry up Jane! I’ve got to get up early tomorrow, so I ain’t got all night to wait for sex you know!”

This became her life; work all day at her job, come home and make dinner, cleaning up the mess and taking care of his laundry, while he sat in his chair like a king on his throne watching television. As the months passed, the words he spoke to her, when he actually did speak were always harsh and filled with comments about how she had changed, didn’t do things around the house very well and wasn’t the same girl he’d married.

After many years of unhappiness; which involved Aaron ruling the roost with an iron fist and speaking mostly hateful things to Jane, she finally made the decision, packed up her belongings and left him. Dazed and confused as she drove towards her parent’s house she came to the conclusion Aaron must have been right all those years when he said she was just lazy and just didn’t know how to manage a house very well. And instead of living as his queen in a happily ever after story, she left him feeling like the peasant he saw her as.

This story, while a work of fiction, is one which happens around the world on a daily basis. Men speaking harsh words, never thinking about what they are doing to their brides. If men want their brides to act like queens, they need to stop talking to them as if they’re peasants. What I mean by this, is your wife responds to the words you say to her. There are so many marriages that endure abuse; it may not be physical, but is emotional and is just as bad. 

Men who treat their wives this way are really shooting themselves in the foot. The man who belittles his wife or puts her down in an attempt to motivate her to do things the way he wants her to do them is not loving her well at all. Women respond to the words we say guys; both good and bad. Speaking kind words always go further than when you speak harshly.

Many years ago when  I was first married, I didn’t like some of the ways things were going in my fledgling relationship with Cheryl. I decided my bride needed to make some changes, so I set out to change her. I started looking in the Bible for things a Godly woman was supposed to be and wrote them down in a little notebook which I then carried in my shirt pocket and read out loud to myself several times a day. Things like, Proverbs 31:10 which says, Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Then I would personalize it by saying, Cheryl is a virtuous and capable wife, she is more precious than rubies to me.

I found about fifteen to twenty Scriptures I felt would make Cheryl a better wife to me, you know things I was expecting God to change about her in order to make my marriage better. I’m not saying my motivation was right, so don’t vilify me as a horrible husband just yet. For about the next thirty to forty five days I faithfully confessed these things multiple times a day expecting a change to take place in Cheryl. And do you know, she never changed once? But, the change which took place was inside of me.

I began to see her differently than when I had started my journey of confessions to make her a better wife. What changed in me, was I actually began to see her like God did, and once this happened, our marriage got better. I didn’t  need to see a change in Cheryl, I needed to change the way I was seeing Cheryl. And when I did so, I saw her as the queen she actually is and began responding to her through my words differently.

It has taken years for her to understand I speak the truth when I tell her how beautiful she is, how great a person she is and what a fantastic mother she has been to our kids. But I now really see her the way God does and that changes everything about how I act around her and how I treat her. I’m so thankful I made all those confessions about her so many years ago, because it has made being married to her much better. She really is all those things the Bible says she is.

Fellas I will tell you this, if you’re speaking to your bride like some peasant girl, even jokingly, stop it now and address her like the queen she actually is. Speak what God’s Word says about her, and I promise you will see a huge difference in your relationship with her and you will be amazed as you watch the transformation take place in her right before your eyes.

The Thanksgiving I Spent With Jason Alexander

This morning when I woke up I did my usual thing of reaching for my phone and checking in on social media. Lately I’ve been working to increase my presence there and part of this has been learning how to navigate the Twitter landscape. 

While surfing Twitter I came across this tweet from Jason Alexander (George Costanza from the hit show Seinfeld).

I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, made even larger because it’s Thanksgiving and I’ve eaten more than my share of tasty morsels today. This post rubbed me the wrong way, so I did what I usually do which gets me in trouble and posted about how I felt about it.


Now while I didn’t mean this to be a personal attack on Jason even though it was directed at him, it was more of a thought I feel is true and wanted to use my thought to be a part of the discussion. I was really surprised when I checked Twitter a few hours later and found many people were very agitated by what I had said; Jason Alexander being one of them.

Throughout the course of the day I checked Twitter to find many colorful ways of being described by a good number of angry people. And while a great number of the people vilified me, I will say Jason was gracious and articulate about his position throughout the entire experience.

In the spirit of goodwill, I did apologize and was answered back with the following tweet.


While we still don’t agree on the subject, I do feel the man is a class act and I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend part of my Thanksgiving day with one of my Seinfeld heroes.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Make Yourself Great Again

All every man really wants is to have a good life; full of family, friends and happiness, right? he Declaration of Independence states it as our unalienable rights; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream, it’s really what we all want, it’s just in how we achieve it where differences come in to play.

Some men believe in hard work, making their own way, while others look to the government to supply what they need. And I’m not talking about welfare here, that’s another blog. What I’m talking about is looking to Washington to provide the essential things everyone needs to have a good life; food, a place to live, affordable health care, etc.

What I have come to understand in my fifty-three years of living on Planet Earth is this; if I want something out of life, then I had better get up off of my butt and go earn it. For all the government can do, it is bogged down with red tape and the inability to act quickly and decisively. It’s up to us as men to earn our own way.

With the history of mismanagement, waste and robbing Peter to pay Paul mentality in our government, I am baffled as to why people continue to hold out their hands looking for Uncle Sam to provide for them. Nothing against my Native American brothers, but I think they can attest to the fact of how our government has not helped them out in the least.

Watching the movie Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe a few weeks ago, there was a moment in the film where King John was in a dispute with his noblemen and he sarcastically asks the question, “What, do you want a castle for every man?” to which Robin replies, “Majesty, every man’s home is his castle.” to which every man there gave a loud cheer.

This is where I live; give me the freedom to make my own way in the world. Free me from the shackles of government and let me live as I see fit. I’m not saying I don’t want to abide by the laws of the land; on the contrary, they are there to help us for the most part. All I’m saying is I don’t need politicians to help me have a great life. What I need for them to do is to protect the interests here and abroad.

If people don’t have what they want, and refuse to go out and work for it, then let them do without. Having a government which hands stuff to the people causing them to work less, is like giving your children everything they ask for when they ask for it instead of making them work for some things, or just do without.

This is where American can become great again, giving the rights back to the people to make their own way and get everything this great country is willing to give to them. Only if you want it, stop holding your hand out waiting for it and do what Rocky said to his son, “If you know what you’re worth, then go out and get it.”

There is so much potential for every man and woman to become whatever they want to be and get their part of the American dream. The first thing we all have to do is stop looking for a handout from Washington and look to ourselves. In doing this we truly can make ourselves great again!

A Cup Of Joe And Memories

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in my hometown; it’s the first time I’ve been in one since my friend Terry died. It’s not that I’ve been trying to avoid the coffee shop or anything, it’s just a point of reference for my writing today. You see my friend Terry and I loved to go to the coffee shop, drink coffee (obviously) and spend time in each other’s presence. Many times we didn’t even do very much talking, we just sat together as friends and enjoyed the camaraderie.

A lot of men like to play or watch sports, hunt or go fishing or work on cars, but what I enjoy more than anything is time spent in the company of men who make me a better man. Terry did just that. Yes it is true he loved watching football and had a mean pitch when playing softball, but we could spend hours talking about the mundane or very important things and both walk away feeling much better as men.  We quite often solved the world’s problems in those coffee times, only there was no one who would listen to our opinions.

As I’ve sat here today, drinking my mocha, endeavoring to put into words these feelings I have in my heart, I can’t help but think how going to have a cup of joe just will never be the same. Oh I know there’ll be more times in coffee shops, but they will never be the same as they were with Terry. After all, he was the guy who got me drinking the stuff in the first place; not to mention my son and daughter both give him the credit for their coffee addiction as well.

Everyone should be so fortunate to have a friend like Terry in their lives and I miss him each and every day; especially when I try to call and tell him something funny or poignant which has happened to me. But even though he is gone, I cherish the times spent together drinking coffee and as I reflect on those good times I smile and my heart feels just a little less sad.

Yes, I will continue stopping into coffee shops for the remainder of my days and I know each time I will think fondly on my friend and the joy he brought to my life as we sipped our coffee; mine black and hot and his with one cream, in it.

 

Why Is Everyone So Angry?

“There is a way which seems right unto a man, but in the end lies death.” ~ Proverbs 16:25

I’m sure every man has taken a path he thought was the right one, only to end up somewhere he never anticipated. I know I have more than once. It always seems to be during times when my emotional level is extreme I will inevitably make the wrong decision. At almost fifty-three years old, you would think I would have figured this out by now and made some corrections to disregard the choices which lead me towards the wrong pathway.  But I’m nothing if not consistent I guess and am still learning.

Have you ever done this though? Been faced with a situation which emotionally threw you off of your game and instead of taking time to step back from the situation and evaluate it from every angle, you just leapt in where angels fear to tread?

Why is this do you think? Could it be because emotional upheavals in our lives feel as if they are personal attacks on us and therefore we respond without thinking? Or perhaps they are just something which is interfering with what we perceive as our normal routine and we don’t want it upset? Whatever the case, I think it would be good for us (well me actually) to look into this a little closer.

The world we live in is crazy. Have you noticed how quickly people seem to fly off the handle and confront anyone they think is hindering their life in some way? Think about road rage, or accidently cutting in front of someone at the grocery store. It seems to me people are itching for a fight nowadays more than ever.

I remember a time back after the terrorist attacks of 9/11; I had gone home to eat lunch and on the way back to work had decided to drive my wife’s minivan and fill it up with gas. I noticed the line of cars waiting as I pulled up to the gas station; everyone was panicky and the word on the street was all the gas stations would run out of gas soon. As I circled the lot looking for the best line to get in, I noticed a pump had just opened up and maneuvered my vehicle into position to fill up.

As I placed the nozzle into the tank opening, a lady walked up to me and began yelling at me about how I had cut her off and stolen her pump. She screamed about how I had almost killed her kids and should be ashamed of myself. Shocked, because I had actually not seen her at all, I removed the nozzle, apologizing and told her by all means take the pump. She insisted I stay put, but I wouldn’t have it and said, “Mam, I’m very sorry about taking your pump, I didn’t even see you. Have a nice day.” Getting back into my car, I began circling the lot once more.

Telling my wife the story later, it was almost comical to me. It must have made her feel better yelling at me and maybe she was just scared, but all I could think about was how it wasn’t a big deal for me to move to back of the line and let her get her gas. It sure wasn’t as big a deal as she was making it out to be. I think many people feel like they are going to be taken advantage of and instead of letting this happen they attack first before realizing what is actually going on.

What we (I) need to do is to really take a look at these situations from the other person’s perspective first and then make our next decision based on that information. I think it would really save all of us a lot of grief in the long run. I mean after all, are the things we fight about really as important as we think they are at that immediate moment? Probably not. And isn’t it better not to have to apologize for being an idiot?

It Takes Ordinary Men To Make Heroes

“When you talk about combat leadership under fire on the beach at Normandy, I don’t see how the credit can go to anyone other than the company-grade officers and senior NCOs who led the way.  It is good to be reminded that there are such men, that there always have been, and always will be.  We sometimes forget, I think, that you can manufacture weapons, and you can purchase ammunition, but you can’t buy valor and you can’t pull heroes off an assembly line.”

Sgt. John Ellery, 16th Infantry Regiment, U.S. 1st Division

Valor.  Heroes.  Men.  Three words which described perfectly those who took the battle directly to Adolf Hitler and his troops on June 6, 1944.  These men from my grandfather’s generation are some of my greatest heroes; because when they were called upon, they laid everything aside to defend our nation and its allies from the tyranny and oppression which was trying to take over the world.

Most of these men however did not consider themselves heroes but just ordinary men doing what men do; protecting their loved ones at whatever the cost.  Many gave their lives in order to win this war and we are forever in their debt because of the sacrifices they made.

It has been seventy some years since the end of World War II and a lot of these men have now gone on to their graves.  We are three generations away from this conflict which involved the entire world and look at the men of today.  Now I know a lot of younger men may call me an old coot (I am 52 now) but what passes for men these days doesn’t even compare to men of my grandfather’s generation.

And before you vilify me or say I’m out of touch; I was considered a rebel at one time with my long hair, thoughts and ideas.  My grandfather and I butted heads on more than one occasion about my ideas and hairstyle.  But I’m not really talking about those things even though I think skinny jeans and man buns are ridiculous.  What concerns me the most is what men used to be has slowly drifted away to be replaced with selfishness and men more concerned with getting their own needs satisfied.

I read somewhere that during World War II, many of the soldiers facing death were barely  old enough to buy beer. Yet they joined the military because it was the right thing to do.  Today’s males of the same age cry to social media when their feelings get hurt, and run looking for a safe place to hide.  What has happened to men today?

Okay I realize I just made a general statement about the men of today, I do know some young men who are what men should be.  Yet, if you were to take a casual glance at what passes for men these days, you would agree there are many more guys concerned with their social status, looks and getting what they want out of life than there are men willing to lay down their lives for their families and society at large.

My definition of a real man is one who is willing to lay down his life and who will put other’s needs before his own. It’s not glamorous and most of the time you won’t be in the spotlight but it’s what we as men were created to do. If we will rise to the occasion and put other’s needs before our own, we can make the world a better place, just like the men who fought in WWII did. We still need ordinary men taking their place and making a difference in lives, these are the guys who are the real heroes.

 

 

 

 

 

 Yes, There Are Giants Among Us

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Don’t let tomorrow arrive without saying the things which need to be said today.”    ~ David W. Felts

Life truly is a fleeting vapor and passes way more quickly than we ever want to admit. Add to this passage of time the death of a close friend and your world will begin to spin even faster than you can imagine. I got a call from my bride while I was at work, which is not unusual so I answered my phone figuring it was to ask me if I’d be working late, or to tell me she was going to visit a friend or something. I had no idea her call would alter the course of my day in such a drastic way. Saying hello, in a shaky voice she informed me of the death of my best friend, Terry Scott.

Where do I even begin? Terry and I have been friends for many years now, more than friends actually, we are brothers. We share a love of coffee, online comics, TV shows and movies. He was my go to guy when life was stressing me out or when I just needed to hear a friendly voice. He was the kind of guy who always knew what to say when you needed to hear it the most. I’ve said it often, but it bears repeating; when I needed to vent frustrations, he would sit there patiently sipping his coffee letting me say the most ridiculous things, hoping I would come to the conclusion of how to handle my situation. But if I didn’t, he would say, “What are you going to do about it?” With a dumb look on my face I’m sure, he would then counsel me on the best course of action. And I would do the same for him, those times having coffee were some of the best times for both of us.

As I’ve spent the past days contemplating the loss of my friend and the impact he had on this planet, what I have lost is just now dawning on me. The title of my post is “Yes, There Are Giants Among Us” and this man was truly a giant among men. His heart for people inspires me to be more like him. To love like Terry is now something I want to strive to emulate even more, not because I want to be great, but because there will be a void in my life and that of countless others which needs to be filled, and if not me, then who? 

The things Terry accomplished in his short time on the planet are amazing. I read a post from his wife this morning which said “Terry Scott” was trending on the internet and this is awesome, not just because he would’ve loved it, but because more people are now seeing the impact his life made and perhaps they will work to be more like him too. He was always about getting more people in God’s kingdom and doing what they were called by God to do.

I miss my friend deeply, he can never be replaced and the void in my life will be felt immensely for the remaining years I’m alive. But my hope rests in Christ and the knowledge I will see him again one day. There is a scene at the end of the movie Gladiator which sums up what I’m saying. Gladiator clip. I will see Terry again and we will sit drinking coffee having many long conversations for all eternity. Mabookies for eternity.