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Not with the heart. Not with the head.

“Don’t blink: go with your gut”.

Such was the admonition, and little more needed to be said.

We didn’t, that day, and we guessed wrong. Suffice to say I let someone intellectualize me out of what the gut said was the better course of action.

On the surface, it make little sense.

The head is the brain trust of the operation. But even the best computers freeze up from time to time. I think it’s called a “parity error”, but that is another post for another day.

The heart is the custodian of all we hold dear. But even the heart can be led astray. Nostalgia waxes poetic in the soul, at times in great disservice to a call for clearer thinking.

Between these polar opposites lies the gut. While it’s not always right, it almost always signals when a decided, or intimated, course may not be quite true.

When you hear some news that makes your heart sick, that’s the gut kicking in.

When something doesn’t quite compute to the full degree of a third party explanation, it’s likely more of the same.

Lately I’ve been working through “The Big Store”, a twenty plus hour audio reading of a tome discussing the rise and fall of the mighty Sears Roebuck and Company.

Sears was the retailing giant of my youth. Before there were quick trips to Walmart, and before logging on to Amazon.com, there was the Sears catalog. My sisters and I would eagerly await its arrival by mail each year and pour through its pages marking all the things we wanted.

There’s a difference between wants and needs, and my gut tells me our hearts have been playing games with our head for too long these days.

The same is true for days long past, and those who proceeded us within them.

Our crowded landfills, our sparse nest eggs, and our culture’s lack of basic human decency all speak from the gut about the imbalances between head and heart.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I would suggest that what fails to make us sick may be just the thing that kills us.

A friend of mine often speaks of our consumption crazed society, and the need to “cultivate contributors”.

Healthy live cultures often best benefit the gut.

Ultimately, a combination of greed and loss of gut instinct within the once mighty Sears led to its demise.

It’s nothing unique, nor is it something new under the sun.

It happened to Greece, it happened to Rome. Then it happened to Greece again, only thousands of years later.

A catalyst of the more recent failed results, for both modern day Greece and for Sears, was a two bit player known as Lehman Brothers.

Another book I’m currently laboring through was published the year of my birth over a half century ago, and it lauds the wit, wisdom, and endurance of the famed Lehman Brothers investment house.

This would be the same Lehman that eventually lost its gut instincts in sacrifice to greed, resulting a decade ago in its own demise, and almost the same for the consumption driven world around it.

In conclusion for today, I will share just a few of this books faulty heartfelt conclusions about Lehman and its contributions to to world around it:

“At Lehman Brothers they realized – a little earlier than elsewhere – that the key to America’s future prosperity was the size of consumption, not of production.”

My gut tells me history may repeat itself so long as this world continues to listen to both head and heart…


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Merry Christmas, 2017. How did it get to be 2017? And why do we have dogs at our house?” I won’t tell you who just uttered that phrase, but she’s drinking coffee just a few feet away from me.

Hello, yeah it’s been awhile

Not much how ’bout you?

I’m not sure why I called

Guess I really just wanted to talk to you….

Happy first day after Christmas.

If you are keeping score like I am prone to do, let the above 1970’s era lyrics from a couple of guys dubbed “England Dan and John Ford Coley” serve as reminder that I’ve not posted here in a while.

Nine months, to be exact.

That does not mean I’ve not been thinking, musing, or writing during my absence. I’ve fiddled around here and there a bit.

We’ve not done much traveling, per say, but I climbed a mountain.

Then, another.

We climbed six or seven all together, depending on who is keeping score.

I built a house, of sorts.

OK, maybe it is only a shed, but it’s our shed, and I’m proud of it.

So many things happened in 2017, from fleeting in nature to eternal in consequence. There were challenges. There were heartaches.

We lost some old friends.

And we made some new ones.

People, too.

And there was growth.

For myself.

For those I love.

And there was no shortage of joy.

But, for this week, there was Christmas. It continues to be the only day of each year where everything else stops. And it is magical.

Time does not stand still, to be sure, and we know these days will not always be just so.

Yesterday was, and that is part of why each such allowance is so special.

2017: another Christmas in the trenches.

May God bless you and yours until the next is all too soon upon us, or until He comes again.

Amen. Lord, come quickly.


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Who moved my cheese?

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

It s a question asked by “Haw”, a mythical character in the best selling business fable “Who moved my cheese”.  It speaks of looking past unexpected sudden changes life throws our way and avoiding a victimized mindset that dismisses our need to embrace new opportunity.

 Are you frightened about the unknown?   Do you feel at times like you are living in a strange made for TV movie?   Do you wonder who moved your cheese, or even worse, who ate your cheese while you weren’t looking?

I’ll admit to periods where each of these feelings took up residence in my “rat maze of life”.   Some stay longer than others.  Some never quite go away completely, truth be told.

So, what do you do?

I think the correct answer is “find a new stash of cheese”, and don’t get complacent when you do.

My wife models this well.   She plants gardens.   She nurtures kids (her own and others) by finding them where they are in the aforementioned “maze of life”.

So, what about for me?  What is my approach to finding new cheese?

Remain in pursuit of friendships, new and old.  This one’s hard.  Words can’t quite describe.  

Talk it out.


Pray.  Without ceasing.  Enough said.

Read.   Read the Bible, all of it,  both the parts we love and are inspired by daily, and the parts that confuse us and we find hard to accept.  They are in there for a reason, and within those words we find the nature of God.  Read it again. Repeat.

Read other stuff as well.   



Climb a mountain.

Write.  Write for yourself.  Write to yourself.

Write for others.   Don’t be afraid to be cheesy, but don’t be surprised when you are if it moves around on you. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to change things up.   At least every now and then.   It may make the cheese easier to hold onto.

So with that, I think it’s time for “Bing” to sign off from the blogosphere, at least for a time.   

Who knows; I might even try to compile a book along the way.

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

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One of my earliest customer service experience memories as a child was my parents buying me a Belt Buster hamburger at Dairy Queen.

The attendant asked me the same question that day in the early 1970’s they would ask you today in a Wendy’s or any other such palace of fine dining:

Do you want (to add, for an additional charge) cheese with that?

Fast forward a few years.   One of my more recent customer service experiences required standing in an 18 degree semi-enclosed space waiting with a dozen or more fellow humans being for our bags to be delivered.

It seems that none of us wanted to spring that extra dime for the add on cheese.

And it got me to thinking.   How many seemingly basic necessities of life do we charge extra for?    





It seems as I’ve gotten older I find it easier to throw a few more moments, emotions, and personal investment in gratis while trying to serve up  “the all beef patty of life” level of “customer service” to those I know.

I think we all have a good old school example of that:

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly
Father give good gifts to those who ask him.    ‭Matthew‬ ‭7:9-11

So, today, I’m grateful for a place to stand, and for the opportunity to continue this walk, and that He provides it daily, free of charge.

I’ll take it, hold the cheese.

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It’s been a paperwork and pondering kind of day thus far.   Awakened early by the noise of a springtime rain shower, a quiet room, a book, and the past have been my companions this morning.   

Those, and my faithful feline, but I digress.

In this window of time, an envelope fell from a pile of books in my possession.   Originally mailed October 26, 1967 by the coworker of a man named Joe, it bears several marks of mystery and significance.

The first is this time log.   What does it mean?

The second is the note to his wife penciled on the envelope’s back.  Perhaps 6:20 AM that Tuesday was like my rainstorm moment this morning: a time to rise and see what he could get into. 

I’m glad he chose to leave the note.   You see, sometime between that postmark of 10/13/67 and the evening of 11/26/67, Joe died.

He knew it was coming, as do we all.   Only, his time window had more obvious finite parameters.   

Cancer has a way of doing that.

And yet, could a sweeter scribbling of one’s hope for a day be preserved any better?

“I’m going to work on that broken window.”

“Please bring the dog some food when you get up”.

Living in the moment, whether it be at 15 or at 55, is how I like to visualize my grandfather Joe, as I never truly knew him.

There’s a song by a group called “5 for Fighting” that sings of us only having a hundred years to live.  

Indeed.   So, I’m off to live this day’s contribution toward that, or whatever subset of it my 51 year old self is blessed to share on planet “this life”.

Maybe I can leave behind an insightful  little note for the future along the way, but it can’t be any better than Joe’s.   Never a wish better…



I’m fifteen for a moment

Caught in between ten and twenty

And I’m just dreaming

Counting the ways to where you are

I’m twenty two for a moment

She feels better than ever

And we’re on fire

Making our way back from Mars

Fifteen there’s still time for you

Time to buy and time to lose

Fifteen, there’s never a wish better than this

When you only got hundred years to live

I’m thirty three for a moment

Still the man, but you see I’m of age

A kid on the way

A family on my mind

I’m forty five for a moment

The sea is high

And I’m heading into a crisis

Chasing the years of my life

Fifteen there’s still time for you

Time to buy, time to lose yourself

Within a morning star

Fifteen I’m all right with you

Fifteen, there’s never a wish better than this

When you only got hundred years to live

Half time goes by

Suddenly you’re wise

Another blink of an eye

Sixty seven is gone

The sun is getting high

We’re moving on

I’m ninety nine for a moment

Dying for just another moment

And I’m just dreaming

Counting the ways to where you are

Fifteen there’s still time for you

Twenty two I feel her too

Thirty three you’re on your way

Every day’s a new day

Fifteen there’s still time for you

Time to buy and time to choose

Hey fifteen, there’s never a wish better than this

When you only got hundred years to live  (Five for fighting)


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IMG_8758I have a confession to make: I cut my own hair.

Don’t act so surprised.    Truth be told, you may have already known that.    If I looked into the whites of your eyes, would I see the realization, and the wondering why?

I decided to try it based on the relevant experience of a friend.    While the length, the frequency, and the style has changed over time, the practice has not.  It seems hair gel is an extremely forgiving medium.

It’s now been my habit for almost eleven years.   Not one trip to a barber in all that time.

Equilibrium is an economics term that describes that magic place where supply equals demand.

Is that what I found with my hair cuting habits?   I estimate to have  saved around $1,300, after deducting the cost of three or four replacements to that first $10 set of electric trimmers.  I’ve also probably saved 120 hours waiting for barbers, listening to their stories, and dozing off in their chairs.

But have I found equilibrium?

I’ve tried a number of new things in the past 11 years.   I’ve climbed some mountains.   I’ve sold and purchased two more houses, a few cars, and countless little white bags from Chick Fil A.

I’ve even helped the wife take up gardening.    But I don’t have a shoe box hidden in the closet with $1,300 in it, nor have I captured 120 hours of time in a bottle.

Time passes, and Father Time marches on.   You might say life is more about combating a perpetual state of “disequilibrium” than finding nirvana, zen, or anything similar to a magic balance of supply and demand here on planet life.

In pondering all this, I see all the more the relevance of Jesus’s words from Matthew 6:

““No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:24-32‬ 

Maybe seeking equilibrium, balance to put it mildly, is a lot like driving an old truck.    

If you’ve ever tried it, you know what it takes to blend the right mix of pressure on the clutch with giving it just enough gas.   You learn to listen to the whine of the engine and know when it’s time to make a change.

And as you seek the perfect gear for the moments where you live, be they starting up a challenging hill or just cruising along, you know it’s not easy, but feel the gentle grind in your hand, and in those moments you know when you’ve got it right.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go say goodnight to the barber.

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Ghosts in the machine 

There are spirits in the material world.  So says The Police.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Baker Mayfield.  “Sting” takes on a whole new meaning in this context.  

There are spirits in the late night scene in Fayetteville, to be sure, but that’s not what I really want to talk about here.

There are ghosts in the machine, indeed, but what are they?

I’m currently reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, and after just a few chapters, the author is battling ghosts, or so it seems.

Ghosts are simply human inventions, in his words.   This was true for the Native American spirit world, as it is for those campfire ghost stories kids love to tell.  But what about in other things?  I don’t yet know where all this book is going from a 1974 view of the world, but what about in our own backyard.

What do your ghosts look like?  How about mine?

I see them in Facebook.  I see them in this blog site.   I hear them in a Sunday sermon.  I read them between the lines of the book of another.   I see them in the faces of friends, present, past, and passed.

Human inventions, indeed.   Some are real.   Some are likely contrived.   But all hold a place of significance in our hearts and minds.

Which brings me back to “The Police”:

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you

They subjugate the meek

But it’s the rhetoric of failure

We are spirits in the material world

Are spirits in the material world…

I don’t know where Baker is this evening, how he’s feeling, or what even happened the other night.

The ghosts created by his story will live on, as they do in our own.  What matters is not their virtual existence, but how we treat them.

And that we do the maintenance needed to keep hiking, riding, and otherwise moving forward.

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