Archive for the ‘Water’ Category


Beach combing. It is a lost art, in this era of digital entertainment, marathon shopping, and amusement parks. I have been amazed on the recently completed trip to see how many “attractions” are built on the way to or even on sight at natural beauty destination spots like the ocean shore.

Or is it a lost art? Little Frau and I, along with our entourage of Kinder, have made a routine out of visiting the coastline every other year or so, and the list of destinations is growing. And we don’t adopt an aggressive agenda while enjoying this part of God’s creation. As Number One Son expressed a few days ago: “we can do that stuff at home – we came to the beach”. Smart boy! And, I might add, he has to sunburn to (dis)prove it.

As we drew nearer to our destination of home today, I sat in a quiet hotel room with sleeping family members and
reflected on beach visits past.

There was the first family visit, celebrating the first wedding anniversary for LF and myself. It was her first time to see the ocean: any ocean. Remember, she is a West Texas girl, born and raised. She just stood at the water’s edge for what seemed like an eternity, but not going into the water. Her first two statements about the visit still stick with me: “The water goes on forever”, and “Do you see any fish flying the Portuguese flag?”. (that would be a Jellyfish, for those who are beachcomber novices). Little did she know that, one day, Number One Son would be a multi repeat victim of said Portuguese warriors, and she a supplier of the “home remedy” antidote.

As I conclude today’s post, the following two lists are of the beaches that God and career of provided us opportunity to visit over the past 21 years, even if just for a 30
minute stroll while passing thru, and a handful of beaches I would put on “The Bucket List”:

Visited (hopefully, in order):

Virginia Beach, VA (pre family)
Panama City, FL (pre family)
Galveston Island
Frau/Family visits:

Corpus Christi, TX/Mustang Island
Jacksonville, FL/Amelia Island
Sea Island, GA
Hilton Head, SC
San Diego, CA
Cannon Beach, OR
Galveston, TX
Miami/Key Biscayne, FL
and now, Gulf Shores, AL.

And the bucket list? Maybe the eastern coast line of Japan, the beaches of Normandy, France, and, of course, Hawaii. Maybe, someday.

In the meantime, we have the memories, and maybe some
sand in a few places we have yet to find…



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I love a good analogy.

Any surprise in me making that confession?   Some might even call me the master of bad analogies. I also like to think of the practical origin, or application, that best goes with the analogy: “Dead end Job” = a job that is going nowhere;  “Upside down on your mortgage” means things are inverted from how they should be, ie, you owe more than the house is worth.  You get the idea.

As I have “matured in life” (gotten older), I find myself spontaneously doing things that I used to avoid like the plague. I like to think of it as “hitting my stride”.   Washing a sink full of dirty dishes, and pulling weeds that I see cropping up in the yard, are examples of what I’m referring to here.

So, as I was leaving the house the other morning, I saw the first batch of careless weeds of the season growing together on the fringe of the yard. And it got me to thinking:  “there’s an another often used analogy here – getting to the root of the problem”.

A few facts or observations about weeds are in order here:

Weeds seem to mysteriously appear and grow up overnight.   They have a great system of early camouflage, and they sneak in quickly and grow just so.

Weeds try to look pretty: they sometimes bear a flower, but it is not enough to mask their ugly, out-of-place, persona in your yard.   Truth be told, the flower is simply a device to generate more of their kind.

Weeds use up a lot of nutrients. Left untouched, they can conquer a lawn in no time.

The root system of the weed is much longer than the body of the plant above the ground. There is much more to the problem than the eye can see.

Weeds are hard to eradicate from your landscape. You can mow them down, but they grow back, even faster than the grass.   And you can pull them, but you better make sure and get the entire root system out, lest that same pesky, diligent weed you just pulled will grow right back.

And there, my friends, is the source for this long uttered analogy: “Getting to the root of the problem”.  And extracting the weed, roots and all, is a delicate, deliberate task.  If you hurry,  you will only break it off the surface, ensuring the sudden return of the weed, in the dark of night, with its trouble spreading seed.

A bit of advice here: I have found that it helps to pull the root system out when the ground is well watered.  Dry hard ground gives a weed a solid footing that is almost impossible to extract.   There’s an analogy in that, as well.

So what is the application?   We all suffer from some type of weeds that litter our emotional and spiritual lawns.  Trying to mow them down, keep them hidden, or ignoring them will do no good. They will only continue to fester in your otherwise pristine lawn. You have to pull them out, roots and all,  and do so while continually watering your spiritual and emotional lawn sufficiently to facilitate successful extraction.

What are some of these “spiritual and emotional weeds”? Maybe anger, fear, jealously, inattention, lust, distraction. The list could go on for a while.

Matthew 18:8-10:

 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Amen. I need to be diligent in my weeding.

I like to think of it as “hitting my stride”.

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