A Radford, VA. Nugget

One of the benefits of being a published author is that on occasion you get invited to book fairs and book clubs, where you not only get to get feedback on your writing, but you also get to hear about other books. For me a bookstore, especially the old-fashion kind, is like a candy store. So many treats, and I want at least one of each.
This weekend I drove to Bradford, VA for their annual book fair and Memorial day celebration where I was on a panel of mystery writers. I listened to several other panels while I waited for our turn at the podium and had the privilege to listen to Dick Wall, spouse of the late Carol Wall. He talked about her novel, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening. I am reading it right now.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it contains a lot of “nuggets.” Here is one:
“We are to understand that ‘the ground in winter, which looks awful … it is gray and yellow and hard as a brick … holds a thousand lovely secrets.’”
If I could pass on to my grandchildren anything, it would be for them to always look past appearance and initial reaction and to seek out the “thousand little secrets,” in each and ever one of God’s creations.

Sports Analogies

As a child I participated in just about every sport available to me. Baseball, basketball, track, swimming, and football kept me busy and to some extent out of trouble and out of my mother’s hair.
I learned and used a lot of sports analogies over the years including a few about my marriage. I heard often when I started dating Suzy that I had moved “up in class.” “Out of my league” was another often used phrase that still applies.
Another that seems to apply is “I out-kicked my coverage.” For those of you who don’t follow football it means the kicker actually kicked the ball too far. The receiver of the punt has time to gather in the ball and set up his blockers to return the punt for a score.
I think when someone used it to apply to my marriage they mean I really went out on a limb in trying to convince Suzy to go out with me. I was in danger of a disastrous result. Fortunately they were wrong.
A disaster doesn’t always occur when we out-kick our coverage. Sometimes extending ourselves beyond a safety point is healthy. We challenge our teammates to run a little faster, and we challenge ourselves as we go a little further to also go a little bit higher with our goals.
There is an excitement when a punter out kicks his coverage. We know something extraordinary for one side or the other is going to happen. Maybe, we should apply the same philosophy to living.

Four Reliances


Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;

Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;

Rely on the real meaning, not just the provisional one;

Rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgmental mind. — Buddhism’s Four Reliances
The light shines brightest for me with Christianity because the message is always one of love, first and foremost. I don’t have to accept the literal words of the bible, but instead I work at understanding the meaning behind the words. And when I ask my heart what is true, the message of Christ’s life and death jumps out in clear and unmistakable terms. 
Throughout history the Holy Spirit has worked through great messengers and teachers. I bet each of you have a few in mind, but each one would say, “It’s not my message, it’s the message of God I’m trying to convey.
Wherever the light shines brightest for you, as Luis says, ‘that’s good enough for God.” Just remember its not the messenger its the message.


When we pray and meditate and the only subject is ourselves, we limit the opportunity.
It is said that we move toward and become what we think and pray about. If all we think and pray about is ourselves we risk become self-centered.
If we think about how all living things are interconnected, if we pray for all of God’s children and creatures we move toward unity with God’s universe.