Remembering Major J.D. Rexroad!


Image via, courtesy of U.S.M.C.


I joined the US Marines in January, 1974. I was 17 years old by two days. After basic training in San Diego I was sent to Camp Pendleton. My first commanding officer was Capt. JD Rexroad. I had no idea the role he would play in my life. He was a man among men. Strong, authentic, and resolute. I will never forget him.

He was in charge of the motor vehicle training school where I was assigned. I happened to be in his last class. Two weeks before graduation he was reassigned to duty in Okinawa, Japan. Being an impressionable young man he had caught me attention. I looked up to him. I experienced a twinge of sadness when he said goodbye. Three months later I was sent there too. As good fortunes goes, I reported for duty and discovered he was the Commanding Officer.

We spent another nine months together before he rotated back to the states. During that time I developed an even greater respect for him. We had many conversations that have stayed with me to this day. He understood human nature. He knew men. He took an interest in me. I wasn’t exactly gung-ho! Had a bit of trouble with authority. Especially the superficial kind that permeated the military. I actually tried to turn in my ID, quit, and go home. Based on the idea that taking orders from idiots was stupid. I needed to mature and he saved me in the process.


Image via, courtesy of U.S.M.C.

Following his leadership led me to five promotions in three years. I was a sergeant at 20 years of age. Before he left Okinawa, he told me and a few others how to get a hold of him when we returned to the states. Contacting him before we checked in allowed him to get us reassigned to his Command. Four of us did just that. I served with him for another two years. During which time he was promoted to Major. He began as an enlisted man, became a Warrant Officer before receiving a full commission to Lieutenant.

When my original four-year enlistment expired I re-enlisted for three more years. They sent me to Brunswick, Maine. I had to say goodbye to the Major. I had spent most of my four years under his command. I found out he retired some time later. When my second tour ended I got out and returned to southern California as a private citizen. The Major lived there. One of the first things I did was look him up. I couldn’t find his name in the phone directory. There was someone with the same last name. I called them to see if there was any connection. It turned out it was the home of his son. I was speaking to his daughter-in-law.

After retiring the Major moved to Arizona to work in the prison system. Someone had come into his home while he was asleep in his bed and killed him. I was shocked, stunned, and confused. After serving two tours in Vietnam he’s murdered in his own home. I spoke briefly with his son who was still not over his father’s death. All I could think to do was tell him what his dad meant to me. I still think of the Major. A man who helped so many young men. And made a lasting impression on me.

honorthefallen usmc

Image via, courtesy of U.S.M.C.

For all you did for your country, and for me, Major J.D. Rexroad, I salute you! Honor you. I will always remember you!


If anyone knew this great man or know his family, please share this post.


Adventures in Marty! 13

lettinggo gnuckx

Image via, courtesy of gnuckx

Letting go of familiar things isn’t easy. Growth often means the world looks and feels different. The unfamiliar frightens us. The desire for change is often met with apprehension. The layers created through fear, misunderstanding, and bitterness can wrap you up tight. It’s courage, wrought by love, for yourself and others that moves you down the road. Alex had slowly merged into the fast lane.

This is the way life should be. Leaving behind popular themes and embracing authenticity. Discovering the story you wrote, lived, was far worse than the life events that injured you. The truth necessitates burying the lies and errors of your thinking. Your way of being. You move through the stages of grief. The effect is the same as if you had lost a loved one. Wrong thinking had been with Alex for so long. It was a relationship he was comfortable with. Depended on. It justified the way he was. How he treated himself. And the people trying to love him. Now Alex sees how his story affected the people he loved too.

transformation gerd leonhard youtube

Image via, courtesy of Gerd Leonhard

Pure transformation is the only way Alex could explain his new life. Not from dogma, theology, or religious rhetoric. It’s a relationship with his Creator, his heavenly Father. He never thought this could happen to him. He wasn’t exactly open to it. It’s difficult to embrace a god you’re mad at. One that you blame. Learning to be conscious of God’s presence, to realize He was always there, changed Alex. He couldn’t walk any lighter if he lost fifty pounds. The weight removed from his private world set him free.

Alex believes religion is man’s attempt to explain God. He preferred to hear it straight from the horses mouth. His daily conversations with God staggered him. He had this stream of optimistic thoughts invading his mind. He marveled at how much God made sense. To Alex, many believers and unbelievers had things a little distorted. Mixed up. To him, culture and custom blocked the clarity of divine things. He thinks atheist’s and agnostics use the boundless limits of human reasoning to exclude God. Christians, on the other hand, present Christianity as a dog fight. A constant battle where hate ends up occupying the space love belongs.

For his entire life, Alex kept his distance from both directions of thinking. He admitted his awareness of caution restraining him from declaring a position. Alex is a deep thinker. He peered into spiritual things from a distance. Even he didn’t perceive the capacity he possessed. God is speaking directly to him. He senses he’s blessed to have this ongoing dialogue. He won’t allow himself to feel unique though. He made that mistake with his pain. He’s not about to replicate it with his pleasure. He doesn’t feel superior to anyone. The only difference he sees between himself and others is his willingness to believe what he’s hearing.

He pulls into his driveway. It’s been a great day at work. He can’t wait to get inside his home. He’s loved Leelee for so long he can’t remember a time when he didn’t. Now he loves without reservation. No longer fearing potential abandonment from his wife. He never had any cause for his feelings. Just the past messing with his present. With that junk removed from his mental processes eternity is present in his affections for his lovely bride. Leelee feels it too. When he holds her in his arms it goes right through her.

feelthelove rkramer62 flickr

Image via, courtesy of rkramer62

The first thing he sees when he walks through the door is Leelee standing in the kitchen. Her belly sticking out. Exaggerated by the house dress she’s wearing. Her hair is flowing around her face. He’s taken back by her beauty. Being pregnant has only added to her aura. Looking toward him she smiles and says, hi honey. He responds with, hey baby, how’s my girl? He tosses his briefcase on the counter. Takes her into his arms. You could slice the love in the room and serve it to the neighbors.

Love never fails! The four of them enjoy the moment. Five if you count baby to be.

Marty will return next Friday!

The Truth About Lies!

Who tells Lies?

lipsaremoving by KazVorpal flickr

Image via, by KazVorpal

I have yet to meet the physical embodiment of pure honesty. The science and psychology studies on lying (Vanessa Van Edwards and Bella DePaulo, Ph.D to name two) reveal evidence about our bent toward embellishment and down right deception. Does everyone lie? The data makes it difficult for anyone to exclude themselves. If you argue for your complete honesty would you be telling the truth?

Little White Lies

Are the little falsities we use on one another causing any real harm?. How are you?we ask. I’m fine, you reply. Are you fine? really. No, you don’t look fat in that outfit. Is that true? What’s wrong? we inquire. Nothing, we answer. Why does the tone and body language tell a completely different story? Are these tiny inconspicuous, every day responses, having any residual effects?  The guilt we feel seems to indicate we might be inflicting ourselves with extenuating circumstances . But we are only trying to be nice, right? Sparing the other person from negative feelings is a decent thing to do, isn’t it?

Once the door is open we find it hard to close. You bump into someone you can’t stand. They don’t know how you feel. When you say how nice it is too see them, they believe you. You might have extended an invitation you didn’t mean to send. Since they think you like them they may seek you out to spend time with you. Now you have to make up excuses for why you can’t have lunch, meet for dinner, or go shopping together.

We say, I’ll call you, when we have no intention of calling. I’ve been told; I’m praying for you by people who weren’t known to pray. Am I to believe they will suddenly embark on a spiritual practice on my behalf? Is there anything sacred? If we can fudge on prayer is anything off limits?

All Lies are the Same Color

liarliar theredferret deviantart

Image via, courtesy of TheRedFerret

When it comes to prevaricating our greatest violations are reserved for those we love. The people we are closest too are recipients of our biggest whoppers. Our rationalizations don’t alter the color of our leg pulling. Pigmentation remains the same while size and intensity enlarges. If you are late for an appointment it’s more excusable to say you were stuck in traffic than to admit you forgot. As the stakes go up and potential loses mount our creative juices begin to flow. We dance to the beat of a heart afraid to be exposed.

In a survey Dr. DePaulo conducted, college students lied in one out of every three social interactions lasting more than ten minutes. Wanting to influence what people think of you is a motivator to lie. You can’t really say, I don’t care what people think of me, because that is most likely not the truth. We don’t want to get caught in a lie. Be punished for lying. And we definitely don’t want to be embarrassed for lying. We lie to save face, avoid complications, and having to admit wrongdoing.

Switching to my own experience now, I offer the following observations. If you have parents you’ve lied to them. If you have kids they’ve lied to you. You have also lied to your kids. Teenagers are walking breathing lie factory’s. Did you know Bankers ranked higher than politicians for lying? Men and women of the cloth say things that aren’t true. If you’re married, well, no further explanation required. People who abuse power live a life of deception. An addict has some storytelling going on. Ever seen a trail in a court of law? What do the facts have to do with anything?  The truth might set you free but some believe the lie is what keeps you alive.

One good point in the data I read, is this, as we get older, we lie less. Maybe it’s because we have less opportunity. Fewer social interactions. Or maybe its because we finally figure out what really matters in life. A creative writing teacher I had in the seventh grade, once told me, only an honest man knows when to lie. I’m still wrestling with understanding what he meant.

Long-term Consequences


Image via, courtesy of Day Donaldson

The more we lie to ourselves the easier it is to lie to each other. When we make commitments, we don’t follow though on, we stop believing in ourselves. We can get so comfortable saying things that aren’t true we can’t hold ourselves in high regards. Trust slips into the unknown. We have difficulty trusting other people because of a lack of self-trust. I’m a liar. Always have been. I lie less now than I used to. I’m feeling better about other liars since I cutback on my own deceptive practices. I didn’t mean to be a liar. I didn’t want to be a liar. It’s just that I was so naturally good at it.

Once I got into truth-telling my personal power increased. I experienced an upsurge of energy. Dreams reemerged with encouragement. I even started liking myself more. My ability and desire to be apart of a team escalated. I gained clarity as I embraced transparency. Joy and enthusiasm lasts a whole lot longer. Life’s challenges aren’t as harsh since I stopped the blame game. Self preservation is a formidable force. I want people to see the real me so I’m working hard to get were there is no lie left.

Man, this honesty thing is the balm! 

An Aha moment is when a lie gets confronted! Share a comment about what you’re doing to reach your truth? 





Adventures in Marty! 12


Image via, courtesy of Kira Westland

All the tears did a fine job of clearing the air. They all feel lighter. But, it’s like a ton of bricks were unloaded from Alex and his mom. Just underneath his pain loomed a deep love and respect for her. He had turned inward years ago and kept his pain alive. That put his mom in harm’s way. It prevented his own authenticity. He didn’t tell the truth to his mom. He penalized her for being in the dark. Not knowing how much he hurt inside. He sees himself as a fool now. Although his mother is not perfect he had to acknowledge her sacrifices for him. Admit she never failed to put him first. It had been years since he looked at her without bitterness. Today he takes in her beauty. Her love for her son is radiant. Alex understood how he disrespected her. He vowed to be a good son.

The conversation flowed freely. All distance between family members is gone. They’re connecting in a way nobody thought likely. It was the dawning of something more intimate. Leelee leaning on the sofa arm with her legs pulled up squeezed his hand as Alex took hold of her. Eyes do talk. Oh, to be a fly on the cornea to hear what their pupils were saying. Looking into one another’s eyes melted previous versions of their love. These events would prove dynamic. Life altering. Good became great. Love chased fear into obedience. A baby is safe, a man is born, a mother is set free, a father gains a son, a mom-to-be is thrilled, and her mom is thankful.

Talk about a Kodak moment; they all sat non-verbally. Peaceful smiles spoke softly. Leelee politely interrupted, dad she said, when do you think God first gets involved in our lives? You must have a reason for asking that question, he offered. Yeah, I do. I sensed God is near from the moment I suspected I was pregnant. I took my pill. It seems improbable for me to be with child. I wanted to conceive but Alex wanted to wait. When I look at what my being pregnant has done for us all I wonder. I mean, I have questions.

I believe mankind is Gods’ idea. Like marriage, having children is His idea too. I think before we are formed in the womb He is right there with us. We come from Him. We return to Him when life is over. We are all on loan to one another. Children are a heritage. An inheritance given to us by our heavenly father. We are responsible to remind each other of that and to point our kids to back to Him. Leelee stated, I’ve sensed His presence throughout my life. Sometimes more real than others. Sometimes I didn’t know if He is there. This time, especially when Alex rushed me to the hospital, something so real, so definitive happened. I knew He was more than with me. It’s like He was in me, through me, not just around me.

Her mom spoke. That’s yours Leelee. All yours. Nobody can ever take that from you. Your faith and experience are teaching you things of the Spirit. No bible class can ever give you what you obtained since this all happened. Doubt can be a problem. Even for believers. It’s in times like these we own our faith. You advance from teachings to conceiving. You move from ideas about God to the reality of God. John piped in, God isn’t someone to call on, only when there is trouble. Nor is He number one on some lists of priorities. He is our life. He is limited only by our attitudes, lack of willingness to recognize Him, and our understanding of His ways.

Alex couldn’t hold back any longer. He asked, then why do bad things happen? John said, bad things don’t come from God Alex. But if He controls everything He has to allow it, right? This is a point of much controversy, John continues. Many people ask, why does a loving God do nothing when tragedy, suffering, and violence affects innocent people. I would submit a few questions of my own here, says John. People live without consulting with or inviting God into their everyday lives. They make choices from intellect and emotions. If things workout they take the credit but if things don’t workout they blame God.


Image via, courtesy of Edward Conde

Leelee and Grace are almost spellbound. John has never been this vocal. He’s seen as a wise man but the emotion and communication from him today is unusual, to say the least. When I look at the state of politics, John elaborates, even the state of the church at large, I see the results of our decisions. A choice is behind every action. Someone chooses to murder, rape, molest, steal. Gossip, exploitation, and humiliating other people are all choices. Christians who spew hate and judgment also do so by choice.

If God took our choices away from us we would be something other than human beings. Our ability to choose makes us different from every other form of creation. Alex quips, then why doesn’t He help us make better choices? With the patience of a man who has lived through decades of trial and error, John responds. What you have been experiencing through these past weeks is God breaking through years of being closed out. Do you think God suddenly became interested in you, Alex? Or do you think He has been there all along? Alex is perplexed. After a brief pause he answers, I know He has been there all along. You’re making choices now based on your awareness of His desire to be involved in your life.

lightafterdarkness by Jhong Dizon

Image via on flickr, by Jhong Dizon

Alex made eye contact with his mom. She had been silent the whole time. She smiled warmly at him. He asked, what do you think mom? I’ve learned something today, she replied. Several things actually. I think I want to spend some time reflecting on all I’ve heard. I will take some time and ask myself some questions before I make any statements. I do hope we can talk more about this. With that the parents decided it was time to go. The good-bye hugs were deeper than ever. There is no lack of love and affection among this tribe.

The Man Upstairs proved He resides with us. He’s not a distant lover or absentee father. He doesn’t attack to force his will. He will not withhold any good thing from us. He never wanted to be on the outside looking in. He wants to be known.

Marty will return next Friday!

Right to Life!

My Right!

Since it’s my responsibility to define my life, you can understand why I can’t surrender, step aside, act like I don’t matter, just to allow you to have the life you think is yours. Any opinion that requires I forfeit the opportunity to advance in the direction of my hopes and dreams is invalid. Pardon me, for not eliminating my life, to tolerate yours.

growth flickr

Image via

The human experience is layered with highs and lows. Mountain tops and valleys. Victories and defeats. Moments when I’m paying attention and times when I’m asleep at the wheel. Immaturity and mastery work together to develop the strength of consistency. Funny how the finished product never reaches the finish-line. If I had expired in my twenties, who would say, I had nothing else to accomplish? If I live to be one hundred years old I would still not be perfect. Growth is the goal.

Mark your Advances!

Through observation I’ve come to know life as a fickle process. The sun shines bright one day, causing me to sing and dance in warm rays of light. Tomorrow can bring dark clouds, fierce winds, sending me running for shelter. Life is a non-fiction mystery. So many moving parts, plot-lines, and characters. I have a collection of answers to go along with my endless list of questions. Stability comes from the experience of knowing life continues through out-of-control seasons. I can’t tell you how much I’ve taken since I said, I can’t take any more. I’ve lived through many things I thought would kill me.

I’ve worked against myself. At times, I’ve been my own worst enemy. Never my intention. True anyway. One gift of outlasting dead-end roads, out-dated maps, and inadequate wisdom is inevitable clarity. The ability to see what is beyond the illusion. Hidden behind the lies that bind. Perhaps it would have been better if I could have perceived reality sooner. Why go there? If I focus on the past I miss the opportunity I’m in. It’s not possible to redo yesterday. The best thing I can do is to let the dead bury the dead. Making devastation work in your favor is a hallmark of success.

highplaces Darklich14 wikimedia

Image via, courtesy of Darklich14

Walking with a limp can add character. Make you more empathetic. Create a safe place for you and the people you meet. I’ve breathed the air of death. Walked around like a corpse. Depressed myself into oblivion. Wallowed in self-pity so long even nausea got sick of me. I’ve also been to the party. Danced in the spotlight. Took in the crisp fresh air available only in elevated places. I’ve experienced the force of a downward spiral. And the energy of an upward draft. I allowed the power of life to pull me upright. The author of faith, turns out, is the author of chance, second chance, and more chances.

I have the right to not fail. When I falter I have the right to try again. I’m not a fan of the popular adage,”everything happens for a reason.” People offer it like its pure wisdom. Can you tell me what the reason is? That would be helpful. Only when I discover the “why” am I empowered to know the reason. I know this, if I’m growing, I’m on my way to living the dream. No matter how long I’ve carried the “wonder” of my life, in the womb of possibility, I have the right to bring my “miracle”  into the world. The surest way to thwart the divine intention of me is to compare myself to others. What could’ve been. Or what should be. Walking in the Light is my right.

The Power of Choice

The call to us all is precise; Rise Up! Take the risk of success. Gain the rewards that come by overcoming the junk that should have destroyed you. I’ve used rubble to rebuild. And achievement as a foundation. In the most unlikely of ways it’s turning out better than I believed possible. I choose to right and re-write the storyline of my life. Only evil disapproves.

As I accept healing for wounds, tragedies, and failures I also accept the responsibility of being whole. I’ve had the good fortune to solve the “why” in my life. Why this decision? Why did I make that choice? What you do is important. But, it will never be as important as why you do it. Understanding the “why” in my life unlocked the door to my destiny. When the door swung open I had no justifiable reason to stay put. I’m obligated to step into a world without excuse. I’ve witnessed the effects of re-branding.

success pixabay

Image via

One thing is certain, for me, and everyone else. Life, abundant life, is possible, probable, and plausible. I don’t have to let anyone take it from me. I don’t have to deny myself. I recovered, replenished, and redirected my true intention. Hope is alive. By redeeming the moment, hearing the heartbeat, and standing in my place I’m able to celebrate my existence. I’m compatible with virtue, value, and victory. I get along well with high ground, thriving, and fulfillment.

Strike while the iron is hot. “Seize the day.”  Resurrect and get after it. You matter. Make your life count.

You have a right to life!

How are you moving forward?





Adventures in Marty! 11

happycouple by hafecheese flickr

Image via, courtesy of hafecheese

Both mothers and Leelee’s dad head for the house. Alex is doing the paperwork for discharge. The relief they all feel is apparent on their faces. Positive energy surrounds every word. It’s great when things work out the way you want. Everyone had to consider the potential for looming tragedy. Not today. This is a joyous day. A day they will always remember. Each one of them is changed in ways that will soon become evident to them all.

The two moms and dad quickly ready the house to make Leelee comfortable when they arrive. Alex helped Leelee into the car. They thank the nurse who wheeled her outside. Alex slides into the drivers seat. Puts the key in the ignition. Hesitates. Looks over at his precious wife. Their eyes locked on each other. Silence never spoke so loud. With unrehearsed precision they said I love you at the same time. I’ve never been more thankful, Leelee. I feel blessed in a way that I never thought possible. My wife is okay. Our baby is okay. Then Alex said  the most powerful words. You know, honey, I’m okay. I’m really okay. She said, we’re always going to be okay, Alex.

They pull into the driveway at home. John is the first to appear. He’s a quiet man with understated strength and calm. His eagerness today surprises everyone. Both moms follow John outside. They have different personalities but today they express enthusiasm in unison. The belief that supernatural intervention prevailed creates gratitude beyond words. This is a thankful family. The sense that great things are ahead gives them all an assurance not easily found.

Each one of them found a means to assist Leelee inside. Quit fusing, Leelee said. I feel fine. With a mom on each arm and the men trailing after, the door closes behind them. It’s symbolic in a sacred kind of way. A chapter in all of their lives has ended. Leelee is led to the couch. The women had made it up with sheets, pillows, and a blanket. Leelee says, I’m so glad you are all here. But, you have to stop treating me like I’m going to crack. I’m a little tired. Other than that, I’m great. The four voices spoke at the same time. The message is communicated. You just relax, Leelee, and let us take care of you.


Image via flickr, courtesy of Lama Surya Das

Hot tea for everyone. Settling in to their seats they begin an extraordinary conversation. Alex wants to talk. He divulges everything he had said to Leelee. There’s not a dry eye in the room. Leelee welcomes the surprise. She knows what a leap of faith this is for Alex. It’s a miracle. She’s so proud of him. His mom speaks next. I’m sorry son. I thought if we acted like it never happened it would give us the best chance to get over it. I didn’t realize you needed to talk about it. I’m so sorry Alex. I feel stupid and ashamed. Can you ever forgive me? He gets up and goes to his mother. She stands up and they embrace. He cries so hard that it breaks her heart all over again.

She went back to the very moment she found out he had been molested. You would have to be blind not to see the pain evaporate. This is the healing many people never find. An only child, abandoned by his father, re-bonds to a single mother who couldn’t love her son any more than she does. What a new beginning this would prove to be. From that minute on their relationship flourished. Alex said, mom, I thought you didn’t want me to talk about it because you were embarrassed by me. I thought it was your pride. I thought you were more concerned about yourself and what people would say than you were about my well being.

Oh no, Alex. I wish I had known what the silence was doing to you. I’m so sorry, Alex. I get that, mom. I get it now. I want to apologize to you. Apologize to me? You have nothing to apologize to me about, she cried. I do mom. My pain kept me from seeing how much you tried to lessen the impact on me. I’ve held things against you, mom. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Until today I didn’t understand that I’ve been punishing you. For years, I’ve made you pay for things you didn’t even know I felt. I could have told you how I was feeling. I know now you would have listened. I wrote a very wrong story and I have lived out the story I wrote. It was all wrong. Can you forgive me, mom? Of course I forgive you.

As Alex turned to walk back to his chair John stood up. Tears were streaming down his face. Leelee and her mom had not seen him cry like that. There is a serenity, a hallow presence that filled the room. John wrapped his arms around Alex. He said, I love you, son. These words transformed Alex. John instinctively knew Alex had longed to hear his father say these words to him. Alex liked John but there had always been dissonance. Alex only referred to him by his first name so what he said next shocked everyone. Hugging John as tightly as he could he said, thanks dad. I love you too.

FatherSon pamula133 pixabay

Image via pixabay, courtesy of pamula133

Divine intention manifested. Demonstrating the way things are meant to be. Pantokrater and Marty enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Marty will return next Friday!

Grounds for Divorce!

I will get to marriage in a moment!

For years I thought, we are all the sum total of our experiences. I was wrong! We are the sum total of our interpretations of our experiences. What I believe dictates my actions. What I believe isn’t based on what has transpired in my life. It’s based on what I think about what happened in my life. I make choices according to what I decided to believe about every life experience.

wrongway infomatique flickr

Image via Flickr Commons, by Infomatique

I was born into dysfunction. Things were not ideal. From abandonment, molestation, rejection, absence of affirmation, and loss of identity I was conditioned to survive – not thrive. While these things might not collectively reflect everyone’s resume’ they show up in many peoples timelines. More importantly, I’m in no way unique. There’s a multitude of similar stories. If I think my situation is exceptional I’m not likely to forfeit my status. Change was against me!

It’s easy for me to appreciate anyone who emerged from childhood with less scars. Minimal trauma. And better equipped to navigate the journey of living. I have more in common with the broken. People struggling to find answers to their pain. I identify with those who hope for brighter days. Less complicated nights. And a future filled with promises of beautiful things.

My search for solve-ation (made up word) led me to many things that just didn’t work. The greatest tragedy I’ve witnessed in my own life isn’t the terrible things that were made a part of me; it’s the way I related to what went on. I erroneously incorporated undesirable events into my personal assessment. I agreed to be devalued without realizing it. This set up an alternate reality. I was living a lie. Because powerful things, negative things, became part of me so early on I was groomed to attract the very things I didn’t want.

keepcalm edit wikimedia commons

Image via wikimedia commons

I’m using marriage in a metaphoric sense; the relationship I have with various aspects of my life. I have been committed to the unfaithful. I’ve been affectionate to things that could never love me back. Trying to get fruit from trees of destruction. I held on to ideas that could only work against me. I developed habits that became invisible walls of my intimate prison.

I stayed with principles that left me wanting. The feeling of unworthiness will never lead to abundance. Believing I am not enough cannot provide the rewards of knowing who I am. Seeing myself as damaged is not going to heal me. I tried hard to workout things in my head that can only be resolved in my heart. Lessons learned establishes growth that can’t be taken away. Thoughts are creative. In all directions. Good thoughts with corresponding feelings brings about a desirable life. No matter what existed previously, there is power in the right-now.

The scariest part of transformation is knowing where you are. Accepting that what has always been doesn’t have to be what always is. Blame is the first thing that has to go. The stuff that creates an appetite for self-destruction isn’t permanent. Unless you want it to be. Taste-buds are teachable. Courage is the instructor. Why is the question to ask and answer. Not why did it happen. Why do I allow it to continue?

You can be victimized without the mentality of a victim. Victims graduate to perpetrator. Understanding the power to change is the radical in each of us. To become your own revolution is the way forward. I wallowed, for years, until I discovered I had everything I needed to facilitate conversion. It’s almost too cliche’ to use but it’s too true to ignore; what you think about you bring about. I can dwell on what I don’t want or I can dwell on what I do.

I had grounds for divorce. I didn’t need a lawyer. It didn’t cost me anything to end my marriage to abusive ideas, concepts, or my past. To stay in relationships that couldn’t support my dreams, recognize my value, or refuse to abuse could have cost me everything. I’m not here to be the tail. The doormat. The wishful thinker. I’m here to flourish in love, empathy, and connection.

Faith and pain have been two constants in my life. Mastering my path included ending the human constructs of theology and doctrines that left me short of The Father. My faith has emerged as empirical truth, lessening my pain. God is too superior to be detailed by minds still searching to understand Him. Love and Grace are too intentional to be unmerited. Accepting that it’s not possible to be too messy for the Father led me to authentic Sonship. Resulting in the clarity of my message and mission. I connect people to the father.

prayer by husky394xp youtube

Image via youtube, courtesy of husky 394xp

I prayed diligently for years, seeking liberation. I searched for the feelings of worthiness, affirmation, and inclusion. The answer I sought remained too undefined to materialize. I didn’t understand. I asked God and then expected men to grant my requests. I simply stood in the wrong line. Others can share in my life; no one can live my life. This is my life and I want it.

The painter William H. Johnson coined the phrase; “if it is to be, it is up to me.” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, ” In every moment something sacred is at stake.” We have grounds to bury the dead, none life-giving parts of our lives, and surrender to the life that’s trying to breathe. If my life hibernates it becomes a significant loss to me and the rest of the world.

Here are some practical things I did to propel myself onward and upward:

1. Awareness – got in touch with the source of my thoughts and feelings

2. Identified –  the origin of my beliefs

3. Inventoried –  my habits and relationships

4. Observed –  what is repeatedly showing up in my life

5. Willingness – to own my failures and achievements

6. Honesty – I decided what I wanted more than anything

7. Courage – to identify and divorce everything that held me back

I made adjustments to those things that only needed tweaking. I walked away from systems, personalities, and applications that worked against me. I miss some people I had to let go of. Some I loved. Some were just habits. I felt bare for awhile as I gave up my excuses. I now have a comparison, the way it had always been and the way it is now. My life today is much better.

jump for joy pixabay commons

Image via pixabay creative commons

I settled some things forever. I’m still working to align with more authenticity. It’s a work in progress. It’s also a work of progress. I’ve made strides of enormous growth. I find the universe is now working on my behalf. People and things are appearing out of nowhere (actually from a very specific place) to support my cause. To know good things are the direct result of my efforts is more affirming than anything I’ve ever experienced.

You are worthy of the best possible life. Good things are waiting for you to marry them. Divorce captivity and live!

You have grounds!

P.S. My wife and I will celebrate 34 years of marriage in a few days. She is the most wonderful woman on the planet. It’s taken a lot of tweaking over the years but thankfully we never found it necessary to divorce. I just couldn’t help but share how blessed I am to live with such a beautiful and splendid wife.




Adventures in Marty! 10

waitingroom simon plelow flickr

by Simon Plelow on

Huddled together in the waiting room, everyone had the same words in their eyes. They took Leelee into a room, told the family to wait outside. Fear has a horrible taste. Seems to get into the bloodstream. It infects every system the body uses to function. In moments like these even the indomitable human spirit can acquiesce to perceived terror.

Both mothers are utilizing their nurturing skills. Alex is being showered with affection. In rapid fire succession, words of encouragement, are aimed and released at Alex. John sits in silence. Makes eye contact with his son in-law on occasion. Doesn’t say anything. That’s his little girl in there. His concern is written all over his face. John is a devoted father. Adored by his family. He loves his daughter.

Grace worked in the medical field before she retired. She explained that nearly a third of pregnant women experience some bleeding during the first twelves weeks. It often doesn’t mean anything serious. The odds are in our favor. All bleeding is scary. But we have every right to hope for the best. Let’s stay positive. I think everything is going to be fine. She offered a warm smile to the others. It brought a sense of calm.

Alex had been pacing back and forth. He sat next to his mother. She understood his unspoken request. She gladly put her arm around him. Brought his head into her chest. Comforted her son. The circumstances creating this opportunity for affection are uninvited. She is thankful that her man-child is in her arms. She longed. Almost begged. For Leelee not to miscarry. Her  desire to be close to her son, her only child, is penetrating.

Hospitals have a feel. A smell. A reputation beyond their medical services. They are gathering places for people in need. Anxiety permeates the air supply. Pain congregates in designated waiting areas. In just a couple of hours it’s possible to witness every emotion known to man. People accept the best and worst news from people in white coats. Or scrubs. Sometimes strangers tell you the last thing you want to hear about your loved one.



Alex spoke. His words pierced the silence that had formed an invisible structure around the four of them. Leelee and I have been talking about God. A lot. I’m exploring. Asking questions. You all know I believe in God. But I have had a problem with the way some things happened in my life. I blamed God for my pain. If He is so loving, why would He allow bad things to happen? Especially to innocent children. They couldn’t take their eyes off Alex. Mesmerized at his openness. They didn’t dare speak. They were hungry for Alex to keep talking.

I buried some difficult things. Stuffed them deep down inside me. I never wanted to talk about them. His mother didn’t know how much Alex is going to reveal. She had done some stuffing of her own. She loved her son as much as any mother could. Her reservations about what Alex would talk about were met with an invitation to get it all out. She wanted a healthy relationship with her son. They were good with each other. She knew it could be much better.

Alex continued. I’ve had some sort of breakthrough. The news of Leelee being with child caused something to release inside of me. The past few weeks have been like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I’m changing in ways I didn’t think were possible. I’ve reached out to God. I want to understand. I want to know Him. I would like to have my questions answered. We can’t lose this baby. Why would God let us lose this baby?

John’s voice was clear and authoritative. Both women started to speak at the same time. Wanting to steer Alex in the right direction. They willingly gave John the floor. Listen to me son, he said. No matter what happens here tonight you are not alone. You have family. People that care about you. God is always with you. He’s with all of us. God isn’t a pill you take to prevent anything bad from happening. He’s the ever-present help in times of trouble. Life is a journey with hills and valleys. Many ups and downs take place over the course of a lifetime. Part of maturing, understanding, and growing involves knowing God is with you no matter what.

femaledr walt stoneburner flickr

by Walt Stoneburner at

I hear what you’re saying, John. I still have lots of questions. John replies, that’s good. Don’t pressure yourself to answer all of them tonight, Alex. We are here in this moment together. Our love and faith is interwoven. We are strong together. Whatever we have to face we will face together. As Alex started to respond to John the door opened. The doctor came directly to them. Her facial expressions announced good news before she spoke a word.

Leelee is fine. The baby is fine. Nothing to worry about. The doctor explained why bleeding sometimes occurs and reassured them, all is well. We want to keep her for a few hours more just to observe her. We want to let her finish receiving the fluids from her IV bag. I expect she can go home by early afternoon. Any questions? she asked. Can we see her? Yes. Please don’t wake her. Let her sleep as long as she can.

They squeeze around the door to her room. Leelee looks beautiful. Peaceful. Restful.

Every eye in the unseen world takes note of the All-Powerful at work.

Marty will return next Friday!




5 Ways to Become a Better Thinker

Today I’m re-posting an article I read on LinkedIn.

I’m always on the lookout for sound, practical advice, to incorporate into my daily practices. I found this interesting. Maybe you will too, Rick Amitin.


Colleges and universities don’t offer courses in thinking, although it is arguably the most valuable skill anyone can master. When people try to improve mentally, they might aim at increasing their IQ or gain a larger vocabulary. It’s disputed whether anyone’s intelligence can be meaningfully increased, but there is so much else that can be improved if you stand back and approach thinking per se as a skill.


Here are five tips that will improve almost anyone’s ability not simply to think but to think effectively in any situation.


  1. Use your brain efficiently.

Although thinking is mental, it is intimately connected to the brain, which has its own specific physiology. As a physical organ, the first thing the brain needs is adequate sleep every night. Medical science still considers why we need sleep a mystery, but there’s no doubt that we do. Insomnia needs to be overcome, if at all possible, without sleep aids, because even over-the-counter remedies leave most people feeling groggy and dull the next day.


It’s also extremely beneficial to vary the brain’s activity by giving it some down time during the day, which can amount to sitting alone quietly with eyes shut for 10 minutes every six hours or so. Standing up and moving around once an hour refreshes the body as a whole. Using caffeine or sugar to stimulate a fatigued brain is nowhere near as effective as adopting the practice of meditation, which is the best brain “reset” ever discovered, along with a host of other benefits.


  1. Check in on your state of mind.

The psychology of thinking is just as important as the physiology of thinking. It begins with knowing what your general mood is. We tend to approach thinking a purely rational and logical at its best, but this conception is not entirely adequate. A bad mood can distort anyone’s judgment and decision-making abilities. Various psychological studies have found that the same is true when we’re in a good mood–people tend to pay too much for things if their mood is either good or bad. Don’t deny to yourself that you happen to be in a certain mood. Only if you recognize your mental state can you deal with it and take it into account.


  1. Don’t separate reason from emotion.

Psychology research has found that it is impossible to separate out rationality as a pure trait untouched by emotion. All thinking is colored by emotions, which is especially true with decision-making. People who believe that they are cold-blooded rationalists whose decisions contain no personal element are fooling themselves, which makes their decisions not only suspect but blinkered. Since emotions are always part of the equation, be aware of them; don’t push them away. By the same token, if you see that you are anxious, depressed, hostile, envious, or otherwise affected by negative emotions, don’t make important decisions–or even mundane ones–until you have calmed down.


  1. Recognize bad thinking when it occurs.

Although the human mind will never be as mechanically precise as a computer’s calculations–and shouldn’t aspire to be–there are definite flaws that can be improved upon. Bad thinking comes in several major categories, and it’s good to know what they are so that you can avoid them in yourself and others.

  • Conflicted thinking occurs when you aren’t clear about what the topic is and how to clearly define the major terms.
  • Wishy-washy thinking comes from the refusal to commit to a position.
  • Arbitrary thinking is a stab in the dark after a reasonable way to reach a conclusion has failed.
  • Hidebound thinking resorts to old, familiar prejudices, biases, and viewpoints that refuse to change in the present circumstances.
  • Blinkered thinking comes from the habit of not looking at things that make you uncomfortable; you blind yourself either on purpose or unconsciously.

Look at yourself in the mirror and be honest about whether these flaws have crept into your thinking process.  They too easily become ingrained and repetitive if you aren’t watching out. Any or all of them can be labeled irrational thinking, but that’s too vague a term. See the next point below for why so-called irrational thinking or illogical thinking is quite often beneficial.


  1. Develop a strong intuition.

Most people discount intuition and its power to improve their thinking. For decades intuition was called “feminine” as a means of disparaging or discounting it, yet almost all creativity is based on intuition. So are “aha” moments that deliver insights and unexpected solutions. Without intuition the mind plods and becomes routine. It can be argued that the deepest source of the mind is totally intuitive, as validated by centuries of meditative and contemplative practices. The validation consists of discovering things in ourselves that became the basis for art, philosophy, spirituality, morality, and the whole concept of truth itself. Labeling these vast accomplishments of the human mind irrational makes no sense, even if it has become a trend today, when computers are held up as an ideal of pure logic. Your thinking will become infinitely richer a/s you welcome intuition and learn to develop it.


All of these points are valuable if you want to improve your thinking, but the last point, about developing intuition, is important enough that we’ll discuss it in detail in the next post.

Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Chopra is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest books are Super Genes co-authored with Rudolph Tanzi, PhD  and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine.

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