Thursday, November 26, 2015



Thankful for the journey. Thankful for 5 senses. Thankful for a mind, body and soul to enjoy the beauty and pain of it all. Thankful for photos, letters, cards, shells, rocks, feathers, bones, flowers, beer coasters, tee shirts, hotel keys, songs, cameras and video to refresh it all in color and black and white.

Thankful that the further back I go in the reflections of life, the more I can honestly see the good and the bad of my life's choices. This is not bad, it's what makes me what I am today. Beautifully flawed in Gods eyes.

Sorting the good and the bad is necessary. Evading this process robs you of the joy of your story, the fullness of your journey. Embrace it all and use it for fertilizer.
For those who were taught and re-teach that life is full of purity and happy happy Joy Joy.... if you're living right?
You do the world and your friends and mostly your children a dis-service.

Disney had it wrong. Life is not Cinderella and Bambi.
That leads to early divorce, radical greenpeace, a lot more therapy and a misunderstanding of God.

You know I'm guessing, if we were good enough, God would still be walking in the midst of each of us in the Garden every morning. Not gonna happen....

Yet, through redemption of His Son and His Holy Spirits presence, there are those mornings and moments where God seems to be truly in the midst of us. Sublime and inexpressible as mortals.

And yet there are the times when our mortality makes us feel as far from Gods grace as the east is from the west, as heaven is from hell. Different for every person on every level, but still the same feelings. And in that I'll never stop believing that If our souls remain open, Gods love convicts, forgives and calls us back like any good father while the enemy of our souls, condems, shames and tells us to quit and end it all. (Which do you choose this day is our choice every day).

So today, we reflect on all the thanksgivings we've shared with family over the years. Those present, those newly gone that still leave their scent in the air, those remembered only from photos. The family foods, and drinks and games and traditions. Five senses on steroids.

Here in America where I live, as bad as it can seem at times, we live in amazing prosperity way beyond our means. For how many remember a thanksgiving where we didn't have real cranberry sauce or the wi/fi or cable went out... Yea, some people actually think these things. Kardashians come to mind :)
We don't want to focus on this but we know that most the world lives in squalor and fear and disease.
Now this doesn't mean they are in misery in their souls, it only means they have not lived in 200 years of an evolving democracy where freedom reigns and we continue to define liberty and justice for all where prosperity has thrived under these imperfect declarations.

Again today I pray with thanksgiving, God bless this America. For all her sins and poor choices, she is "like us", mortal and flawed but beautiful and created with supernatural words.

(the flag that flew over Ft Sumter the day the Civil War started)

Oh , we are flawed. no doubt. Our failure to have not seen the sin of slavery throughout the Old World, and to have allowed it here using our Bible as part justification, will never have been acceptable. God forgive us. Our treatment of our native peoples in conquering this land to make it America were terrible God forgive us.

Yet where would this America be if Brittan or France or Spain or .... had taken this land called America. What would have happened to our native populations and tragic slave populations and immigrants. under their conquering swords or anyone elses from the east?

I today am thankful for America. For like the church, she is flawed and mortal but strong and beautiful. Diverse yet divisive, love and giving while killing and hiding. We must accept the bad with the good and want to be better.
It's a journey, a story worth remembering, cherishing and fighting for.

I am thankful for every mothers sacrifice of a son or daughter to keep this America free. Their tears have washed away more sins than all the protests in the streets could ever imagine. I'm thankful for every person who puts their life in harms way to protect the innocent each day. I'm Honestly sad and angered for every person who living in freedom chooses to divide by race, creed or color, to subjugate, indoctrinate, intolerant, degredate and emancipate all that Freedom stands for and was founded on that was good.
This includes the selfrighteousness of my own heart at times.

And as believers, as most claim to be, we trust that God Almighty will make good from bad. (we see it in all our history if we want to look at it honestly).
For only He can do that. And we are reminded as a nation that we should never grow weary in doing good. Good like valuing our Wombs and our Waters, our Land and our Language, our Borders and our Brotherhood, our Faiths and our Fears as filtered through what would Jesus do.. And in that we will fail. Miserably and that's part of the journey and I'm sorry and forgive us our sin is as important as the gold medal, superbowl ring and Cup. As a people and a nation good, will bear good fruit as is always has. For our generosity around the world goes unchallenged. And one day we may find that the generosity we've freely given (not the governments money but the peoples private generosity) will the clarions call to the rest of the world some day. Some day when our nation is truly in peril and those who've been saved over the generations will respond in kind.

Yes, I believe in this kind of justice. This kind of Love.

So today, 8 lanes of traffic filled with SUV's heading to meet family today to celebrate and be thankful for the gift of America and what she has allowed us.

We remember today that those gifts were purchased with the blood of men yearning to be free. To risk and lose their lives on horses and wagons across a dangerous landscape against all odds. To risk it all over and over for a chance at a new way, a new life of capitalist and religious freedom from all the countries and governments our peoples came from. And even those brought by force here, they now have ancestors and generations of prosperity and the ability to succeed in ways their ancestors could never had dreamed. EVER.

I'm thankful today that some of our sons and daughters see nobility and are still willing to fight to keep America safe, and our right to bear arms and have religious freedoms and safe borders, and protecting the innocent. All the while to many of our sons and daughters take and take, and scream for better rights and more assistance and more respect and more equality because they feel entitled. For what I'm not sure.

Yet I'm thankful for it all. The bad helps me want to be better. The hate I see makes me want to love more. The oppression make me want to support freedom. The homeless make me want to hug my family and say deeper prayers of Thanksgiving today.

For yesterday i sat at a stoplight and a homeless woman in the cold was asking for help. I had no cash. Wait, I had a dollar I had won in a game months back in the corner of my wallet. Oh, Craig, don't give a dollar it's insulting to her my pride said. This was a long line of cars and a very long light, and no one was giving to her. So i rolled down my window and stuck my little dollar out as she took it and said Happy Thanksgiving, God bless you.. I rolled up my window only to look backward as 7 cars in a row began rolling down their window as the woman began running and getting money from the cars behind me.

That's the America I love. We only need inspiration, a breeze, a slight push to do good. May it ever so be that, God bless America the land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her....

Most blessed Thanksgiving thoughts to my friends around this little blue marble in whatever part of the journey you find yourself in today be thankful. You can only be what you think. Think on these things.. whatever is good....

It's Morning In America  not the end of the world as we know it.