…Because I Care

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of lunch with a dear friend, former boss turned motivational speaker – one who challenges me and inspires me to be all I can be. (To understand more about what made him a special leader, see my post: Exceptional! )  As always, lunch was filled with thought provoking discussions and challenges for both his life and mine.

During our lunch, he told me about an upcoming opportunity he has to be the keynote speaker at a school lunch nutritional convention in Minnesota. He’s been asked to provide a motivational speech with a phrase for the audience to “take away”, sort of a theme that can become their mantra. The intention of the convention is to encourage those who are serving lunches to see the students as their customers and infuse a sense of caring into their jobs to make a difference in the lives of the students. As he begins to build his speech, he is leaning toward using the phrase, “I care” for the take-away phrase.

As we were talking, I recounted to him a recent conversation with another special friend, (who also challenges me) who asked me why I do what I do  – why I spend hours (in addition to my full-time job) teaching students to play the piano – and hours being a youth leader at my church, talking with broken teenagers looking to find their way – reaching out to broken-hearted people to let them know God loves them. “Why”, he asked, “do you put yourself out there to a world that largely doesn’t care?”   His question was well intentioned, his logic that, if the world doesn’t care, why should I?

As I thought how to answer this question to my lunch mate, I recited the story of the boy on the beach, throwing starfish back into the ocean after they’d washed up on the beach. Someone criticized him, asking why he did it when he couldn’t possible save them all. As he picked up a starfish and gently tossed it back into the water, he said, “I made a difference for THAT one”.

My friend paused several times during our conversation to make notes of things we talked about so he could include in the speech. At one point, he said, “you know, for some of these students, a caring lunch lady might be the only sense of caring they feel all day. Everybody just needs to know someone cares.”

And that, my friends, is why I do what I do. To summarize what I’ve heard our pastor say so many times, “you might be the only Jesus that they see.”

Everyone needs to have someone who cares about them. Be that person to someone today.

Be Jesus for someone today.



Copyright 2019 Journey For Life. All rights reserved.


I hear You, Lord,

In the still, night, air

I feel You, Lord,

You’re everywhere

Fill me with your Presence, Lord,

Let me drink it in

Let Your Spirit dwell in me,

Rescue me from sin.

I am listening, Lord,

For Your voice so small,

Show me, Lord,

Reveal it all.

Light the path You’d have me take

Give me courage for Your sake

I’m listening, Lord,

For Your voice so small,

Show me, Lord,

Reveal it all.

Copyright Journey For Life 2019. All rights reserved.

Living the sequel

Our lives, books filled with characters and plots, and story lines, sometimes filled with drama, sometimes filled with dreams. Chapters end, giving way to new beginnings, all with familiar rings, marching onward to who knows where. The Author knows the ending, but the characters, blind, are intertwined with one another in ways whose impact is seldom fully realized until the conclusion.  The Author alone knows their purpose, and their parts in one another’s lives. 

Plot twists complicate an otherwise boring tale, as the Author uses pain and sorrow, joy and revelry to shape each characters’ soul, preparing them for the sequel.

The novel, replete with romance, and heroism, gain and loss, sorrow and sadness, for most, will not make the best seller list, nor even be known by many, but have an impact on the few who truly experience, truly come to life with the words of its pages.

Live the sequel, make way for new beginnings, and allow the plot to thicken, for therein lies the basis for the Author to develop character in this fictitious tale until its denouement.

Living the sequel,


Copyright 2019. Journey for life. All rights reserved

Gym Playlist # 10 – A Thousand Miles (Vanessa Carlton)

Just because of the title (since my current goal is 1,000 miles) and the cool keyboard part at the beginning, this song makes # 10 in my playlist. Besides, the video of the ornate baby grand cruising across the country in settings varying from beaches to cities is fun, if not a bit on the corny side. It’s a 3.8 mph song for me, and good to begin the cool-down of my treadmill workout.

“A Thousand Miles” is a piano-driven pop song supported by a string orchestral arrangement. Carlton says that the song is about ‘lost love’, but has not said exactly whom the song may be about.[1] She has also called the song “a combination of reality and fantasy. It’s about a love that so consumes you that you do anything for it. That’s how I felt at that time.”[2] (Wikipedia)

IF I could fall into the sky

Do you think time would pass me by?

‘Cause you know I’d walk a thousand miles

If I could just see you tonight

Wishing everyone could find a love that so consumes you’d walk 1,000 miles for it. For me, my 1,000 mile journey is for my friend, whom I love dearly.

Just keep swimming, friends.



A thousand miles

The journey continues

In early December, I began (again) my journey toward fitness in support of my wonderful friend, so that she wouldn’t journey alone.

On this January 1, 2019, I am keenly aware of countless resolutions of the same cloth, and expect the gym to be filled with well intentioned people who will go at it hard for the next few weeks before waning and settling back into their old ways.

Perseverance is difficult, especially when set-backs and life get in the way. Over the last week or so, I’ve had set-backs of my own, and life has gotten in the way. Perseverance and “stick-to-it-ivenss” as it’s been described of me, however, is learning not to give up on your goals and dreams, no matter how lofty. Sure, there are times when the climb is not a steady one, and may even regress temporarily, but over the long haul, continues an upward trend until the goal is met.

This past summer, my son and his girlfriend signed up to do a ten mile Spartan race. They selected a location closest to our home that met their schedules (the one that was really closest to our home was scheduled when my son was away at school) and asked if I’d drive them.

Because of her work schedule, we left for Palmerton (about a five hour drive for us) around midnight the night before the race. We had coolers of water and Gatorade, oranges, and nuts and other healthy snacks. Our plan was to find the venue and then get some breakfast and come back for their starting time. I drove all night while they slept and we arrived at the venue around 5:30 am. Turns out, there’s not much around Palmerton, PA, so our breakfast consisted of some fruit cups at the race. The first heat of the race started at 7:30 but theirs didn’t start until 11:30.

Neither one of them is particularly athletic, and they hadn’t really trained, but had completed a five mile Tough Mudder the month before, so thought it would be easy. Little did they realize that people apparently come from all over the world to Palmerston, PA because it offers the steepest and most challenging obstacle race Spartan hosts. I learned this after their race had started, when I had the opportunity to take the ski lift overlooking the course. I was awed by the obstacles I saw they had to complete, and, being completely honest, thought there was no way they’d ever finish.

Four and a half hours into their race, I began to get concerned. The five mile Tough Mudder had taken about 90 minutes to complete. Double the distance and allow some time for fatigue, we thought four hours was a good estimated time to completion. They had no cell phones with them, and signal was poor anyway. I was by myself waiting, thinking the worst had happened, but hadn’t been paged to the medical tent, so hoping for the best.

Along the way, I made a friend who was there to support her niece in her 5th race. She told me to expect a 6 or 7 hour completion time for the first time. We stood together near the finish line, watching for both the kids and her niece. At about six and a half hours in, my son and his girlfriend crossed the finish line! About ten minutes later, my friends’ niece (who had a later start time than my kids) also finished the race.

On our ride home that evening, they shared with me the “mental breakdown” moment she had a half mile from the finish line when the obstacle was to carry a 5 gallon bucket of rocks 100 yards back up a hill. Tears streaming from her face, she exclaimed, “I can’t do it. I’m done”. My son, in a sarcastic moment, told her they should quit after all, since they’ve already completed nine or so miles, and only have a little bit to finish. A moment of determination came over her as she hoisted the bucket up over her shoulder and charged up the hill.

Perseverance is about charging towards the goal even when you think you can’t do it. You will amaze yourself if you don’t give up!

Stick to it my friends! And, for all the “newbies” at the gym this week, I applaud you for starting your journey. Don’t give up!

In the words of a friend, “you have a wide open road in front of you. Be thankful for the horizon you have. Yours to make.”

Happy New Year and many blessings to you this year, my friends!



Copyright 2019 journey for life All rights reserved.