One More Star

When I was just a boy of eight

I’d often stay up way too late

I’d look up into the dark night

And wish upon every star in sight

What were my many wishes I wished back then?

Maybe for more toys or maybe for more friends

But then time passed and I grew up

And I quit believing in that stuff

Wishing stars, lucky pennies and wishing wells

All those magical things became a hard sell

Wishing on a light from the past

No wonder wishes never last

Then I got a little older only thought of myself

I was number one and didn’t need any help

Didn’t really believe in love

Really wasn’t sure there was a God

But still I prayed for something to believe in

Searching for a truth that wasn’t deceivin’

Then I got a little older started to realize

That most people believe their own lies

But I believed in you, I believed in us

Now I know why I don’t believe in love

And I wonder how did we end up here

When the laughs were replaced by tears

Hard to move forward when we’ve been here before

And my forever was different from yours

When I think back on all the wishes of my youth

I feel as if there’s only one cold hard truth

I must’ve wished on every star near and far

‘Cause now you’re gone I’m wishing I had one more star

Forever Or The End by Skillet-

Here’s To Moving On by Dashboard Confessional-

Rose Tinted Glasses by James TW-

Say Goodbye by Citizen Soldier –

Shouldn’t Matter But It Does by John Mayer –

When Was It Over by Sasha Alex Sloan and Sam Hunt –

But Mother Knew

128 Of The Most Beautiful Mom Quotes: I Love You Message - BayArt

Mother bird sat on her eggs for a very long time. Sometimes mother wondered if her eggs would ever hatch.

But mother knew.

The baby birds hatched and mother bird had to keep busy feeding them. Sometimes mother bird wondered if she would ever get any rest.

But mother knew.

Mother bird told her birds it was time to learn to fly. All the baby birds said they didn’t need to learn to fly, that they would always be by her side.

But mother knew.

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All the baby birds learned to fly but they all told mother bird they would be back soon.

But mother knew.

All the baby birds grew up and started families on their own. They said they would visit as soon as they could.

But mother knew.

All the birds knew mother was old and didn’t have much time left. They came home to visit. They said they would be back next week.

But mother knew.

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Mothers by Anne Wilson –

A Mother Like You by JJ Heller –

Unsung Hero by For King & Country –

Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman- 

Fast by Luke Bryan – 

When I’m Gone by Joey and Rory – 

Only One Piece Of Paper (A Poem For The Ocean)

Image result for ocean trash

I was walking beside the ocean

With a piece of paper in my hand

I read what it said and threw it in

Then started to walk in the sand

But I hadn’t gone more than a few steps

When my conscious started speaking to me

I looked back from where I had been

What I saw I swear I could barely believe

For all these animals had tears in their eyes

Heartbreaking Photos Show What Your Trash Does To Animals | HuffPost Impact

There was a turtle tangled in a sick pack ring

Discarded by someone who thought it was only one

There was a seagull who couldn’t sing

A plastic bottle cap stuck in its throat

There was a shark with a beer can stuck in its gill

There were many fish with plastic bags stuck on their fins

There was a whale with a belly full of trash that should’ve been in a landfill

I’m sure from things that people thought were only one

There was a dolphin who could barely breathe

A plastic bottle stuck in its blowhole

Image result for animal caught in ocean trashImage result for animal caught in ocean trash

All these animals spoke to me from the sea

And a tear fell from my eyes

I walked into the sea and grabbed the paper I had thrown

I said goodbye to the animals

And took the paper back home

I threw it in the recycle bin where it belongs

Because my trash doesn’t belong on the land or in the sea

My trash doesn’t belong wrapped around an animals legs

My trash doesn’t belong in an animals belly

It belongs in the trash, even if it is only one piece of paper

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Love Song To The Earth –

Different World by Alan  Walker –

Better Than I Found It  by Danny Gokey-

Little Changes by Frank Turner-

Be More Kind by Frank Turner –

Truth To Power by One Republic –

When I Learned How To Not Love You, I Learned To Love Myself

When I learned how to not love you

I learned how to love myself

When I learned a prison doesn’t have to have bars

I realized I was free to fly to the stars

When I learned the rules of the game

I realized it was a game I didn’t have to play

When I learned that I was strong

I realized I’d be okay on my own

When I learned to laugh in the face of adversity

I realized my circumstances do not control me

When I learned my feelings could not be ignored

I realized I was made for so much more

When I learned I no longer needed you

I realized what I needed to do

When I learned years of love can be thrown away for a day of fun

I realized that our hopes and dreams were done

When I learned I still had hopes and dreams

I realized things weren’t as bad as they seem

When I leaned to give God complete control

I realized he could make my broken pieces whole

When I learned it was okay to cry

I realized it was time to say goodbye

When I learned how to not love you

I realized I always had the power to choose

When I learned how to love myself

I realized I did not belong in hell

The First Bud Of Spring- A Love Story

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It was a long, cold, dark winter. One that she didn’t think would ever end. There was snow, rain, and sleet. A couple of times there was enough ice to nearly break the branches on the trees. The little girl held on. She waited for the warmer weather, the better times, the warmth of the sun. She knew it would come, it was just a matter of time. As she waited patiently, she would say her prayers, she would thank God for protecting her and her mommy and daddy during these cold, dark, winter nights.

Finally, the day had come. The first bud of spring appeared out of the ground. The bud peeked out of her shoot and could feel the warmth surround her. She was filled with so much joy that, at first,  she didn’t notice she was the only bud sprouting. After basking in the warmth of the sunshine for a few minutes she looked around, startled that she was the only one. Where was everyone else? Was she going to be all alone? Did she come out too soon? Was colder weather coming back and she would die because of her eagerness to sprout? She was filled with fear and doubt but she stayed strong. She knew God had a plan for her. It was then that a little girl saw her and started yelling for her dad to come see the new flower. The little girl was so excited that the bud could not help but smile. Her excitement was contagious.

A little while later another bud awakened. He also took a moment to take in the warmth around him. He then looked to see if the others had awakened and that was when he saw her. She was within inches of him and he knew he would love her. It didn’t take long for her to notice him either, even though it took the help of a little girl yelling “Look, daddy, now there’s two!”

They welcomed the spring with all the other buds that started to awaken. With all the other flowers around them, they knew they were meant for each other. When the rains came, he would lean towards her to cover her petals. When the strong winds came they would lean into it together, holding stems. They were inseparable. When the bees came they opened their petals for them so they could spread their seeds to other lands where there were no flowers. They also knew that the bees relied on their pollen to take back to their hives for food. It was a beneficial relationship.  Everything was new and exciting.

Then summer came. It was a scorching summer, one like they had never seen. There was no water. Many flowers died but not our couple. They shared what they had with each other. Every little drop of moisture was shared between them. Luckily, they were also planted where they had shade for part of the day. They counted the hours down together until they were cooled by the shade. Every once in awhile the little girl would come out with a can of water and water them, helping to keep them alive. They were often too tired to open their petals wide enough for the bees to come but they did their best. They knew the only way to survive this summer was with the help of others. They prayed their prayers for rain, for cooler temperatures but it was not to be. Sometimes in life, God doesn’t answer prayers and there are reasons only He knows why. They had reached a point in their relationship that they were still together, but they didn’t talk much. Too much too worry about, too much life got in the way. When was their next rain drop, how would they make it through another day without food, why couldn’t they be like they were in the spring? Did they waste this whole season of their life? They knew better because they still shared the little water they had, they still  protected each other but the excitement was gone.

Before they knew it Autumn was here. They had made it through the difficult summer and were enjoying another season of their life. The rains came again, as well as cooler weather. When he looked at her she was still the most beautiful, most loving, most caring flower in the garden. When she looked at him he was still the bravest, strongest, most handsome flower this side of Eden. They held each other’s petals more each day, knowing that their days were winding down. They reflected on the spring and the summer. Days when their love was new and days when they didn’t know if they would make it. They thought of their seeds spread far and wide, soon to be new flowers that would spread their love and beauty around the world. It wasn’t easy, they had moments of doubt but they fought for each other, they fought for their love. They survived.

Soon the cold winds blew again. They held on for as long as they could but with each passing day, their petals would fall off. They knew it wouldn’t be long now but they held on for each struggling moment. Relying on each other to get by. Praying for just one more second. She was the first to go, as she was the first to sprout. He wasn’t far behind her.

The little girl, all bundled up from the cold,  looked at her daddy and said, “Look, daddy, the first two here are the last two to leave. I wonder if they were happy here, I wonder if they were in love.”

“Now, now,” said the daddy, “we know flowers can’t fall in love but if they could, those two would definitely have been like me and your mom. Through all the seasons and all the weather, the rain, the sun, the cold, they were standing right beside each other. Holding petals all the while.”

The little girl giggled. Through the cold, dark, winter nights she was safe as she anxiously waited for the first bud of spring to blossom again.

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman –  

Then by Brad Paisley – 

Stand By You by Rachel Platten – 

Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice – 

The End Is Not The Answer by Three Days Grace – 

Worth Fighting For by Nine Days – 

When I Said I Do by Clint Black – 

Forever Changed by Carrie Underwood – 

Remind Me by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood – 

Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner – 

I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders – 

Meant To Be by JJ Heller – 

What Faith Can Do by Kutless – 

The Wrong Warrior

God, I know you don’t make mistakes

But I need to say this before it’s too late

You see, this storm you’ve allowed me to be in

Well God, to be honest, it’s one I don’t think I can win

You say to be strong, courageous, do not fear

But really God, what did I do to be put here?

And God, for the record I’m not that strong

So when you picked this warrior, you picked wrong

God, right now I’m full of self doubt

How do I , God I really don’t know how

God I’m tired, really, I’m too tired to fight

I’ve lost my way, darkness has taken my sight

So God I’m asking, if you really don’t mind

Pass on me and give this battle to the next in line

God, it is my desire to glorify you

But this battle, I don’t think I can do

Maybe it’s me God, I don’t have a strong foundation

Because I really am trying to trust you in this situation

I feel like I’m struggling, my faith is wavering

My doubts, my fear is disabling

God, I’ve given you all my tears

So God, why, why am I here?

What’s that you say? This is my battle to win

Well God, I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again

God, for the record, I’m not that strong

When you picked this warrior, you picked wrong

I know you are with me

But I’m begging you please

What? I’ll be stronger on the other side

Yes I know alone I do not fight

Then I realized it was useless to argue

With the one who always told the truth

If God put me here then he must think I’m strong

And I’ll believe this warrior was not picked wrong

Icing On A Stale Cake

I woke up Saturday morning with a bunch of clanging coming from the kitchen.

I walked downstairs and into the kitchen to quite a surprise.

“Umm, good morning hon, whatcha’ making?” I asked my wife.

“A cake,” she replied.

I looked at her kind of puzzled. “You don’t like cake. In all the years we have been together, you’ve never eaten a piece of cake.”

She looked at me and smiled. “But you know I love the icing.”

So I watched her make the cake, bake the cake, and I watched her let it cool. Then I watched her meticulously layer the icing just the way she wanted it.

She then looked at me as seriously as she ever had and said, “this is my cake. Do not touch it.”

Over the next week I watched her slowly but surely scrape the icing off the cake and eat it. Two scrapes on Saturday, three on Sunday, one on Monday etc. until the icing was all gone, all without touching one single crumb of the cake.

And then on Saturday of the next week I watched her put more icing on that same cake.

I looked at her puzzled and asked, “Isn’t that cake stale now?”

“It’s not about the cake. It’s the icing. “ she said.

And so we went through another week with her eating only the icing.

The next Saturday , I watched her as she started putting more icing on the two week old cake.

“Hon, that cake has to be hard as a rock and maybe a little moldy in spots. What are you doing ?”

“I like the icing,” she said, like she was stating a matter of fact.

“But babe, that’s not healthy. You can’t keep covering up the moldy, hard, stale cake by ignoring it’s not there. The icing may be good, but all you are doing is covering up something that is not good. Eventually, that mold is going to grow onto the icing. “

She then said,” If I keep covering the cake with the icing I like so well, I forget the cake is even there.“

She then looked at me for the briefest of seconds before she looked away. And in that briefest of seconds I saw something I had never seen before. She was scared, she was hurting, she was confused, she was lost, and she didn’t know what to do, except ignore the problem and keep on doing her best to breathe in her next breath. Hoping she could survive this. Hoping it would go away if she ignored it long enough.

I looked at her with tears in my eyes because I knew this wasn’t about the cake or the icing. This was about something deeper. This was about something inside of her. Something she couldn’t face. Something that was tearing her world apart but she felt as long as she had the icing, she could keep living.

I gently and softly grabbed her hands, put the icing knife down and told her it’s time to stop icing the cake. It’s time we started tearing the cake apart and finding out what exactly is inside it. It’s time to cut into this cake and piece by piece, start throwing it away.

It’s time to open those boxes of the past. It’s time for that darkness to see the light.

It’s time for you to heal.

Look What You’ve Done by Tasha Layton-

In Jesus Name ( God Of Possible) by Katy Nichole –

My Jesus by Anne Wilson-

Anything But Easy by Casting Crowns –

Loved Like This by We Are Messengers –

The Storm

The thunder startled me awake early Saturday morning. I looked outside at the storm. The rain was coming down so hard I couldn’t see the neighbors house. Lightning and lightning followed by thunder and more thunder. I thought I’ll just crawl back under the blankets because there was no way I was going out there.

I watched the storm for a few more minutes when I heard the voice.

Go out into the storm.

Of course my answer was no. I am not going out there if you paid me to go out there. I am nice and warm and dry right where I am.

Go out into the storm.

No I said, not even sure why I replied.

Go out into the storm.

Why? I am just fine right here where I am.

I need you to go out into the storm.

For no sane reason I could possibly think of, I found myself at my front door putting on my raincoat and rain boots. If for some unknown reason I’m going out into this storm, I was going to protect myself the best I could. I grabbed my umbrella and opened the door.

I hadn’t gone more than fifteen feet when the wind ripped my umbrella apart. I thought this is one of the dumbest things I have ever done and started to turn around to go back inside.

Don’t turn around. Keep walking.

No, I replied. I am in control here and I do not want to be in this storm.

Don’t turn around. Keep walking.

Why? I do not want to be in this storm.

I need you to not turn around. Keep walking.

For another unknown reason, I walked.

Take off the raincoat and rain boots.

Seriously, no, no, and more no. If I am going to be in this storm, I am going to protect myself.

Take off the raincoat and rain boots.

Why? Why do I keep asking why? I should just go back inside. How’s that? I will take them off when I am inside nice and dry.

I need you to take off the raincoat and rain boots. I need you to be vulnerable. I need you to take off all those layers you have been building to protect the hurt and pain you have.

What are you talking about? I started thinking I am going crazy and I definitely knew if any neighbors were looking out the window they would call the mental institution. There’s my neighbor walking outside in the bare minimum talking to himself.

You have layers and layers of lies you have been piling onto yourself. I need you to take them off.

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Quit living in the past. Forgive yourself for the hurt you have caused. Take off that layer. Love yourself because I love you. Take off that layer of self loathing. Accept yourself for I have accepted you. Take off that layer of guilt, that layer of shame. Take off that layer that you are not good enough. Take off that layer that you are the lies you have told.

No. I said. They make me who I am. What am I without all those layers? Where were you when I was putting them on. Where were you when, where were you……..

And I fell to my knees in the pouring rain and yelled and cried and let the rain come down.

I have always been here. You have chosen to stop looking for me, stop listening for my voice. I was there asking you to stop. I was there, that tiny voice , telling you this is wrong what you are doing. I was there telling you that you are more than this, you are better than this. I made you and I know you are so much more. I was there when you cried yourself to sleep giving you comfort as you wept. I was there when they told you you weren’t good enough. I was there when they left you. I was there holding your heart, holding your hand. I was there leading you toward me and I was there when you pulled your hand away. And I was there still chasing you, still begging you to come to me. I was there waiting for you.

I was there in the storm. I was there in the pain. I was there in the hurt. And I am here now, asking you to trust in me, believe in my truths, let it all go. Surrender it all and give it to me. I will make you new. Turn away from your past and your mistakes. They are not who you are. They do not define you. Come, walk with me into the now, into the tomorrow. Be who I have made you to be. Love as I have loved you, forgive as I have forgiven you, forgive yourself. Accept me as I have accepted you. You are so much more than your past mistakes, you are deserving of a future that you can not comprehend. Grab my hand and walk with me. Do you want what I have for you? The choice is yours for I have always given you free will. Choose to stay in your past and the lies you believe about yourself or choose to walk with me, walk in the light, free yourself of all that weighs you down. Surrender it all, give it to me.

I let the tears fall and I somehow slowly started to release the layers I had built. And it was in that moment when the rain was pouring down and the lightning and thunder was all around me that I realized I am more.

And I let the rain come , I let the rain wash away that pain and I stood up and I laughed at the lightning.

And then the rain stopped. The clouds parted and the brightest rainbow appeared before me and I could smile again.

In Jesus Name (God Of Possible) by Katy Nichole –

Miracles In The Dirt

Back in June 2021, I did an early Saturday morning zoom co-writing session with Miranda Filbeck.

I am excited to announce our song, Miracles In The Dirt, is now live on Spotify and YouTube.

Please take a listen and let us know what you think and feel free to share.

Here is the Spotify link and below that is the lyric video I created.

Love Not Hate- Christmas Eve

cardinals, goldfinch, bluebird, nuthatch, chickadee:
art credit: James Hautman

History of the birds:

Love, Not Hate: Part 1

Love, Not Hate: Part Two

Love, Not Hate: Christmas Eve

Love, Not Hate: A New Chapter

Love, Not Hate: A New World

Love, Not Hate: The Division

Love, Not Hate: The Reconciliation

Love, Not Hate: Tragedy At Mandalay Bay

Love, Not Hate: Continue To Love

Love Not Hate: Love On Trial

Love Not Hate- Trick or Treat, Halloween Night

Love Not Hate- Teach A Human Day

It was Christmas Eve all through the land

All the birds stared in amazement at the Christmas tree so grand

The little birds could barely contain their excitement

The older birds looked on, filled with contentment

The eagle remembered how far they have come

He remembered all the work ALL the birds have done

Which made this day an even more special day

He took his place and said: “Birds, I have something to say”

Want to see one--not at a zoo--SOON!:
photo credit: Paula Krugerud Photography

“I’ll keep it short since tonight the little ones can’t be up late.”

“It has been a long time since we chose to love instead of hate.”

“It was a lot of work to repair our broken relationships.”

“As you all know, it hasn’t always gone to script.”

“We have learned from our mistakes, our experiences.”

“We have learned to work through our differences.”

“We have returned this land to the way it was created.”

“For that reason alone, tonight we ALL should be celebrated!”

“We are gathered here today because of the one who was born.”

“Who also died for us, tattered and torn.”

“As some of us birds are getting older,

We know we can’t carry this land on our shoulders.”

“We must teach the next generation

That love is the only way to rule this nation!”

All the birds started to sing

A beautiful sound that caused a gathering

All the animals from the forest came

The deer, the rabbit, the skunk and others you know by name

They gathered around the Christmas tree

They held hands and all sung with glee

The sound reached near and far

Then humans arrived, by foot and by car

They couldn’t believe their eyes

It was then they started to realize

Everything they thought they knew had to be ruled out

Because right there was a hawk singing with a field mouse

There was a bear beside a deer

There was a sheep standing by a wolf  with no fear

There was a fox right beside a hare

All these beautiful birds were there

They could hardly believe their ears

When the animals said: “There is nothing here to fear!”

“Yes, at one time we were all enemies!”

“We decided to let love rule our hearts until our eyes could see!”

Then the humans held each other’s hands

All the different people across the land

Blacks and whites, Muslim and Christian

All races, all people, could see the animals vision

The eagle then spoke once again:

“One last thing to say my friends.”

“To move forward you must move on from the past!”

“You have to live as last is first and first is last.”

“Let every man, every woman, every boy, every girl

Know what it’s like to have peace in this world!”

“Let ALL our voices join together as we sing Silent Night!”

Then they sang Joy To The World  and We Wish You A Merry Christmas

I can only say it’s all true, as I was there to witness

All the birds of a different color

Helped all the people discover

Instead of fighting they should ALL join hands

Because love is the only way to rule the land

Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a love filled night 

Image result for animals around a christmas tree

Image result for bible verse on christmas

Let It Be Christmas by Alan Jackson –

Santa’s Wish (Teach The World) by The Tenors –

Better Together by Gaither Vocal Band –

Join With The Angels by Matthew West –

Rest In You Tonight by The Oak Ridge Boys –

Gather Round by Band Of Merrymakers –

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath –

Wish List by 7eventh Time Down –

Silent Night by Pentatonix –