Sunday, February 27, 2011


When we first hear a song, we often don’t catch all the words. And the words we miss can change the meaning of the song, making all the difference.

This is what happened to me with COWGIRLS DON’T CRY.

Her Daddy gave her first pony
Then told her to ride
She climbed high in that saddle
Fell I don't know how many times
Taught her a lesson that she learned
Maybe a little too well

Cowgirls don't cry
Ride, baby, ride
Lessons in life are going to show you in time
Soon enough your gonna know why
It's gonna hurt every now and then
If you fall get back on again
Cowgirls don't cry

She grew up
She got married
Never was quite right
She wanted a house, a home and babies
He started coming home late at night
She didn't let him see it break her heart
She didn't let him see her fall apart

'cause Cowgirls don't cry
Ride, baby, ride
Lessons in life are going to show you in time
Soon enough your gonna know why
It's gonna hurt every now and then
If you fall get back on again
Cowgirls don't cry

Phone rang early one morning
Her momma's voice, she'd been crying
Said it's your daddy, you need to come home
This is it, I think he's dying
She laid the phone down by his head
The last words that he said

Cowgirl don't cry
Ride, baby, ride
Lessons in life show us all in time
Too soon God lets you know why
If you fall get right back on
Good Lord calls everybody home
Cowgirl don't cry

Friday, February 25, 2011


This guy is amazing! Great voice. Great personality. Great spirit. The emotions he brings to the stage, and carries out after each performance sends your heart soaring right along with him.

From the start, Jacob reminded me of the guy from THE GREEN MILE, John Coffee/Michael Clarke Duncan. Though large it stature, a gently and kind soul. What a great movie.

Love the judges reactions.

Such a great responce.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


If I could use only one word to describe CROSSING OCEANS, it would prove to be a difficult task. What first came to mind was, WOW! But quickly after that came amazing, powerful, inspiring. There are books that others recommend, or you stumble across, that you could have done without, and then there are those that you truly feel blessed you were chosen to experience. A story that moves and grips you in such a way that it's bound to take a place in your soul for eternity. And CROSSING OCEANS is one of those.

From the first words to the last, each one was brilliantly orchestrated. As an aspiring writer, I long to write such a compelling story. The writing and storyline will keep you plastered to your seat as you absorb each and every word. The characters were honest, real, and three-dimensional. As much as I wanted to race through the pages, I found myself taking my time, never wanting to finish. Not only because it was an amazing story, but I feared how it would end.

CROSSING OCEANS will make you laugh and make you cry ... over and over and over. You will fall in love with the characters as you embark on their journies that filled with trials and tribulations no family should have to endure. Yet through it all, there is a lesson to be learned. One of love and sacrifice, regrets, forgiveness and growth.

Forgive and forgive often.

Love and love well.

Make each day count for you never know when you'll be called to cross the ocean.

Monday, February 21, 2011


YOUR CRY HAS BEEN HEARD is a wonderful collection of letters, and poems. A must read for those serving in the prison and jail ministry, as well as those incarcerated, or have a loved one that is. The stories will bring tears of sadness as well as tears of joy to your eyes. What some of these men and woman have gone through, and how God captured their hearts and transformed their lives, is nothing short of a miracle.

For those of you that serve in the pen pal ministry, you’ll find God’s reassuring words that your work is not in vain. Many of the stories tugged at my heart in a way I was lead to write some of the “authors” to let them know how much their words inspired me. And oh how profound many were.

I’ve enjoyed reading YOUR CRY HAS BEEN HEARD so much I’ve purchased several copies as gifts to those I write to in prison, as well as leaders in the prison and jail ministry. One woman has already used one of the stories as a teaching lesson at one of the jails she volunteers at. I’ve copied a story or two to send to someone I knew would be touched by the insightful words.

Within the pages of YOUR CRY HAS BEEN HEARD, there’s a little something for everyone. Thanks Ms. Michael for putting this wonderful book, together.

If you’d like to get involved in the pen pal program, please contact Christian Pen Pals,

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Often a song will provoke a story within me…this was one of them:

I wanna touch the earth
I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly

I wanna sleep on the hard ground
In the comfort of your arms
On a pillow of bluebonnets
In a blanket made of stars

Oh it sounds good to me I said

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you

I wanna walk and not run
I wanna skip and not fall
I wanna look at the horizon
And not see a building standing tall

I wanna be the only one
For miles and miles
Except for maybe you
And your simple smile

Oh it sounds good to me
Yes it sounds so good to me

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you

I said I wanna touch the earth
I wanna break it in my hands
I wanna grow something wild and unruly
Oh it sounds so good to me

Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can
Into the wild blue
Set me free oh I pray
Closer to heaven above and
Closer to you closer to you
Closer to you
Cowboy take me away.
Closer to you

Thursday, February 17, 2011


For years now I haven’t watched TV. Not because I dislike TV. No, it started because of my children. I found it wasn’t worth it to try and watch a program with little ones constantly interrupting you for one thing or another, not to mention all the commotion going on. I also believe life is too short, and too many of us waste valuable time in a daze propped in front of a box. A box where others are either living out their dreams, filled with violence, reporters distorting reality for the sake of “a story”, or money hungry, power driven people wanting more…of everything, though blind to what’s important in life.

But out of all the bad TV can represent, there is some good in the mist of it all. There are those wonderful heartfelt movies. The stories that grip your heart, filling it with so much compassion you have to go out and do something to create positive change.

And then there are those shows that can bring a family together as they watch as one. For our family, American Idol is that. But what I hadn’t realized until Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 is the wonderful teaching tool it could lead, too.

As my daughters and I sat watching American Idol, I found myself pressing the “pause” button several times. Throughout the hour there were several teaching moments where one of the singers or a group, behaved badly. I took that opportunity to recount what they had done, and why it wasn’t right. To point out how what goes around, comes around as well as God’s mercy.

We could all learn a lesson from watching how some on American Idol behaved arrogantly, and how that backfired when thinking solely of oneself or the potential consequences of cruelly kicking someone out of a group. Just as equally we can learn from those that showed compassion when they opened their arms to those who had been rejected or against their better judgment, risked their dream to help a hurt soul, though they rightfully deserved to be knocked down a few notches.

So for me and my family, we’ll continue to watch American Idol, together.

To laugh.

To cry.

To hope.

To dream.

To learn and grow.

What does your family do that brings you together?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I totally admit it…I’m a cowgirl want-a-be. When I spotted this book at Wal-Mart, it immediately captured my interest.


1) The picture dripped with old time west. Something that calls to me.

2) The title…well, not all of it.


BLACK HEELS TO TRACTOR WHEELS… didn’t know exactly what to make of that part, though the word tractor was intriguing, seeing I love farm and ranch life.

A LOVE STORY…now we’re talking.

3) The authors name also captured my attention . Yeah, I’m into names, mainly unusual/not common ones.

With the hundreds of books sitting on my bookshelves, just waiting to be read, I knew I didn’t need another. Yet it was called to me. So I did what I often do and added it to my SHELFARI wish list. I then checked out the website listed on the inside cover. Wow, what an interesting site. Ree definitely did something right with all the comments each post contained. Love the pictures, and hearing and seeing about life on a ranch. Loved her post about blogging.

Ahhh, to one day have that many readers.

One can certainly dream.

I think I’ll take her up on her advice and start blogging, more.

Ree's website:

Sunday, February 13, 2011


If only we could keep in mind throughout our everyday life that each of us has a story, maybe we’d live with more compassion for others, and the world would be a better place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I was blessed to be there the night of December 13th, 2010. Each time I walk into Cook County Jail, I feel the Lords presence and that day was no exception. What a blessing to read of how God touched the lives of those we visited behind bars.


To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Gregory. I’m currently incarcerated in Cook County Dept of Corrections for retail theft. I was stealing to support a 200.00 a day crack cocaine drug habit. I’m also a journey man Tool and Die maker of 31 years. I don’t feel I was arrested, I truly believe that I was rescued by the Lord because I was on a suicide mission. I’ve been using drugs and alcohol for 43 long and hard years. I’m 56 years old now. They have caused me loss, grief, pain, trouble and emotional misery for my entire life.

Well, your church came into division 14 Monday night, December 13th. I came to your service that night and I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything so awesome in my life. The words that your Pastor brought to us about brokenness pierced my heart. I can’t begin to tell you all the emotions I felt that night. I can’t even identify them all. I can tell you this, I felt the Holy Spirits presence and He literally touched my heart so very deeply.

The music was so, so joyful and rich and pure, a true blessing. Halfway through the songs I started crying and couldn’t stop and didn’t want to. I know I’m a broken man and I know now that there is a God and He wants to heal me, teach me, love me, and guide me to a better Holy life. It took you to come out and bring this message to me. I know that it was by no accident that I was in that room Monday night. The Lord brought each and every one of you to me to deliver His message. I received it loud and clear and I’m usually hard headed and stubborn but somehow my heart was touched like never before. It was fantastic.

I’m on fire. I received the Lord into my heart and my life. I finally surrendered. I know I can’t do this alone and the way I’ve been doing this so far. I’m just so excited in the Lord and to think that He loves so much that He sent you guys to reach out to me. As a result of Monday night, December 13th, 2010 I was saved and now I need more guidance and help than ever. But I’m not worried because the Lord will provide it. He will see to it that everything I need will be provided somehow, someway for sure. Praise the Lord for saving me from myself.

I will be released from division 14, drug rehab unit, in May of 2011and then will be on intensive probation for two years. I was living under a bride at Belmont and Kedzie for ten years. That’s ten long Chicago winters and Chicago winters are brutal. I tell you this to show you that all that had to happen to bring me to jail to be in that room Monday night, divine intervention no less!

When released from here I’ll have to find some kind of halfway house or after care. I’ll need housing and other thing but I know the Lord will provide. I want to thank you so much for coming out and volunteering to do the Lords work. All the inmates really enjoyed themselves. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. We were all balling like babies but afterwards, once we got up into our rooms, it felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off of my head, heart and soul. What a physical release. Truly amazing!

Anyway, I was praying about this and God put this on my heart to come join Willow Creek when I’m released and worship with you, and be Baptized, and then to serve the Lord and the church. In the meantime, I’m praying that someone from willow would either visit me or write me or send me some spiritual books, Bible dictionary, concordance or spiritual Bible studies, literature, anything. I love to read and can’t get enough of the word and spiritual literature that supports the truth of the Bible. I can receive books as long as they’re soft cover. I’m praying that Willow Creek will bless me with this.

I’m also looking for a sponsor or a spiritual mentor to guide me in Christ as I grow. I’m new at this and I have a hard time asking for help because I don’t trust anyone, however the Bible tells me to ask and I shall receive. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me and I’m very persistent, but I’m just asking for some encouragement and guidance from a brother in Christ. Someone I know I can trust. Please take my request into consideration and find the compassion within your heart to bless me, an eager brother in Christ!

Anyway I pray that I here from someone soon. The Lord is the one who led me to you and I praise Him for that. I’m on fire and can’t sit still. I want to be a part of the Willow Creek family. You have a blessed house together. I saw with my own eyes the passion in your heart, and the convictions of your beliefs I heard with my own ears, and I felt your desire on my heart to help your fellow Christians. I would like to be a part of that. I must be a part of that.

Thank you and God bless you,
Your brother in Christ, Gregory