Xtian Haiku: Memories on a Shelf


Worlds of adventure

Mom and dad in the front room

Journeys of the mind.


This is all I have left of the hundreds of books that lined the bookshelves of my parents home. I’m sad to say that because we have so many of our own and a total of seven bookshelves throughout our home, when my mom passed in April of 2013 we could only keep a few. I had to decide which books meant the most to me and spoke most clearly of my parents love for reading, their favorite authors, the genre that most accurately reflected their styles and tastes, or at least what I remembered them to be.

It’s fair to say that they were readers of a variety of books, mostly fiction with an historical anchor. They loved Clavell, and Michener, and LeCarre, and Robert Ludlum’s ‘Jason Bourne’. My mom and dad did read Lustbader’s version, but they pined for the ‘real thing’ after the death of the original author of the original trilogy. They would have hated the movies had they stumbled into a theater to watch them. They also liked Ken Follett, whom they posthumously introduced to my wife in the form of one of their books that we brought home. His Pillars of the Earth started her own love for the author and has led to us buying and reading others of his since. Mom and dad, were readers. They loved the adventures that stories and books contain, ready to sweep us off into adventures and high stakes intrigue between their covers and at the turn of every page. 

Yesterday passed the seventh anniversary of my father’s passing in 2010 and the things I remember about him have mostly to do with his books and reading. I carried to work with me his Zippo lighter and wore the watch mom gave me for Christmas many years ago. But among all the stuff and things that are still scattered around the house reminding me of them, in have memories of them on my shelf that I can pick up and retrace their steps in my own as I read what they read. I can hear their voices, see their faces as they were buried in their pages and consumed in the reading of these books, now on my shelf that were once in their hearts. And as I do, both the stories and my parents come alive again.

We miss you mom and dad. But we have your memories on a shelf and in our hearts. As long as we do, you will always live in our home. 


“Jesus Prayed like Someone was listening…”

… and Frodo really did disappear when he put on the Magical Ring

From a Christian Amateur Internet Apologist Extraordinaire this morning…


September 21, 2016 • 5:54 am
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Jesus prayed like someone was listening…

Of course he did. And the ‘fellowship’ holed up in Minas tirith hoped for gandalfs return, just like he was actually going to return.
They hoped in the Lord of the Rings like the nt Jesus prayed in the nt. But can you tell me, Brother James, is there any evidence outside of the nt that the character described in the nt is any less of a fictional person than gandalf the white?

The problem with actually saying this kind of stuff in public on the  internet… is that there is no way to call it back when you get called on your silliness. And that it makes for a great segue to reissuing a challenge that no one seems to want to accept.

“Go ahead, give us the non-biblical, 1st century contemporary secular historians that documented this Greatest Story Ever Told at the time it happened… The life, death, resurrection of the New Testament Jesus.. I’ll be waiting.” -kia

You see James, just because the Jesus portrayed in the NT said it, did it, ‘prayed’ it or anything else’d… it, does not mean that some Jewish zealot rabbi who might have  lived (and died) in the first century did it.

Ichthus… Precarious Perch

The four Gospels we still have after the Church either destroyed or ‘anathematized’ the rest of the 40 or so others are clearly works of fiction which in many places don’t even agree with each other, let alone much of actual history and archaeology. 

They along with the rest of the NT, and the OT for that matter, have been shown to be so edited, ‘interpolated’ to, redacted from, that they literally cannot be relied on to faithfully represent the original content or material written down in them. Forget the fact we don’t even HAVE original manuscripts, but pieced together and collated copies of centuries later, that don’t even agree with each other in hundreds of thousands of places.

‘Know’ Gandalf, know Peace?

No James, you don’t even know for certain or for original accuracy what the NT Jesus said or did or even how he ‘Prayed’, let alone that an actual 1st century Carpenter turned Prophet of Doom said or did or even Prayed any such things or ways.

I know that you think you do, but you don’t ‘Know’ THAT Jesus. And the one portrayed in your NT is a myth… you don’t know him either any more than you have a ‘living relationship to and with’ Gandalf the White Wizard of the Lord of the Rings. 

“And now back to our regularly scheduled content”


Janis Joplin: Prayer as Wish Fulfillment

Janice first performed this on August 8th, 1970 the same day she wrote it. 

“I’m a victim of my own insides. There was a time when I wanted to know everything … It used to make me very unhappy, all that feeling. I just didn’t know what to do with it. But now I’ve learned to make that feeling work for me. I’m full of emotion and I want a release, and if you’re on stage and if it’s really working and you’ve got the audience with you, it’s a oneness you feel.” -Janice Joplin

I think she knew the sadness of wanting to know it all. She grew up much as I did. In the Midwest. Christian family. She probably started out with a Faith like mine, that God, not just any god, but the biblical God had it all sorted. He knew what we didn’t. He controlled what we could not. He could supply what we lacked, and could be trusted with our lives. 

This song pokes a little fun at all that we once were before the world showed us differently. And before we realized the God of the Bible to be the Deadbeat Dad and absentee Father that He really is. There are still many who, like we did, still cry out in supplication and ‘with words that cannot be uttered’ for’help in their time of need’. But it seems silly now to me to ask for a Mercedes when halfway across the world, or even just downtown from me here in Arizona, people just need food, warm clothing and a roof for their families… yet have no answers. 

Some of them, many of them here in Christian America, ‘Ask, Seek, and Knock’ from the same God and His Son, Jesus … but not to ‘consume upon their own lusts’, yet still have not the things they request and need. God seems to be more interested in parking places and lost sets of keys.

Maybe this is why Janice lived so freely and with such emotion. She realized there would be no Mercedes, color TV or night on the town coming from the skies. She realized the ‘oneness’ of humanity and the connection we all share with each other and the personal responsibility to ourselves and others around us to ‘give us our Daily Bread’. 

She realized that no one Knows it All by themselves, not even that God she grew up with. We all ‘know in part’ and combine our parts with each other to know still not All, but more than we did before. She enjoyed life to the fullest and her concerts were a testimony to the unfettered “full tilt boogie” full of emotion and life. 

A life devoid now of meaningless and fruitless begging to a Biblical God who wasn’t there to answer. We are all we have. Humanity and  connection and in Janice’s word… Oneness. Embrace it. Embrace not having to Know it All today. Recovery awaits.


Tie Tuesday: K-State Birthday Edition 

This one is late… sue me.

This is the other one of my birthday ties that my wife bought me. Ain’t it grand?

Our household is a two college home. She’s an ASU grad and I’m a Kansas State Wildcat, sadly never finished. But I definitely represent my State, Teams and favorite school. 

Hope you enjoyed the day. I’m beat dead tired after a long day at work. 

For TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge – Mug

((Reposted 6/18/17 for a Father’s Day))

My ‘Late’ Offering 


For some reason, TJ’s wonderful Blog dropped from my Reader. I looked and it had dropped from my Followed Blogs as well. My apologies, but this meant that I did not see the Challenge for last Monday and thus did not prepare my submission, “je suis désolé” 

My Mugs

One my Father gave

the other I gave to him.

The calf was his dad’s.


I’ve been recently enamored with DE Safety Razor Shaving.  My ‘mug’, the one I got from Dad, is pretty sensitive and I want to protect it from nasty chemicals and ingredients in those spray cans full of instant shave cream as well as the damage that multi-blade cartridges can do to it.

About 2 and a half years ago, I went to a DE Safety Razor for Economy, Ecology and ended up enjoying the Experience of a close shave.  Like my earlier post with the same picture expressed, I even picked up a new safety Razor, Brush and Cream at The Art of Shaving in the mall nearby. I spent WAYYY too much, but I guess I could consider it an early Birthday Gift to myself.

Of course I don’t have the courage yet to try these…

But maybe one day 😉

Enjoy the day and “Have a great shave, have a great day”


Just a pipe dream

I was with my dad, or rather… He was with me. He was showing me his pipe and teaching me to smoke it like he did so long ago when I was just a tyke. 

A smooth short sip of sweet smelling smoke from an old small wooden bowl. Did not inhale, just blew out the pleasant, relaxing draw and enjoyed the aroma that soon reminded me of my dad. 

Then he was gone again, slowly disapated like the fading memory of that last wisp of heaven. But he was here, I know it. I felt his presence. I heard his voice. 

It was just a pipe dream. He’s been gone for 7yrs this June. I miss him.


Sweet Dreams of dad

I had a dream last night 

I was going thru my dads stuff and tool boxes. He’s been gone 6 years now. Everywhere I looked Stuffed in between crevasses here and there…

Was candy. 

And yes, I Snickered a little in my sleep. It was funny I guess. The things we think about when we’re not thinking. 


My Journey pt 8: Invitation Declined… (the first cracks in my shell appear)

He was my Dad… Happy Father’s Day

(Of the post I did on Gene Wilder’s passing)

AUGUST 30, 2016 AT 5:25 AM
“An amazing life !! Sorry to see not one word about God…” –bruce

I asked myself, “is it really out of concern or just opportunity?”

The year was 2010. My dad, age 72, was lying in a hospital bed gasping for breath, in what is commonly called “the death rattle”, in the last moments of his life here on earth. 

His wife of 50 years, myself and my wife of five years, his daughter, my sister, and my twin brother, both having recently flown in from out of state for what we all feared but had expected for years would eventually happen. Her husband, our father was dying. (We would lose my mom and brother both since then)

With his earthly family surrounding him, on Father’s day no less, he was making the most important transition in life… death was coming, and he was afraid. 

Me? Yeah, I guess I was afraid too. 

For him and for what it would mean for our family, my mom, my wife and I in the coming months and maybe years that she would have left as she started the inevitable decline to follow her husband, my father, into “… that dark night”. But I was also afraid and confused because you see, my dad wasn’t a Christian.

At that time, I was still a Christian. I was still very much the ‘Disciple of Jesus’ even though by this time in our walk, we had moved to a new home a year earlier and begun fellowship in a church very different from the ones we had known. And yet I had maintained contact with some of ‘my guys’ from a previous church. Guys that I had discipled into closer walk and relationship with Jesus. Some still single from our Singles Fellowship, others now married with wives and families of their own. 

“Can I come share Jesus and pray with your dad?”

My friend James was one of those who had married a wonderful Ukrainian woman with two teenage daughters, Instant family, in his forties. He was very devoted and bold for Jesus… Bruce here would have got on well with James.

When he asked me if he could come to the hospital and inject himself and his Faith… my Faith too… into our family’s tragedy and impending loss, I was dumbstruck with the question above. “Is it really out of concern for our family, my dad’s condition, his eternal destiny…” or was it more than that?

I said no.

I don’t think I was rude or short, but I declined politely and told him that my dad had refused the Gospel offer of salvation thru Jesus Christ on many occasions and now at the time of his death, I didn’t think it was respectful for someone not from the family to insert themselves. I’m sure I didn’t include the last part for James, but I know for certain that was my feeling and thought at the time.

My dad had become my second best friend in the world, I guess with the exception of my wife of course, since moving to Arizona after the Army in 1988.

Like father, like son

He was the Best Man at my wedding just 5 years before, shaky and frail, hardly able to stand for the long AOG wedding service, but there he “stood” for me.

In the intervening years of my various ministries and services in churches we attended, he didn’t always agree with their doctrine or teachings, but he always believed in me. He loved me and was proud of the man I’d become. And he loved my wife. He said so all the time. 

I told him once after he complimented her…

“Yeah dad, I done good”

His response?

“You done good, but she did better”

Yup, My dad loved me and was proud of the man I’d become. I’m as much like him as I could imagine. My dad was loving, compassionate, self educated and an intelligent life long reader of both books of all kinds, but also people. But not Christian. 

My ‘No’ became a Yes… to Truth

I started in that hospital, later in that hospice room, trying to reconcile the thoughts of my dad spending eternity in Hell, or at least without Hope in darkness without the Presence of God.

I didn’t know it at the time, and if you had asked me later I wouldn’t have been able to pin it down, but my Journey away from Christ and Christianity started there with a “No”, and with respecting my father’s dignity and individuality. 

Seeds and Cornerstones 

It would be for a few more years and heartbreaks till we came face to face with where we are now, but with the same phrase we started our marriage prep with “we’re on a Journey”.

And the journey continues…



It happened again… We are the Matador

Spanish matador dies after being gored during bullfight

Ivan Fandino lost his footing after tripping on his cape and suffered a fatal wound to the torso while performing in France

— That was from The Guardian and Reuters. Now a word from our Sponsor, Kia.

The matador may have gotten a quicker more gruesome death, but when we eat animal flesh and consume their secretions (milk intended for their babies) and ovulations (eggs that are intended for their reproduction), both science and medical histories tell the story that we still “Get the Horns” in the end health wise.

Most of the top chronic health issues, including the very tops of heart disease and cancer, are directly related to our raising, killing and eating animals for nothing more than tradition and culture and “what we’ve always done”.

So if you are horrified by the thought of bulls being bred, raised and trained for our amusement and finally tortured and killed… if the thought of a matador (literally translated in Spanish as a ‘Killer’) being gored to death by the bull he was intending on killing, just remember…

We are the Matador. We are the Killers being Killed by our Traditional practices of Animal Agriculture and eating Animal Products.