Author Archives: dale

Get rid of it completely

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“Customer assistance really isn’t needed in aisle ___”

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It’s the kind of Monday afternoon when posts about a friend tangoing her way through grocery shopping are trending toward viral on facebook.

Wow, to think that, had I not wandered through fb on my way to what’s next, I’d have missed her joyful abandon in dancing the tango, leading her grocery cart on aisle…

OK, I don’t on what aisle it was. This is the closest thing that I could find on You Tube (you have to imagine the grocery cart.).


What I do know is this:

It was pure fun reading her self-disclosure about a playful moment in and H.E.B., and her friends’ responses. The sheer delight of it reminds me that each of us has the ability to creatively transform even routine life-tasks like marketing into moments that relax our spirits into being fully-present in this all-too-brief experience of mortally.

Sharing them, we layer memories that lighten hearts other than our own.  That’s life, more.

What did you spontaneously do today that brightened your life and others’, too?



This year’s Christmas Tree

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Charlie Brown’s anemic Christmas Tree, it’s scraggliness seems appropriate this year, it’s simplicity heralding a healthy alternative to holiday’s overindulgence.

Smaller tree, fewer ornaments. Just as well as attention is drawn to it evergreenness, symbolic of Eternity; and, the while lights illuminative of the Light of the World.

If a Christmas Tree can’t inspire thoughts of Jesus, then it just shouldn’t be.

Releasing distracting thoughts

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Niggling, clinging, thoughts can distract you from enjoying life, more. A 3-step process can help you to release them.

  1. Review them. Bring each fully into your consciousness. Look closely to see if any are incomplete from anything that you need to do.
  2. Readjust them as needed. Take action toward finishing anything that you’ve left undone. Can’t complete it immediately? Then, identify what steps to take and begin.
  3. Relief, enjoy. Give yourself the gift of feeling satisfying contentment that you have released something that no longer needs to be occupying you.



What positive, productive process to do use to release distracting thoughts?

This math works: WANT + CAN x DO = LIFE, MORE

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“I want to have an impact on the world; first through my children, then a larger impact to help more people.”

One parent’s desire, influenced in part by receiving the positive influence of others, acknowledges personal potential, voices the want to do because there is an ability to do.

Consider the math of WANT + CAN x DO = LIFE, MORE

Anne Herbert is often credited with the phrase, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” Those words can remain a gentle reminder on bumpers stickers, refrigerator magnets, and inspirational plaques; or, you can apply the math,


You can live intentional kindness. Even a few words that encourage, or a simple gesture that helps, can influence someone’s day in ways that ripple out to comfort others.

You can live intelligent beauty. Even one expression of joy, or one cause of sadness removed, can change a life’s landscape.



  • What do you want to do?
  • To what extent can you do it?
  • Now, will you do it?
  • Now?

Try: Humility; Gentleness; and Acceptance

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Earlier this week, a woman told me of how her sister, living in another state, is coping with the floods from several weeks of torrential rain. We talked about the disparity – the seeming ‘unfairness’ – of rain there and the drought that drags on here in Central Texas.

This morning, Brushy Creek is awakening to the orchestra of thunder and pouring rain. It’s beautiful noise to us whose land has become tinder-box dry. While this won’t be the ‘drought buster,’ it can be refreshing and spirit-lifting.

Of course, any weather can have that effect on our outlook, because how we choose to start the day really is up to us. Things like weather, and whether or not you’ve slept well, might influence; still, the choice is yours.

You can experience life, more, by deciding how you will treat yourself and others today. Try this:

  • Enjoy humility. Allow yourself to be eased of ego and live the freedom of knowing that not everything that happens is about you;
  • Live gently. Even as you focus and assertively tackle your to-do list, treat yourself and others tenderly. Make at least one (1) genuine expression of care, of compassion; and,
  • Accept other people for who they are, and for where they are in their own choices about how they will live and related with others. While they may have ability to influence how you live, the only power that they have over your attitude and actions is what you give to them.


How are you choosing to live today?





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I read his blog because he’s my Bishop. But, I’d read it if he wasn’t because his insights consistently invite and invoke me to think deeply – to mentally engage with life, more.

The context of  today’s post is the inter-relationships of component systems (individual churches) within their composite systems (cluster groupings). He’s leading the Church into a new praxis of how separate, yet similar, congregations work together to actualize a common mission.

Any new praxis requires change, whether it is systemic or individual.

Change fascinates me. As a true constant of human existence, change has inherent characteristics that simultaneously attract and repel. We welcome it even as we resist it. We have the ability to respond to external change. We also have the ability to initiate change – in the systems within which we live, as well as within ourselves.


What inspires you to take initiative to change?

What inclines you to ignore initiative to change?

How do you assess, then anticipate, the perceived benefits from taking initiative to change?

Setting sensitivity

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People pay attention to determine if you are real. We place a premium on human genuineness, gauging someone’s authenticity and credibility by his/her consistent behavior.

People are looking and listening to you. We appreciate interactions that are congruent in varied settings.

Today, I was reminded of the power of that consistency, and how we frame our response to others anticipating that they will continue as they have been. Others respond to us in a similar way.

You can enjoy, and experience life, more as you are sensitive to your setting. There are a variety of ways to say the same thing; distinct approaches to achieve the same goal. Some are more effective in some settings than in other settings – each expressing your genuine, and consistent, identity.


  • How are you growing and living as your authentic self?
  • What are some ways that you are cultivating being ‘setting sensitive’?






To nap

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A Saturday afternoon, with the day’s to-do’s done, and the house quiet, is as a good a time as any, and in some ways, better than most, to indulge in the respite of a nap. Remember naps? They were imposed on us in childhood, stealing play (not unlike bedtime). We grew-up as quickly as we could to out-grow them.

A cultural caveat is in order here. I’m writing from an Anglo, United Statesian world- view. Perhaps a saving grace is that I’m a Texan, and having lived all of my life in the Lone Star State, I have cultivated an affinity with much of the Hispanic culture. The “siesta” is brilliant; and, especially appealing as Austin’s days of 100º+ heat now account the drought as ‘incredible.’

Why indulge in a nap? To relieve the mind’s and body’s pressures of the week passed; to refresh for the mid-weekend’s evening to be; and, to simply have a few moments of uncrushed recharging. It can be a sweetly spiritual experience; or not. It is perfectly acceptable for it to be simply sweet, savored as a brief time gently lingering in memory, inviting you to sample it again another day.


  • Do you have a favored place to nap?
  • What is the optimal length for your siesta?
  • How do you experience napping’s refreshment as life, more?


[Art Credit: Photo by Hector Garcia. San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.]


Living Freedom Well

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Living this Independence Day holiday in the United States, we’re celebrating freedom with picnics, parades, festivals, and fireworks. Our social networking is filled with with so many patriotic sentiments that we could almost forget the political partisanship polarizing our country as a bi-color wheel shades our land into “blue” and “red” states. But, only almost.

Imagine with me a Freedometer – a tool that measures our collective appreciation for living in land of the free and the home of the brave. It displays the results in red, white, and true, inspiring us to life, more, as citizen neighbors continuing to build a nation offering hope as it models liberty to the rest of the world.

You are the best barometer to check how you’re creating and maintaining the freedoms we share. Independence Day affirms that we are interdependent. Freedom is made real in your relationships as you live in communities of family, faith, work, and leisure.


Every expression of community begins with the individual. What are you doing to intentionally strengthen a primary relationship in your life? How are you contributing to the communities of your life?