Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I'll soon be headed out to Jupiter, Fl. for several days of suiting up and playing the game.  Maybe 20 former Cardinal players will try to coach eight teams of us baseball wannabe stars.  It's a challenge..for the coaches.


Well, at 68, I'm most likely the oldest player in camp.  But that's not my only term of notoriety.  I'm also the worst player in the camp as has been publicly declared by Bob Gibson and Al Hrabosky.  Of the one hundred or so campers I am the last one picked...every year.  I don't look at that as negative; but rather a matter of consistency.

Truthfully, I think the organization feels obligated to make some unfortunate team captain select me.  I like to think of it as probably the Cardinal organization pays some poor manager hefty bucks to take me!

When we take the field, I'm often on the bench.  The coaches just can't figure where to hide me.  Regardless of where they try, the ball always finds me.  Go figure.  I bat last in the line-up.  I'm not exactly regarded as a clean-up hitter as much as I am as the just-get-it-over-with batter.

But hey, I don't mind.  My goal has always been to look good in my uniform anyway. Sure, I'll sign an autograph here and pose for a picture there.  The problem with that is that I have to pay these individuals to ask for such in front of my peers.  Bummer.

This will be my 32nd year.  What a fantastic experience.  As I reflect on becoming close friends with Curt Flood, getting knocked unconscious during a game at Busch when Bob Gibson swung through a fast ball and the bat came around and hit me in the head, or writing a book for Carole Buck about Jack and the Cardinals gave the book away on Fan Appreciation Day in 2003, I am certain that I am the luckiest man I ever met.

Sure....I may not have baseball talent, but I make up for it with creative errors.

Monday, January 25, 2016


While great diversity is among us and about us, a fundamental similarity reigns.  We are sinful beyond our imagination and redeemed to even a greater extent.  This is a puzzle to society; both in and out of the church.  We can't fathom the glory of God's effective reach.

We are each such chiefest of sinners which only magnifies the saving work of Jesus on the Cross.  To look down upon one other person is to gravely misunderstand the ruin of self.  Should we boost our egos in comparison to a less other, we will have sorely mismanaged our ability to think clearly.

We are never right because another behaves poorly.  We are always and only right because Jesus became all of our wrongs.  Look at him upon the Cross; bloodied and beaten.  God had it our with us...each of us at that scene.

Because he arose...we each may arise in the wonder of it all for we all live in the same boat.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I know.  I know that is a rather strange, maybe obscure, title.  It isn't exactly how I think it should be; but the thread is.  I wish to address those of us who go through our days as if we give them little thought as to how they might advance from dull routine to incredible adventure.

This isn't all there is.  Life is popping with unpopped kernels of exploration as well as potential.  Yet, we sub or un consciously settle for less; fewer dreams, smaller hopes. We seem to give up while proceeding onward.

But maybe we could break away from the "going nowhere" indifference that really brings very little satisfaction.  Just maybe we could break into a dream-like world where the fabulous happens and the impossible becomes possible.  After all, that is the walk and the talk of Jesus.

Have you accepted the fact that life to this point is all there is?  Do you believe that it is quite acceptable to love those who love you and hate those who hate you as if nothing can change the latter?  Are you convinced that the "beyond imagination" passage of Ephesians three is broken and, therefore, the way it is....is the way it will always be?

Have you lost hope?  Wonder?  Enthusiasm?

I think many have.  I believe mankind-at-large either never knew or else has forgotten to reach for the stars because the wonder of God is out there.

We see others do it.  Why can't we?  This activity of great hope is as close as flipping the Off switch in our hearts to On.  I witness some stuck in bitterness.  Their days are full of negativity and sarcasm.  Blame is the constant name of their game.  But such is glaring error.

We are within a given heartbeat to rethink.  We can rethink our "doom and gloom" attitude by believing that what isn't yet can become.  This isn't for some.  It is for everyone.

Maybe we could break away from being the way we are?  Well, if the way we are is grumpy, grouchy, and gruntled (as in dis), then a new life awaits.  It doesn't linger when or if others change...ever.

A renovated experience of being blessed presents itself in immediate possibility by you and me simply believing those rough and negative situations will change once we accept responsibility to take a personal step forward by seeing raw hope in every situation.  Our happiness is never dependent upon the behavior of another.  It is clearly dependent upon how we choose to manage our interior thoughts.

Friday, January 22, 2016


The Whether Report is a daily experience.  We find it to be good or not so much.  Our lives are not dependent upon the reports; but rather on how we set our sails.

It doesn't matter where one lives, nor does it make a difference regarding age, fascination is available to every individual....now.  This emotion has nothing to do with breaks--good or bad--but with mindset.  Mindset is a selection; a choice.

Life is not forced upon us.  Indeed, injury and disappointment curtail; even rob.  It isn't whether bad things happen for they do....to everyone.  The Whether Report is dependent upon one's choice to celebrate or to bemoan.  It is not dependent upon circumstance nor personality.

I noted a very encouraging truth today; new seems to reign.  How long has man occupied earth?  (Well, Terry, you are just so incredibly deep!!!)  My point is that new reigns.  I saw an ad yesterday of the 2016 Chevy pickups.  Automobiles escalate in new.

Even if one is a fan of a '56 Chevy, as am I, no one owns one and leaves it the way it was. The owner will upgrade the headliner, go over the motor (like with new plugs?), etc. to make a valuable antique of a car....look like it just came off of the showroom floor.  New dominates.

Antique collectors, as am I, take wonderful old relics and labor intensely to make them look...new.

From whence does this drive come?  It is the nature of Father.  He is creative.  The Bible speaks of us being new everyday.  At my age my body doesn't feel exactly pristine.  However, my inner me is newer today than yesterday just as Two Corinthians 4:16 insists.

The Whether Report is always good news to every reader.  We have every reason to do more than make it through our day.  We believe the Whether Report gives us room to allow the Creator room to do His stuff.

We shall be more than positive.  We will fully expect that regardless of input and information, we will be determined to note the new which will arise from every routine moment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Everyone loves (even treasures) a positive feel-good day.  Those who believe God and walk with God sense that even the rough spots are to be valued.  This is a fundamental difference between belief and un.

As one scans the Bible there is a strong mixture of upset and reward, suffering and celebration, even death and life.  Followers do not find themselves exempt from stress and strain of even the extreme nature.

So if there is no difference in the kinds of days, why bother believing in God?

Explanation and discussion will be eternal.  One of the ideas dear to my heart is that each twist and turn of life is never our boss as to our moods nor attitudes.  We are free to choose to live independent days of great wonder simply because we know that God runs this show.

Our lives are not based upon whether one gets the job, signs the contract, or wins the lottery.  Nothing...absolutely nothing...deters a believer in God from having a wonder-filled life.  Nothing.

Some great contributors to society are found to have capitalized on their time spent in concentration camps while others offer us very little from their plush abode in high-rise luxury.  The location, the elevation, the good breaks or bad have little to do with whether we might live in wonder.

Wonder isn't a state of mind.  It is a fact.  I spent far too many days bemoaning me.  I rehearsed all of my many gigantic, obvious-to-all, flaws.  I bathed them in thought and lined them up late at night so that I could wear them as my start to the new day. Miserable and negative, there seemed to be no wonder because someone else always got to it first.

Silver spoons?  I seemed to have none.  But short straws?  Oh, a drawer full.

God changes all of this.  This isn't pretense or psych-up.  For every person wonder reigns independently of circumstance or relationship.  Life depends on no one else; not their behavior nor their deed.  Life...wonder-filled life...takes place in our own hearts and minds completely independent upon anything beyond our power-packed relationship with the Master.

Today....take a good look.  Blessings abound; even and especially in the center of moments which might tempt you to believe otherwise.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I speak not from criticism of a few; but rather, first, from experience of me.  For years as the one person in the church who should have been praying, I was not.  I did not. And I can't explain the precise whys or why-nots; but a slight glimpse into this oddity might open some of us to begin to pray more fervently.

Oddity?  Yes, this is so very strange among us.  We want others to be believers; yet, there are standard matters of which we seem, by our own inaction, to disregard ourselves...specifically today...prayer.  For believers in God to spend little (maybe none) time in prayer might be a testimony to our authentic disbelief.

I'm not sure this is a national thing; but I'm raising the question as to whether we Christians are still quite hung up on the visible.  The reason this is significant is that faith functions from the invisible base.  We are to walk by faith; not by sight.  Faith is the conviction of things not seen.

Prayer may have been aborted because we would rather be from Missouri where seeing is believing.  Prayer is avoided because man wants results and when we don't get immediate gratification for our efforts; we abandon such as a waste of time.  Think about it.  If one doesn't believe that prayer matters, then all such time is merely a wasted consumption of minutes as well as oxygen.

Yet, a bigger question is, "Why do Christians pray?"

We believe that what isn't yet can become...Romans 4:17.  We are certain that an invisible God runs this show.  But all that we have to verify this is....that we believe it. Of course, this leaves one quite vulnerable.

We pray because we are sure that there is a relationship with this invisible God of ours.  We note throughout our days huge clues as to His activity, to His life on earth in the form of Jesus, and His productivity via the Holy Spirit.

To pray expecting and believing does not mean we send orders to Heaven and delivery will be quicker than UPS.  To pray doesn't mean that we smoke out a signal and God's angels come a-running.

To pray means to believe even when others don't.  It means to endure, when so many quit.  It calls the heart to never give up; even if interference or stress or even death steps into the middle of our party.

Prayer is not a demanding note to God that we want and we expect to get.  However, it does seem to play a major role in our walk when we shift from believing that time spent in prayer is not about submitting our wish list; but is more about our submission to His wish list.

Why don't some Christians pray?  We may have become too enamored with getting what we want and when we don't see it happen on our timetable, we assume that it is the idea that prayer is flawed; never ourselves.

Monday, January 18, 2016


There is no circumstance of stress that would be insurmountable.  There is no crushed relationship that cannot be healed.  There is no riddle of life that cannot be solved. There is no steep hill that cannot be successfully climbed.

When Jesus broke the bonds of death by arising from the grave, he set the world of trouble on its edge.  He punched bad days squarely in the nose.  Yes, we must not forget that even Jesus was in the darkness of the tomb; but only for three days.

He took earth's greatest field of seemingly permanent discouragement...the cemetery...and turned it into an A-Rose garden.

Your pressures....all of them are only temporary as well.

Stand up....and live.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


One of the things that I just treasure about the Kingdom is its perspective on the new. We are a new creation.  We are anticipated to be new day by day.  New is a key factor of the God and man harmony.  Not so surprisingly, however, is that there is such disdain in churches for the new.

Of all of the places, churches ought to be the greatest stage for God to get to perform His talent.  Give Him room to show His stuff!

Yet, something happens to us.  The process is oh-so-slow.  Take a look at the difference between and newborn and a 21-year old.  Vast difference.  Age.  Yet it took every bit of twenty-one years.  And what goes on in that time is, while granted there are those natural processes of ongoing life, a vast amount of flexibility, ambition, imagination, and exploration begin to wane.

It is here that God's call for all to be born again is significantly vital as well as ultra-exciting.  The Fountain of Youth is to be a factual part of our spirits; not our flesh. Does this new mean that we never learn?  No it means we never quit learning.  Does it imply that we'll never know God?  No, it suggests that we will ever be discovering vastly new and most amazing dimensions of Him.

Mankind is forever attacked by arthritis of the joints of both thinking and believing. Our senses are to expand; not contract.  We are to allow the directives of the Living God to flow through our very beings.  This isn't a Sunday School lesson.  It is to be a Sunday through Saturday experience; all seven days.

Grow young.  And tomorrow find yourself even more younger than any yesterday.  This isn't a pretentious consideration.  It is His expectation of us, for us, with us, and through us. Never give up on becoming....becoming new in your approach to life.

Never settle for the mediocrity--or even he curtailment of getting to really live because the flesh is either tired...or afraid...or both.  We are called for more than decline; much more.  Think like a newborn; growing in mesmerizing wow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Has the belief factor for men and women been stolen?  Have we hit a wall that has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with whether one has the heart to peer past the obvious; the seen?  Our world is a in a conflicting spin; a world of hurt and one of hope.

What is one to think these days?  Pain is here.  Frustration is there.  Is our only hope that Sunday morning church goes well?

Now--of all times--is the moment of believing.  And be encouraged, there are light-years of untapped potential and possibility for humanity now, today, at this very window of time.

I inquire as to whether our faith has taken on somewhat of a reduction that God would never have called believing.  Have we opted for current trends with a shrug of, Well, we gave prayer a shot; but nothing changed?  Those of us who insistently believe in God and His dynamic, have we lost our push, our press, our up for the battle?

Faith isn't attending a church nor is it vouching for an organized system of serving others.  Faith is a certainty that what doesn't appear to be feasible, in reality, exists. Church attendance and church participation can very well indicate strong faith.  Too it may, for some, be nothing more than a check-mark of activity on a religious calendar. The former finds meaning.  The latter increases in both boredom and frustration.

Be encouraged.  Believe God.  Believe Him in arenas of talent, skill, and provision which would seem absurd; even ridiculous.  If one can believe the Bible, then surely He seems to have spent a lot of time--like from cover to cover--exposing the fleshly wisdom and its trek as weak, foolish, lacking, and very old school.

Dare to believe.  It takes courage.

Monday, January 11, 2016


I think that what I'm about to tell you surely has to be one of the stranger oddities of the life system.  It would seem that across the board real life experiences a consistent losing of ground.  Opportunities of possibility will always overwhelm as we are such creatures of crawl when it comes to new ideas.

Note I didn't yet use that one word which is regarded by some as a swear word; change.

Could it be that it is a pattern of being alive that we are losing ground?  Consider science.  The more one discovers the more one finds there is yet to be discovered. While gaining a bit of knowledge discovery finds that we just got a bit more behind.

So it is in the spiritual (known as the religious) world.  The learning of one word's original meaning may shift or alter twenty-five other assumed truths to this point. God is so vastly immeasurable that, just as in science, every time one turns a corner to grasp something new of Him it seems the unknown just expanded.  And, it must.

So whether physical or spiritual, whether visible or invisible, discovery of one detail may offer clarity for one itch while, simultaneously, a whole new world of rash breaks out.

Here's what I want you to ponder.  Do you realize that while we are losing ground we are actually gaining momentum?  As we enter breakthrough moments, we are likely to be found quite inspired in imagination as to what yet can be uncovered.  And when we do break through we will most likely be faced with more (not less) unanswered questions.

We can take the factual losing of ground as negative if we so choose.  But why not take the very same thing as a charge to the wow and the wonder and the awe of what yet can/could/may possibly be.  Lose ground and become stuck?  Or, lose ground and be enthused at what else can me known?

 It's a choice...that we...get to make.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Regardless of circumstance, there are matters of each moment that can be observed with favor.  Let's face it.  Bad things happen.  They seem set on it.  So it isn't a question of whether they will or won't.  The question is whether we will decide to manage these offences to where they are productive.

It is always a decision.

We are never hand-cuffed.  Hurt?  At times.  Highly offended?  Well, yes.  Devastated? On occasion.  Advantaged?  Every time.

When we give our lives over to Jesus to take us places, two things must dominate; our love for God and for others.  The only part we see of ourselves in this picture is outward direction.  When we are set on loving God and intensely being attentive to the needs of others, we are finally and perfectly lost in the grandest scheme of life.

Why we should like right now is that regardless of ups or downs, these moments are consistently about God and about others.  Whether winning the lottery or losing a friend, both settings are rich in building others up, making their day, and celebrating the reality of God included/involved in our moves.  Otherwise, church is hollow.

Why you should like right now is that it is brimmed-full, jamb-packed meaningful. That we be encouraged or discouraged is never the main point.  That God and others be given our attention are the two things which bring the oddest, and yet most celebrated, meaning.

And, truthfully, there are a lot of frightened, hungry, forgotten souls who would trade one of their days for one of yours.  Therefore, live.  Don't kinda live.  Don't sorta live. Don't moodily live.

Live like one of your best moments ever....is....right....now!!
(And how about that!  Spellcheck just okayed moodily!)

Friday, January 08, 2016


I cheer you on, moms and dads.  Use those constant negative infractions which naturally come your child's way to train them for a desperately needed attribute for life.

I'm not sure exactly how accurate my assessment is, but I point out that we seem to live in a time of perpetual quitters.  We quit relationships.  We quit employment.  We quit learning.  We quit applying.  We quit trying.  We quit. We must break this definite trend.

The reversal would be that of endurance. Endurance has the connotation of fighting to the finish; even of the most extreme measures.  Stamina is the picture of Jesus...and expected of those who follow.  The fact that a central part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is patience speaks intensely as to the need that we must never give up; never cave to struggles.

I think one thing that would give us a boost is the simple truth that we don't have to give up, give in, give out, or give over.  Sure we hit the assumed impasses.  Yes, these trenches beat upon us at times.  But even a stronger yes is that the picture of Jesus being beaten to his death only to roar back to save those very beaters is a clue as to the power-life in front of us.

Rough days?  Rough ways?  Difficulty?  Stress?  No one says you are misreading.  What I want to say to you is, So?  Use these days to grow up, to grow into Jesus, and to grow out becoming very capable and ready to fight for a people called society who very much need to meet a winner; one who has been beaten but kept coming back to life!

A power move for parents might be to back off of the pampering and move into the training during and in the center of the hot spots of discouragement and difficulty.  If we don't, we are going to continually turn out generations who live on the run.

Thursday, January 07, 2016


Be on guard.  A villain lurks with intent to shut every one of us down.  This force presses, insinuates, argues, and discourages.  The goal: get common people to voluntarily fail to reach their potential.

Be on guard.  This culprit strikes fear in the heart of every Daddy, Momma, and Child. It controls schools systems as well as government officials.  Dreams and plans often have to pass his tests when he doesn't even show up for the meetings.

The big problem that mankind has with this monster is that he is invisible.  No one knows exactly where he lives other than he has been seen camping out on the backside of individual hearts.  The name?  Fear.

Fear puts the....F E A R....in people.  He is so shrewd in that he masks his delay tactics by causing the individual to believe hesitancy was truly his or her own idea.  Oblivious to this negative persuasion, we tend to believe things go the way they do because we intentionally applied ourselves.

The result?  People are stuck.  Everywhere we turn people are stuck in life as if they live on streets made of gigantic fly-paper.  Society has dumbed down to the lowest denominators of, Is it without stress? and then, Does it make me happy?

I lived on that street; on the corner of Stuck and Mabee.  I have no idea how many times I continue to take such a going-nowhere route.

What I believe is happening is that day after day very wonderful people awaken to repeat the last 8900 yesterdays with no anticipation of a God-intervention or even an upsetting re-route.  There is a difference between Abraham and us.  He admitted that he didn't know where he was going.  We have convinced ourselves that we do.

The problem, then, that we necessarily develop is that we must keep our territory small enough that we can take effective charge.  Thus, restrictive efforts are a must if we are going to run our show.

We are to have a faith.  Too look ridiculous?  Yes, to look absurd to the religious leader whose obsession is to control every work, every dollar, every dream.  Yes. ludicrous to those who are stuck in want of explanation, viability, and detail when God hasn't provided it yet.

We are often blind to our devotion to keep living in stuck mode.  I want to break this invisible bond in me.  I continue to pray, God, help me to reach the whole world as well as God, show me things no one among us has ever asked to see before.  

God has plans for us.  We cannot afford...the world cannot afford...for us to be stuck on personal safety when we should, by faith, be all about exploration of possibilities. Don't bury your head in the sands of fear.  Bury it in the stars of brave imagination!

The problem is that there is a world in desperate need to be rescued from depression and meaninglessness..  The solution is that we are a part of the solution because we have a new Spirit about us that dares to go where the once hesitant us would rather hide by reading a book about how desperate the needs of the world really are.

Saturday, January 02, 2016


What I like about life is that it is uniquely, wonderfully, absolutely....alive!  Surprised at my non-brilliance?  You already knew life was alive; that's why it's called that?  Well, my concern is that a vast amount of friends (and enemies) don't experience life alive.

My observation is that the masses have been buried before they ever reach the cemetery.  Brooding, anger, suspicion, doomed, negative; this and more reflects the minds and hearts of so many in the church and out.  What is exciting is, yes this can be true, but the mold can be broken!

Jesus died so that we could live!  We are to possess life alive!

Do you know what makes life burst with wow-ism?  Try forgiving everyone; not a few, not the least offensive, but E V E R Y O N E.  Try telling God Thank You for your bad days.  Consider prayer instead of gossip.

Ponder the ninety-nine things going right (like eyes, ears, arms, legs, stoves, cars, computers, medications, clinics, kitchen tables, ironing boards, tires, basketballs, voting booths, parking lots, hair dryers [for some, hair], and eighty-three other things).  My guess is you will fall asleep naming your blessings.

So why give obsessive attention to your three troubles?  These don't deserve center stage.  Problems?  Yes, or maybe.  But one of our strongest misfires in life is that we hand the microphone to these culprits and then step aside allowing them the floor.  In Bob Newhart's words, STOP IT!!  These villains do not deserve our endorsement.

May our new year receive our vow to observe life alive.  We will not be a people blessed by abundance; yet dissatisfied because we want even more.  We, rather, will be a nation of believers who are grateful for the 99 to 1 ratio of blessings over stresses.

That's what WE are going to do!

Anybody want to sign this petition?

Friday, January 01, 2016


Church comes in varied molds as well as public perceptions.  Some believe it the lifeblood of a community.  Others think it to be a Sunday morning penalty box; sort of a make-up hour for all of the spiritual neglect in our lives.  Still others see church as a nasty six-letter word.

No one has disrupted the joy and the power of church like those of us in it.  We push Jesus' teaching; yet, seem to ignore them when not found to be handy for us.  How many in the church know that we are to refrain from judging others because we are equally guilty?  Basically, we trample that text.

How often do we justify our lack of faithfulness to Him while living with a critical eye toward another?  And by the way, faithfulness to God is not to be correlated with church attendance.  One can be a regular pew-sitter with little certainty that God is active among us.

Church defined?  There could be as many variables as there are members.  There does seem to be a few strong factors expected to be found among us which, with truthful evaluation, might not be our primary focus.

Jesus is the one who perfectly disrupts religiously rote practices.  When we slip into such a spiritual posture, meaningless boredom is quick to follow.  Criticism of others becomes our strong talk; even though not one of us is better than the worst culprit we can name.  We tend to point to others flaws to justify our own lack of spiritual integrity.  I did it for years until I saw myself.

When, however, we begin to investigate Jesus we may find that he will force our weak concepts into the water and walk on top of them.  As we watch Jesus, convenience and comfort are not the basics.  Risk and daring walk for the kingdom are.

Church defined by the standard of Jesus takes all church attenders into a rarely new and wonderful scheme of activity which is loaded with meaning, purpose, and exhilarating results.  If you would be one who doesn't care for church it could be that you have a mistaken definition.  If you live aggravated by some as to how bad they are, without noting your own lackluster behavior, I know you have a warped sense of the kingdom process.

No one is admitted into the church without first confessing our sheer failure; not our accomplishment.  The most powerful writers in the Bible were those who deemed their own sins which led them to plead for a Redeemer.  And they found him.

Church defined might be a place where one can be holy and wholly grateful that such a group of people would let at blatant failure like self in.  We are all just alike.