Expect More. Pay Less.

I’m sittin’ in a traffic jam

Just north of Birmingham

Target truck to my right

Day turning to night

Irritated that my car sits idle

God exposes another idol

Expect more. Pay less.

High expectations.

Low investment.

Car wreck up ahead

People hurt, could be dead

Wish they’d speed this up

How dare they interrupt

My vacation with their pain

Tempted by that emergency lane

Expect more. Pay less.

High expectations.

Low investment.

Hurting people need my time

People’s pain needs that good wine

Let the stillness stop my sin

Change me, change me, born again

Spirit fill me with that residence

Christ in me, holy presence.

Expect less. Pay more.

Low expectations.

High investment.

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Signs of Life Episode 7: Dead End Decisions

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8 46

The blue became a perp;

Just a man before work;

Eight minutes? Eight minutes!

“I can’t breathe . . .”

Blue, release that knee.

Have mercy.

Watching the aftermath,

Other blues scared to death;

A nervous wreck –

Gotta serve and protect –

Men and women with families

Standing, walking in solidarity;

Order, humility, modesty, civility

Blessings these are to humanity.

Blues, we need you;

We really, really do.

Protestors marching,

Walking, waving

Signs in procession

On a peaceful mission

Shadows of the dead

Reminding the Heads

Of State, we can’t wait . . .

No, we can’t wait;

We can’t breathe.

No more asphyxiation

Woe to our nation!

“In the dust of the streets,

Lie the young and the old”;

Both women and men have fallen

Pirates come a callin’

Reveling in the sadness

Opportunistic mercenaries

Highjacking tears

Destroying the years

Of work belonging to our neighbors

Anarchists and looters doin’ favors?

Pirates cheat and steal;

They do not a nation heal.

Spiral, spiral, will you stop?

Violence, anger, murder, threats,

Politicians hedge their bets;

“Election Day is coming soon!”

But can they heal so great a wound?

Dividing wall of hostility stands erect;

No mortal human can correct;


Nor Govs, POTUS, or Blues

Peace of another kind

Is required for such a time.

Our soul is sick; it’s evil;

We swim in hate, ‘cause the hate’s within.

Everyone wants to “win, win, win.”

The evil’s in us people.

All want justice; none can provide.

Ebbs and flows the election tide.

Peace and justice longs the heart

Before our union’s torn apart.

Look within we will, we must,

But all we’ll find is creation’s dust.

Upward must the gaze now look

To the one on himself he took

Debts and sins and iniquities

Canceling them out upon the tree.

Reconciling not only to deity

But also wide to humanity

Peace vertical

Peace horizontal

Cross-shaped peace for you and me

Tears down walls of hostility

Common ground establishing

Where sinners free come gathering;

A new Spirit we need and can receive,

If part of this new humanity you choose to be.

He implants peace within the dust;

Spirit and Word within remakes us.

O Revival! How long must we wait?!

O America! I pray it’s not too late.

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Voicing Your Brand: Pump the Hope

Pump the hope

Against the futility;

Generate a friction

That causes transformation.

An automobile’s brake system uses friction to create a good, life-changing, life-saving result. Your foot pumps the pedal. The fluid runs to the calipers and cylinders, putting pressure on the pads and shoes. The pads and shoes press into the rotors and drums. You stop. “Friction” is a word that typically isn’t associated with “good.” Two objects pressing in, rubbing against one another, temperature rising, sparks flying.

Frustration in life is a reality. We encounter unexpected dead ends. We chase wisdom and knowledge. We explore pleasures. We exert maximum effort to achieve and accomplish in our careers. We invest in the stuff of eternal value—people. Yet, our wisdom finds a ceiling. Our pleasures stop satisfying. The fruit of our labor may come too late to enjoy, and people, well, they may never change. Many of us have touched the edge of that shadowy cliff we call despair. Sadly, some embrace it.

How do we live in concert with the reality of futility? You have to pump the hope against the frustrations. You have to generate a friction. Sparks need to fly! Pump hope against the ceiling of your wisdom, and find a transformed skill in living. Pump hope into even the littlest joys of life to find a transformed contentment. Pump hope into that career and flourish where you are. Pump hope into people, and behold, the image of God will spring to new life. Pump the hope, and step away from that shadowy precipice.

Pump the hope

Against the futility;

Generate a friction

That causes transformation.

As I consider voice talent, I have a voice, and I want it to pump the hope—into my own life and overflow into the lives of others. My talents—writing, speaking—seem to max out sometimes and fall short at other times. Yet, I am committed to pressing hope into my craft as a communicator, generating a friction that transforms.

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Cigarettes and Metal

Vague recollection

Early morning detection

Eyes are clouded, thin

Ears not yet dialed in

A familiar scent wafts

Reaches, breezes into lofts

Where a young man wakes

At his father’s exiting gait

4am to Maysville

Cigarettes and metal

Driving far for that paper

Safety cautious labor

Pull down the hood

Strike ‘at arc good

Bond to the base

Weld it like lace

A familiar aroma blankets

Hourly worker wages

5pm up the Double A

Cigarettes and metal on the way

Car resting on gravel

Aches accompany the rattle

Chevette no gas remaining

Golden Arm now finds resting

A familiar fragrance returns

Post dinner cigarette burns

Polka dot cap on its hook

Jeans & shirt find their nook

9pm the aura of dad

Cigarettes and metal ain’t so bad

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Signs of Life Episode 6: Pay Phone

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Signs of Life Episode 5: Nursing Homes & School Buses

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Signs of Life Episode 4: Kanye & Conversion

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Signs of Life Episode 3: Elevator

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Signs of Life Episode 2: New Needs New

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