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‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’

I don’t know too many people who don’t enjoy the soft rock sound of the Eagles. They’ve been a staple part of the American music scene since the 70’s. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the band now that Glenn Frey is gone. He and Don Henley had been together since the band’s inception but even Don said, “It’s Glenn’s band”. I can see one scenario that might work but it’s just speculation on my part. Jackson Browne, who was a very close personal friend of Glenn and Don, would be a near perfect fit if they were to ever decide to tour again. He’s not Glenn…..but he could do it.

I like about all the Eagles’ songs and it’d be hard for me to pick a favorite…but if I was pressured to do it I’d probably go with Hotel California. They’re gonna be playing that one long after all of us are gone. It’s a classic. ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ (do yourself a favor, click the link!) is another of their great songs. It was written by Jack Tempchin and was the third single released off their very first album all the way back in 1972.

I think we could all appreciate a ‘peaceful, easy feeling’ at about any point in our lives. It sometimes seems pretty elusive to find that ‘spot’ where we can just relax and appreciate where we are, what we have (whether it’s a little or a lot), …..and who we are. There are a number of things, at least for me, that contribute to having a peaceful easy feeling. For starters…the fact that God loves me with all my flaws puts my heart in a really, really peaceful place. If you know me you know I’m not a ‘pressure’ guy at all. I don’t think it works. But I’ll be the first to tell you that you’re never gonna have that peaceful feeling in your spirit until you’re connected relationally with the Father. Money won’t do it; fame will leave you unsatisfied. In fact, there’s just nothing that can take the place of knowing that God handpicked you to be His son or daughter. That’ll do it for ‘ya!

Beyond that, I’ve got a girl who I first remember seeing when I was about 12 or 13 years old, (prettiest one I’d ever seen! Still is!) who I’ve been married to nearly 40 years. I have 5 of the most incredible kids (another one, Cord, waitin’ on us in heaven!) you’ve ever seen….and 3 of the prettiest, most down-to-earth daughter-in-laws on the planet. And, don’t even get me started on my grandkids!! There’s 9 of ’em so far. They’re smart, handsome, talented and are gonna be some great contributors to the world. Oh, and I couldn’t forget that I’ve got some of the best friends a guy could ever ask for!

So, if you see me and I’ve got that ‘peaceful easy feeling’ look about me….now you know why!

Keep sharing ’em!

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

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Maybe He Saved More Than Your Life!

I just returned from a fantastic week of trout fishing in Montana. It’s the second year I’ve been invited there by my great friend, Ty Bean. It has been, these two years, an incredible time to unwind, relax, replenish and meet up with a few old, and some new friends. I had a great time….all except when I fell into the river! Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime. But, until then suffice it to say that the Big Horn, …in October, is waaaay too chilly to go into…on purpose!

We were picked up at the airport in Billings by a sharp young man named Tyler. There were five of us in the Suburban for the hour and a half trip to the lodge. I was riding ‘shotgun’ with Tyler and he began to ask me about my life. Now I sure don’t mind telling ‘my story’ but I have absolutely no agenda to try to force my way into telling it. But I was glad to answer Tyler’s questions and tell him how the Lord rescued me 32 years ago. When I finished he said, “That’s a great story!” I said, “Well, I take no credit for it, it’s just the story of how God saved my life.”

At almost that precise time I received a text. My screen-saver on my phone now ( I change it periodically with a pic of one or more of our 9 Grandkids!) is a pic of Knox and Timber, our two ‘newest’ grand babies. He (the Lord) immediately took me to that time in 1984 when my marriage was over with no hope of repair, and just about every other problem you could imagine. At that point in my life I only had two sons, Clint and Cade. And, the Lord showed me all that I now have…..that I wouldn’t have had, had He not answered my desperate prayer of, “God, if You’re out there, you gotta help me!”

My mind went immediately to Cole, his wife Kelly and their 3 precious little kids, Calli, Maverick and Knox. Then to Clay, his wife Chelsea and precious little Timber. Then to Cord, our little boy in heaven. *(Something for us to really look forward to!!) Then to Cameron, our little girl who has been the ‘icing on the cake’ after four boys! I was broken beyond words right there in the Suburban. It wasn’t tears of sadness but tears of overwhelming joy and gratefulness toward the Father.  None of these, who are now such a huge a part of our lives, and a huge part of why our lives are so rich today……,  would’ve been here. I can’t imagine life without them!!

God did the impossible….and fixed the un-fixable!! 

And, maybe…..just maybe…..He saved more than your life!!

**Here’s that pic on my phone!! The two newest little Taylors’, Timber & Knox!

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“God, If You’re Out There, You Gotta Help Me!”

It’s A Different Kind of Love!

If He Can Fix My Life…..I Know He Can Fix Yours!

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Prayer Changes Things!

It was the message on a little plaster of paris wall hanging at my Grandmother’s house in Wheeler, Texas. (My Mom’s Mom) I never knew my Granddad, he was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier in the year that I was born. That left her to raise 3 kids who were still at home. (2 older ones already married) She was an incredible person, in my opinion, and I’ve grown to appreciate that more and more as I’ve gotten older and understanding more of what it takes to raise a family.

One of my favorite things to do was to stay overnight, or a few days, at her house. I still vividly remember bedtime at her house. There were two beds in her room…one for her and one for Herman, my uncle, her youngest son. (only 3 years older than me) There’d be a story or two before we all fell asleep and they were always good ones. *(Herman always tried to tell a scary one..so we’d sleep with a butcher knife under our pillow for safety! lol) One story she told me when I was 3 or 4 years old was of an ‘old, old Grandmother by the name of ‘Mamaw Teak’. Well, that name ‘stuck’ and I called her that for the rest of my life.

When you’re a single mother with 3 kids in a small town you just have to do what you have to do to make ends meet. I remember her working at cafes and cleaning houses for people and then coming home completely worn out…but then cooking one of the best meals that you could possibly imagine. One of my most memorable Christmases was when Herman, my brother Monty and I all got our “Rifleman” rifles. We maintained a high level of justice on that block and kept the bad guys at bay in Wheeler, Texas for a good long while!

I think, somehow, the importance of prayer was imparted to me back in those days. That’s one of the things we’d do every night that I was at her house. And looking back and assessing her situation….I think she lived by it! They lived a simple life, a good life….but a simple life. And they got by,…I believe, by the provision of the Lord.

There’s a lot more to say on the subject of prayer. But simply put, “Prayer Changes Things”! 

*When my Grandmother passed on, I asked for this little plaster of paris wall hanging. It means a lot to me!

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“It’s Just Like Riding a Bike!”

I’ve used that phrase more than a few times. In fact I  used the reverse of it just a day or two ago when someone asked me if I played golf. My answer was, “Well, most people wouldn’t call it ‘golf’!’. I then said, “You know, golf’s not like riding a bike”. Which is true for me! The phrase has been used by people for a long time to indicate, “Something that, once learned, is difficult to forget how to do/easy to recall how to do” (* From the Urban dictionary)

Well, I learned to ride a bike at an early age. My dad commandeered a little used bike from someone. The little bike was fine except for the right handlebar, which had been broken about half off. We made ‘er work, though….and I learned to ride it out on the Thurmond Ranch red dirt roads. And true to form, I’ve been able to ride a bike ever since.

I’m a bit of a fitness addict. You can’t tell by lookin’ but it is true. Several years ago I started thinking about biking and how good it’d be for me. I don’t have much left in the ‘knees’ department; a couple of surgeries and half a dozen injuries down through the years. So, I’m thinking the bike would be a good way to get/stay fit. Julie did some great covert research and bought me a really nice hybrid variety bike for Christmas. She did great….I loved the bike and rode it a lot.

I started getting more serious about the biking thing and began to consider a road bike. I mentioned that to a close friend, who is a hardcore IronMan Triathlon competitor. He said, “Don’t buy one….I have one I’ll give you!” And he did….he gave me a really nice, expensive road bike. It‘s a bike with pedals that are designed to ‘clip’ your feet in. (a first for me!) I mean, once you’re clipped in….you’re ‘committed’!! You can ‘unclip’ by moving your foot with an outward motion but it takes a little practice to master it.

My first ride on the bike, clipped-in, went without a hitch. I took every precaution and made it fine. That was late in the fall. Colder weather set in and I brought the bike in a vacant bedroom in the house. When spring rolled around I brought the bike out and prepared for a 35 mile ride. One of my beautiful little granddaughters, Preslie who was about 4 at the time, was staying overnight with us. She’s a cutie! Tons of personality and not afraid to use it! She has a little lisp which just adds to her personality.

Preslie is standing on top of the dog house on the patio….looking over the privacy fence when I mounted the bike. I clipped in, threw my right leg over. Just about the time I was clipping in on the right….the bike ‘locked’ up and I’m down in the driveway! It hurt. Preslie said, “Pa, are you OK?” Disgusted I replied, “Yeah, I’m OK.” I turned the bike upside down and got the tire turning freely. Obviously the chain had been messed up, somehow. So, I’m ready to go again. Same plan…clip in on the left, throw my right leg over and here we go. Only this time I went about 5 feet and it locked up again. Down in the driveway again….this time it really hurt. Rocks poked a gash in my leg and blood was dripping down into my shoe.

Preslie, still watching from the top of the doghouse as encouraging and consoling as she could possibly be said, “ITH OK Pa, you’ll get the hang of it.”

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