Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Two Zoots

Said Old Man Zad to his brother Hasham
“My Zoot is faster than yours, old man.”

“I bet not! Your full of Kerpile!”
Said Hasham without a smile.

The Zoots turned, one toward the other
And in unison they karumphed, “oh, brother.”

Go little Zoots! Dance with your kin!
The first who Lapunks is the one to win!

Zin, zan, Zo!
They’re off. Look at them go!

The Zoots danced, faster and faster
Trying to Lapunk and please their master.

Hasham’s Zoot dipped down, but only Lashank.
Zad laughed so hard he pulled a hurank.

Zad’s Zoot tried hard to pull a moprok
But then he fell, resulting in vok.

In the midst of the chaos came a third Zoot,
And Lapunked perfectly in only one boot.

Hasham was confused,
And Zad was lazoode.

The two old Vleezers, Zad and Hasham,
Thus traded their Zoots for a couple of Vlam.

Joe & Phil



Filed under Poetic Perspectives

Unwelcome Companion — Author’s Reflection

Ever been depressed?

I know I have! I’ve never been diagnosed as clinically or chronically depressed; but I’ve known depression. For me its like being a chain gang prisoner, chained to a 300 pound apparition, dressed like he’s waiting for a funeral, – my funeral – whispering hateful messages of eternal despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness.

Jesus offers freedom – or at least a kind of freedom – from depression. For He claims His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).

Although “no one can serve two masters” (Mathew 6:24), in our fallen state in this fallen world (more on this later), we can definitely feel chained to two masters. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other” (Mathew 6:24). Our narrator of “Unwelcome Companion“, clearly inspired by Romans 5:1-5, has chosen the One he’ll love and the one he’ll hate.

Read “Unwelcome Companion” here, and tell us what you think.


Filed under Phil's Philosophy

My Philosophy on Gun Control – Part 3

My philosophy on gun control can be summed up in 10 bullet points.

1 – 5) can be found here (My Philosophy on Gun Control – Part 1).

6 – 9) can be found here (My Philosophy on Gun Control – Part 2).

10) So much has been said about mental health and gun control. New York just passed a law banning access to guns for certain mental health patients. I have several problems with targeting “the mentally ill” and infringing their constitutional right to bear arms.

a) Who defines “mentally ill”? With an advanced degree in Psychology and having over four decades of experience being around people, I’ve learned that everybody has some sort of neurosis. Seriously, does anybody know a single person intimately who does not have some of the symptoms of at least one of the following, Depression, ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, ODD, Anxiety, OCD, Bi-Polar, Asocial, Antisocial, Co-Dependency, Addictive Disorder…?

b) Gun violence is less a mental health issue, than it is a sin issue. In our relativistic society, people are hesitant to acknowledge the reality of sin. In our violent society where the reality of sin is not acknowledged, people turn to “mental illness” as an explanation for what is truly sinful behavior.

c) Mental health experts have already begun to air their grievances with New York’s new law as a hindrance to therapy.

d) If you remove the constitutional rights of the “mentally ill” where does it stop? What other rights will be removed from the “mentally ill”? What’s the next group that gets their constitutional rights trampled on?

I’m out of time, for now. So as it stands, these are the 10 bullet points outlining my philosophy on gun control.

I’m always interested to hear your feedback.



Filed under Phil's Philosophy

My Philosophy on Gun Control – Part 2

If you’ve read My Philosophy on Gun Control – Part 1, you may care to know that my “bullet points” 4 & 5 are now taken care of.

If the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution has been on your mind like it has mine, you’ve probably noticed a disturbing trend. There is a current ammunition shortage. Ammunition cartridges are scarce, and AR-style rifles that may have cost you $700 to $900 in early December will now cost you 2 or 3 times that if you can find them.

Why is this disturbing? Lets refer back to bullet point 5) “Assault rifles are like nuclear arms. I hope I never have to use it, but as long as the bad guys have one, I want one too!”

We’ve been searching for reasonably priced guns since November and were glad to have stumbled upon an AR-style rifle at our local gun store that was priced right at MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price). The next morning we raced back and bought it. While the salesman was boxing it up, two other customers asked if they still had that same rifle!

Back to My Philosophy – Part 2

I recently saw a picture on the internet that summarizes bullet points 6 – 9 of my philosophy on gun control. I paraphrase:

6) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You need these for muggers, carjackers and rapists…







7) shotgun…this for burglars…


8) rifle… and this for those who try to take them away.






9) When they say you don’t need the second amendment, that’s when you need the second amendment.

10) My final bullet point will be discussed in My Philosophy on Gun Control – Part 3.

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Soothing Stones — Author’s Reflection

There’s a poetic beauty in a woman writing the praises of her husband she’s admired and loved for decades. My friend, Karen, penned a perfect example of this as she reflected on her 36 years with Lawrence. A shortened version of her essay:

 “Lawrence at twenty-eight looked good and had an athletic build with great looking legs. His hair was predominantly brown. His front hairline receded some, and he said “It’s just slipping off the top.” His hairy chest, arms, and legs looked like my teenage dream of a husband.

In the first week of our honeymoon he began a lifelong collection of rocks.  At his request, the stonemason cemented two of our “honeymoon rocks” and others from our travels in our stone fireplace.

As I reflect on my memory of those first weeks, clues abounded about my husband: his love for his family, being out in nature, the ability to laugh at himself, and the nature of my future life.

Our favorite, evening ritual of sitting around a campfire commenced sometimes even before the sunset.  The smell of pine straw, wood, and leaves burning was like no other.  The ‘sit and stare time’ before a leaping, colorful fire mesmerized us all before bedtime.”

Fast forward her essay and Karen solemnly describes her last days with Lawrence:

 “The abbreviated version is this; the dermatologist removed the first squamous cell from Lawrence’s right frontal scalp. The cancer was on the nerve which microscopically looked like flower petals around a stem. The internet prognosis said a five to ten year life expectancy.

Lawrence chose regardless, to live his life to the fullest. He intended to go out from this life by sliding into Heaven’s home base as he departed.  His character qualities of joy, gentleness, kindness, patience, and love shown to children and parents alike brightened the community that year.

His family and even his rock collection stand as memorials to his life.  His last adventure took him to Heaven. I yearn to know more about Heaven. I am in no hurry to get there, but when I do, it will be forever, and Home.”

She concludes:

 “Psalm 139:16 in my own words says, “Before the day we were born, God knew the day he would call us home.”

In the midst of my own tears from reading Karen’s essay, I composed “Soothing Stones.

Thank you, Karen, for sharing with us a bit of your time with Lawrence, for providing the spark and kindling for “Soothing Stones,” and for allowing me to share it with others.

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Adventure — Author’s Reflection

Marti, a very dear family friend, blogged her memories for weeks as she cared for her husband of 43 years. The blog is completed now. A beautiful tribute to Al’s life, their marriage, and their journey to their forever home. “He is at home now,” Marti wrote near the blog’s end. Nearer the beginning of her blog she wrote:


“Anniversary of our first date.

September 19, 1965. Al called me at Mundinger Hall at St. Johns College in Winfield, Kansas. I had ended a one-year relationship because the first guy was such a great person, but so serious, and I wasn’t ready to talk marriage as a sophomore in college.

Apparently, Al and his buddy Dave flipped a coin because both wanted to ask me on a date, and Al won. Dave asked someone else, and we four drove into the country where Dave’s sister and family had a small ranch. We spent the afternoon riding horses.

My first horse just wanted to go home. Not being an accomplished rider at all, I was fighting to stay in control. Finally, we rode back to the stable and Dave got permission to ride the thoroughbreds. I have never experienced such grace, beauty, and freedom. They ran like the wind and responded quickly to every tug on the reins.

At the end of the adventure, Al and I rode back to the ranch in a light rain in the back of a truck with a wet farm dog between us, sheltered by a horse blanket to keep dry.

Al decided since I was cute and fun to be with, he would find a way to have a second date, so he said he would drive me to Wichita, an hour away, to see my family. But that second date is another story.

Al dubbed the date (a parody on Back to the Future I) “The Enchantment Under the Horse Blanket” date.

Happy 47th anniversary of our first date, Allan. You are so precious.”


Thank you, Marti, for allowing me to pen into poetry what you so preciously penned in prose.


Filed under Phil's Philosophy

Forsaken — Author’s Reflection

In the first chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus is referred to twice (verses 29 & 36) as the Lamb of God. As the Lamb, Jesus is the one time sacrifice for all. The book of Revelation portrays Jesus as the Lamb – but also the Lion.

Exiting this Christmas season, most of us have no trouble envisioning Jesus as the Lamb. There he was – born in a stable, resting in a feeding trough, surrounded by other little lambs. The songs of the season remind us that Jesus came to bring peace on earth and goodwill to men.

Many of Jesus’ contemporaries embraced Him as the Lamb. For a little over 3 decades, He was their precious, peaceful Lamb. Then, late one night He was abruptly taken away from those who loved Him most. They were devastated. If He was who He said He was, then His own Father – their own Father – had snatched Him away.

I’m sure many felt Forsaken.

But that’s not the end of the story. Jesus returned a few days later, hung out a while and left again promising to return.

Today, many await the return of their little Lamb. He will return. But when He does, it will be as a conquering Lion.

We loved the little Lamb.

How will we respond to the Lion?



Filed under Phil's Philosophy