Archive for October, 2009

Just cranky, darn it.

Hey kids! So here I am, just feeling cranky, darn it. Let me confirm that crankiness is not just a teething child phenomenon.

With that said, I have been feeling some type of way about a bunch of things, like whether I am being judgmental or haughty in the way I feel about how other folks are dealing with life. I am struggling with trying to understand how people live sheltered lives and are shattered by the mundane. Or is there more to it, really? I want to not fake the love for others when I feel that I am “tending their garden”.

I am not saying “help my unbelief” exactly, but more to the point: God, help my crankiness”.

Peace and good night.

Monday, October 26th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller 1 Comment

The result of doing things that are not the best idea…

So here’s the thing:

I got a couple new CDs yesterday and decided to listen to them on my drive this morning. As it happened, I wasn’t going to the office but to the main location–a 40± mile drive. And these were worship CDs, right, so it was definitely good stuff.

Let me pause to say that I am one of those people who cry when moved by the spirit.

Okay, so I was nearing my destination when the atmosphere changed outside. It was beautiful at home but the closer I got to campus the more overcast it became, so much so that I asked myself out loud if there was a fire burning that I had missed hearing about.

At the same time, the atmosphere in my car changed. The song “Praise to the Lord”, a personal fave, came on. The presentation was fantastic and, you guessed it, I started crying. At 70 in the slow lane. The Spirit was there and it was awe-inspiring.

So the result of doing something that was not the best idea–in this case, driving while crying–did not result in some catastrophe but rather I was energized for my day and took time to admire the beauty that is SoCal on my drive times.

To quote our university president, Dr. Wallace: Yay, God.

Friday, October 16th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller 2 Comments

Why be concerned?

So here it is. I was rushing this morning and had an epiphany. It was a good one, especially since it was accompanied by scripture. The verse that came was “I will never leave or forsake you”.

I went searching and there is Hebrews 13:5. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown commentary states that this is “a promise tantamount to the one given to Jacob (Gen. 28:15), to Israel (Deut. 31:6), to Joshua (Joshua 1:5), to Solomon (1 Chron. 28:20). It is therefore like a divine adage. What was said to them, extends also to us. He will neither withdraw His presence (“never leave thee”) nor His help (“nor forsake thee”).

Now, what brought this on included two things:
1. I was thinking about a personal situation a friend is going through
2. I was thinking about my friend Don’s death

In both situations, there are two sides of the thing:
a. If either of us (my friend mentioned in #1 above, or me as related to #2) had done or said anything differently, it might have made a difference.

And then there’s

b. If we had made a difference at some point, it most likely would not have changed the outcome as God ordained it.

So here’s how that plays out:
Imagine if I had been able to connect with my friend Don, say 10 years ago. We catch up on old times and all that. In God’s plan, I might have ideally had an opportunity to thank him for being my most excellent friend, and I might have had the chance to introduce him to my son. However, the same plan that might have allowed me those opprtunities also would not have kept Don from his destined end–it is a probability that my re-entry into his existence would not have made a difference in when his life ended.


On the other and much more important hand, God never leaves us. It does not matter who leaves (or how or why they leave) because God never does. That’s why He is first. And boy did that make me feel better.

I hope it makes you fell better also.


Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments

To live anew…

Hello gang!

So it has once again been forever since a new post to the Neal Family Adventures. Life happens.

I was inspired today by a wonderful piece of music. I am a fan of good tunes, and those that fall into the house category are often a fav. Today’s feast is a new addition to the Fresh Page website by Erwin Tjoe and it made me feel great as I listened.

I had been reminiscing a bit early this morning about a FaceBook update I had made earlier in the week; I had mentioned how great it would be if we were able, if only for an hour, to reconnect with loved ones so we could tell them how much we loved them and could share with them about some of the things that had been going on since last we saw them. This thought came to me while I was reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. Mr. Brown is the man who wrote the DaVinci Code and this book tells of the mysteries of the Masonic Order and how there is something secret going on in Washington DC. I won’t say more than that since you can check out the website and read an excerpt of the book for yourself. I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of the DaVinci Code but the excerpt I read of The Lost Symbol (in Parade Magazine, that came with a Sunday paper a few weeks back) made me want it. I read all 509 pages in about four days and the first thing I wanted was to share it with my dad, to get his opinion on the validity of the Masonic references. From what I remember of his days in the Order, it seemed pretty accurate–it brought back memories I hadn’t seen in my mind’s eye in years. It made me miss him. Interestingly, I was more interested in sharing this book with my dad than I was to share that I had completed my doctoral degree this year. I of course wanted him to know that too, but reading this book and experiencing the memories–the images of my mom and dad dressed to go to a Masonic event, my dad in his regalia for a cornerstone laying, my Nana in her Eastern Star whites–was overwhelming. Those thoughts made me think of all the folks I miss, that have gone on before me, of all the things I didn’t get to say or do with them; it made me imagine what I would do if I could go back in time, change some things, and see them–even if the ultimate outcome would be the same.

I would go to my dad and tell him about this year–my graduation, this incredible book that revealed a lot of the things he kept so secret…

I would go to my Nana and tell her about my family–show her a picture of my son who looks so much like her son…I’d ask her to tell me the family secrets…

I would go to other family members and friends, share the stories, gather the love, and bring it all back with me to the now, to live life anew…

Saturday, October 10th, 2009 Confessions of a Cave Dweller No Comments