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The miscellaneous meanderings of my mind. Post comments are not enabled, but you can always send me an e-mail at michael@michaelsreference.com.

On giving...and receiving...

posted Dec 4, 2018, 8:34 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 8:41 PM ]

A few years back I was at my barbershop, and he did his usual thing where he hands me the brush he uses and turns me around to check the cut in the mirror. My barber is excellent, there is never any doubt, but over the years I have learned that this is a very important piece of the process to him.

This time, I asked him about the brush he was using. Nothing really special, a simple plastic brush, but it seemed to do the best job of any I have ever used. So I asked him where I could find one of those to purchase. His reply was to reach into a drawer, hand me a new one, and say..."take this one home."

When I insisted that I should pay for it, he replied with a phrase that has stayed with me ever since. I've used it only a handful of times, because the moment and the recipient have to be right...

"Don't steal my blessing."

I learned something about being a gracious recipient that afternoon. I have always found joy in giving, but I've never been comfortable receiving gifts. This moment, this deceptively simple phrase, and a simple plastic brush... well, I'm working on it.


I Voted

posted Nov 5, 2018, 6:54 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Nov 5, 2018, 6:56 PM ]

Yes, I voted. I didn't spend seven months in the desert, to not. I am a Republican, and I voted. I am not a Trump "Republican." I don't think he knows the history, or cares to learn, and I don't agree with his nonsense and his media attempt to vilify "Democrats."

Listen. We all have more in common than not. Politics, Religion... whatever. We are all here, on this little blue-green planet, just doing our best to live our lives.

I know some believe this life is all there is, and I respect your beliefs, but I do not share them, so please respect mine. Let us all strive to be kind, to provide for the needy, to comfort the sick, to love each other as best we can, and to be the best version of ourselves, daily.

Seek

posted Sep 28, 2018, 4:47 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Nov 5, 2018, 6:55 PM ]

In a nation so divided,
What is one, humble, veteran to say?
That I fought, so that you may speak your mind?
That was before this "social" media,
Today.

You speak, but you do not question.
You follow your media - 
Blind, into the Fray.
You have the world's library at your fingertips,
And use it, 
Only, 
To defend your say.

Seek to understand the other side,
Of any argument you are presented.
So that you may eloquently explain yours,
And not sound so demented.

A Relationship With God

posted Aug 17, 2018, 8:36 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Aug 17, 2018, 8:37 PM ]

Your Relationship with God,
Does not grow in social media spaces,
Post, as you will, on the Book Of Faces.

A Relationship with God,
If one chooses to seek one,
Grows in the Heart and Soul.

You will not change "the other's" Mind,
No, not one.

With your "pithy" words,
And snippets of Scripture....
Often out of context...

Best You focus Your Efforts on the Lives around you.
Give anonymously,
Love Gracefully,
Hug, Often.

I Love Watching My Lord Work

posted Jul 29, 2018, 12:36 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Jul 29, 2018, 3:51 PM ]

I Love watching my Lord work in this world.
In the midst of believers,
And in the midst of those who do not know
How to define "it"...
But Live It.
Loving members of the community
Of humans.
Driven by a desire, a need, to Love,
Care for,
Support,
Defend,
Comfort...

In that undefined desire - 
That lives in so many - 
I see My Lord,
Working.

Do Not be deceived.

posted Jul 28, 2018, 2:02 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Jul 29, 2018, 1:25 PM ]

Even with all of the craziness going on right now, Even with the constant anxiety, Even with the heartbreaking news, With all of it... I Hold On To This.

He is a Good, Good Father. He is The Lighthouse.

Do Not be deceived.



#klamathonfire

posted Jul 11, 2018, 6:03 PM by Michael Bray

Just finished my first trip to Medford, OR and back since the fire started. Terrible devastation, but the signs of the fight are all over the hillsides and they tell the tale of the incredible heroism and heart that so many firefighters and support personnel have brought to the battle. God Bless You, All! Thank You, All!
http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incid…/incidentdetails/…/2108

June 2018

posted Jun 27, 2018, 6:54 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Jun 28, 2018, 11:19 AM ]

June has been an interesting and eventful month this year. On the 19th, at 07:35, I put out my last cigarette and crumpled the remaining one in the pack. This was shortly after an unidentified bird flew into my windshield causing me to jump a bit and try to stuff the last cigarette down my throat.... I'm a bit "jumpy" in general, this was not a good morning. So I marked the time, and began the battle...

Now(ish)...


(Yes, that is the real "money saved"...at the end I was smoking American Spirit Gold ["ultralight"] exclusively...I averaged the 2018 pack cost at $9.00...yes $9.00. Thank You, California, I am sure you will spend that tax wisely...but spend quickly, addicts are actually quitting... Yes, "QuitNow!" is a great app. I paid for it years ago...)

Fortunately, a co-worker had already recommended these...and the first two packs were delivered on the 14th...


They really do help. The amount of them I have in reserve is truly embarrassing.

[define propagandists]

posted Jun 21, 2018, 6:24 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Jun 21, 2018, 6:38 PM ]

The current generation of propagandists are frighteningly good, regardless of who they work for. They know the new tools and the old craft.

IRL Puns Are The Best Puns

posted Jun 13, 2018, 7:28 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Jun 14, 2018, 10:16 AM ]

Today's IRL pun...
Colleague: Remember when 2020 seemed so far away?
Me: Yeah, I'm looking forward to the clarity...
(...and the room got deathly quiet...)

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