about mmog37

Husband, father, mentor, writer, and motivational speaker are the hats I wear, in a weird sort of way they all kind of fit together. I am learning all about life and God's Love through my everyday adventures & experiences as a parent. :) Wanna no more about me... Fun Facts about MMOG37 Twitter? Follow Me @mmog37

about this blog

This is my spot were I "think out loud." Often sarcastic sometimes humorous but always enlightening personal blog of mmog37. Enjoying this journey called life and writing about the things that influence my world the most...Faith, Family & Friends

Today is a Great day to be alive! New devos coming soon, Thank you for your support and prayers! I pray that you are living your life to the fullest and are experiencing all that God Has for you!

Blessed Man...

  I read a Proverb once that said "A rich man is one who's children still approach him with open arms even when he has nothing in his hands"  If this is true then I am a rich man...better yet I am a Blessed man.  
Looking back over the years, I have had many opportunities to "be" or "do" more.  There have been many times that I passed on opportunities, in which I would have been making a great deal more money.  Each time those opportunities presented themselves, I passed opting instead to be present while my children were growing up...and I don't regret a minute of it...not one!
It makes me proud to say that I was there when they took their first steps.  I remember each and every time one of them was sick, especially the few times we had to make trips to the hospital.  My children still enjoy having a laugh at my expense as they recall memories of me with brush and comb in hand trying to braid my girls hair...I can't help but smile as I think about it now.  They have been a steady source of joy and I can't begin to imagine what my life would have been like without them in it. 
I find myself is a most pleasantly awkward position...sort of an "uncharted territory" going where no man  (in my life & circle ) has gone before.  My father rarely spoke to me...he never told me that he was proud of me...to be honest I spent a lot of time wondering if the dude even liked me.  My children on the other hand, race to be the one who sits next to me...they catch me off guard when they give me hugs for no reason at all...they are all teenagers now but I still tell them I love them and kiss them goodnight every night.  
Before my children came along I was arrogant, selfish and prideful, but there is something about seeing a child entering the world for the first time that put everything into perspective for me.  The birth of my children cultivated the protector and the nurturer in me.  They have been both my lifeline and my accountability, as I learned early on that their little watchful eyes were always there taking it all in.
In the bigger sense, however I consider myself a blessed man not just because my children still love to come around me, but because since the birth of my children I have grown to have a deeper appreciation and love for God.  Having children of my own, and doing all that I can to protect them and keep them safe, having to make some hard decisions that they may not have liked, experiencing the pain of one of them passing away...and other experiences with my children have caused me to grow in my appreciation of God...they have caused me to realize that like any good parent His heart breaks when He sees His children suffer (especially when they accuse Him of being the bad guy)  I no longer read His words as a list of rules or view Him as the Angry deity poised on the end of His throne waiting to smite me when I get out of line...
I apologize if I have been rambling, but as I sat at my desk going through the pictures of our trip, from a  few months ago, I saw the pictures of me with my children and I couldn't help but realize that I am a blessed man...I truly am
Thanks for reading :)

History in The Making...The Inauguration of Barak Obama

  My mind was full of many things as I watched the Inauguration of our 44th President Barak Obama.  In fact it was so full I needed to take a minute to sort out my thoughts before I could begin to write about it.  To help sort things I started doodling and ended up with the above sketch.  
  As a forty year old African American male, I am ashamed to admit that I actually thought that I would never see a person of color occupy the position of President.  Although I admit to being ashamed of this that does not omit the fact that there was a ton of evidence and experiences to support my my inability to picture such a thing happening.  Don't get me wrong, I have always been hopeful that a time would come when people would be able to see beyond the color of a person's skin and weigh them merely on the basis of who they were and what they had to offer, I just thought that time was still far off, and even though we now have an African American President I still feel that we are far from that place of racial equality.
I thought about this a lot during last year, probably a lot more than recent years, I even did a short piece joking about why we could not afford to vote for an African American for President (see Top Ten Fears Blocking Barak Obama from becoming President).  Ironically the basis I used for that piece, played a major role in my own inability to see an African American as President.  You see, even with all of the encouragement from teachers and mentors telling me and other minority children that we could be whatever we wanted to be when we grew up, there were very few positive images of us in the media holding spots like President, and when they did manage to show up in those type of roles something bad usually happened like the world being destroyed.
As I said I had a lot of thought going through my head, and I am still sorting them, but here is the short version of what was going on my head in regards to Barak Obama becoming the next President of the United States of America:
I was happy that Obama won, happy for him and his family that their hardwork had paid off, happy to see we had elected a President who appears to really love his wife and family (because for me next to God family is everything) happy that for all of those people who needed to see someone who looked like them in a positive light could finally have a glimmer of hope and a sense of belonging and be encouraged to aim higher.
I was sad that even though Barak had won, that there were still many people who aren't as open to change as they thought they were, sad as I recalled the contrasting images of the audiences at Barak's acceptance speech and McCain's concesion speech, because they reminded me that the real color divide in America is not Red & Blue...
I was hopeful that maybe, just maybe some people will begin to be open to change, hopeful that some of the people who felt like outsiders, would now be motivated to push past the limitations set on them by others and pursue their dreams, hopeful that these "outsiders" would now feel like they had a vested interest and began to get involved and take personal pride in their own lives and communities and not wait for someone else to do it for them.  I was even hopeful that people might just begin to check their own motives and reasoning and see what really drives them
I was excited, excited because I felt like I was living in an Historic Moment, excited to share this moment in time with my wife and children, excited to see both young and old alike coming together to share the moment, excited for those of the older generation breathing a sigh of relief and having their hope renewed, excited to see so many people taking an interest in what was going on, excited to see the World pause and take notice...
I was convicted for my lack of vision, convicted as I began to realize that I have grown complacent where I am in my own world, convicted for not considering the people who need to see me, interact with and learn from me and me from them as well, convicted as I soul searched and investigated my own stereotypes and preferences
I was inspired...inspired to do better than I have ever done.  Inspired to reach for more, not for the sake of more but for the sake of being all I can be and for those who might come behind me, inspred to hang up my settlers cap and replace with that of the pioneer.
Regardless of all my emotions I realize that our country and economic system are in a fragile state, I realize that our President has a big job ahead of him as do the American People, I am reminded to pray for him and the other World Leaders, to pray for the people who are suffering and even those who have the means that they will begin to feel compassion and be moved to help those they can. 
I'm still sorting things out, so I'm pretty sure I will be revisiting this in the future.  How about you?  What thoughts or emotions filled your head and heart during the Inauguration if any?  

Musical Musings...

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons.  You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  As I sat relaxing and enjoying my Sunday afternoon, I was playing with my tweetdeck, seeing what was going on in Twitterland, and I came across an interesting tweet from one of my newest followers  @jonnettefair.  She presented an interesting meme that asked for your Five Favorite Songs of all times (feel free to visit her blog Mega Watts and Green Thoughts, and add your five to the list)
 It was a real challenge for me because my list of favorite songs of all time expands farther than five songs.  Of all things consistent in my life music is one of them.  Even as a kid I knew that music (good music) has the potential to touch the soul.  I remember learning in Sunday School how King Saul would be in a foul mood and David would play a song for him on his harp and Saul's mood and temperament would change completely.  Music truly can sooth the soul...
It took me a minute to add my five songs to the meme as I reminisced of being a kid,  listening to the radio on the way to school in the school van, and hearing Send One Your Love by Stevie Wonder.  It was magical, I can't explain it, but I was enchanted by that song. I was way too young to understand much about love (the relationship kind) but I understood that song and I could not wait to get home later that day and give my mother a hug (she was the only woman in my life at the time)  
 Music is powerful in that sense, sometimes music makes it past your ears and touches your soul and it  can even  re-create a feeling, emotion or even a time that has been long gone and make you feel like you are right there.   Even now, when I hear songs like Creepin by Stevie Wonder it takes me back to those long hot summers as a kid and me riding my bike or sitting in a tree with my little transistor radio letting the music paint pictures on the canvas of my mind.
If I had any doubts of music's  ability to touch the soul, they were erased after the birth of my son.  During the time my wife was pregnant with my son, I used to talk, read and sing to him. One of the songs  I used to sing was Distant Lover by Marvin Gaye. (hey I was in the military and there were times my wife and I used to be separated from each other and that was one of our songs)  Shortly after he was born, my wife and I awoke to the sound of him humming the song in his sleep. (really he was)  I continued the tradition with my other children before they were born, (I just picked some uh age appropriate songs)  Now as teenagers they share my love for music. :)
As I have grown older I have learned to respect this power that music has, I am selective about what I allow to "touch my soul" because to be honest there are some places and feelings that I don't want to re-create and there are some thoughts that I would rather leave behind.  
For me music is like the quote above by Oliver Wendell Holmes, it is to the soul what water is for the body, and I bath my soul in it quite often and I find it both cleansing and refreshing.  
How about you, is music just music to you or does it touch your soul? 
Thanks for reading :)


As 2008 came to a close I was reminded in a very painful way the importance of rest.  It is a simple thing and yet I struggle with it.  During my younger years I could go for days without stopping to rest, and I used to pride myself on the fact that I could get by with only 4 hours of sleep, anything more than that seemed like a waste to me. Even when I would lay down to sleep, my mind would be hard at work, laying out plans for the next day. 

Well that was more than twenty years ago when I could get away with crazy things like that.  These days it's like my 40 year old body is telling me that it needs proper rest.  Most of the time I ignore it though, and for a short time it seems like I can still get away with just a few hours of sleep...but then it all catches up with me and before it is all over I end up spending several days in bed trying to recover.  Such was the case the past few weeks.

I had been suffering from a sinus headache, the doctors gave me some antibiotics and decongestants to take, but it seemed like I just couldn't shake the sinus infection.  When my condition seemed to be worsening, my wife (who is always right) told me what the real problem was/is, and that was lack of proper rest.  I wanted to disagree with her, but I couldn't come up with anything to prove her wrong (besides, she is always right), so I went along with her diagnosis and cleared my schedule for the next day, didn't bother setting any alarms and simply slept in.

It's amazing because I actually felt better after getting some rest.  Rest is a good thing, and from here on out I am going to make sure that I get plenty of it.  Now that I think about it, I wont be able to do anyone any good if I allow myself to become run down to the point that I am unable to do anything, so it is in my own best interest to get plenty of rest.  Besides the body is a temple and it's time I started treating it like one.

How about you, do you get enough rest?

History in the making!

I just stood in line for more than an hour to cast my vote for change...it was beautiful to see every age group represented! You could feel the excitement in the air! I hope that you took the time to cast your vote as well....did you?

Big But Bug!

We were out working in the yard a few weeks ago and I noticed a large bug buzzing around. It was much larger than a bee and when it's wings were moving it looked like a flying dart.  It was so busy buzzing around my daughter's head that it didn't see me creep up on it with a Badminton racket in my hand...that was the end of his buzzing around.  I snapped a quick picture of it with my cellphone.  Looking at the bug triggered memories of a few of our Home school adventures.  

Wanting to give my children more than just text from a book my wife and I decided to do as many hands on interactive lessons as possible.  When it came time to study insects we invested in a Bug Viewer so that our children could study live bugs and get a better understanding of their anatomy as well as see how they move and function.

One of the first bugs we managed to capture and study was a wasp.  We knew that our study lessons would take a few days so we wanted to keep the wasp alive for the duration, so we began feeding him 100% Grade A Maple Syrup.  It took us about a week to finish up all of the lessons and to our amazement the wasp survived.  In fact he seemed to be quite healthy and active.

Since our lessons were done we decided to release the wasp.  So one morning while we were on a break from classes we took the wasp outside, said goodbye and set him free.  We went out later on that day and ran a few errands.  When we returned home we were shocked to see our wasp friend hanging on one of our front windows.  We decided to leave him alone, figuring that eventually he would get back to his old routine or return to his original home.  He didn't!

Day after day for about a week that wasp hung right there at our front window looking for some way in.  We had corrupted him...turned him into a maple syrup crack-head.  I can't say that I blame him though, why fly around being a busy doing wasp type things and fighting with other bugs when you can just sit and look pretty while getting stuffed on Maple Syrup.

Our encounter with the wasp provided a perfect segway for me to talk to my children about addiction, and how it strong and devastating addictions can be.  I explained to them that the best way to beat addictions is to never get addicted.  It was the start of many talks regarding the subject.  A lot of parents avoid the issue altogether or they wait until it's too late to talk about it.  Some parents just want to believe that there kid(s) are so good that they will never fall victim to addiction...me I am just thankful for the wasp incident and that it provided me with a perfect opportunity to explain it to my children in a way that they could understand.   Hmmm...imagine that all these thoughts triggered by catching a big but bug! :)

Thanks for reading!