No Small Thing

A few weeks back I discovered that I was missing my favorite windbreaker of all time. I looked everywhere – in my closet; in our vehicles; throughout the house and concluded that I must have left it at a coffee shop or someplace else. Alas, gone forever. However on Tuesday night I had a dream that I found it in my closet just hanging there. On Wednesday I went into my closet to get another jacket and there it was just hanging there like in the dream. Lucy informed me in the evening that she had found it and put it back in the closet. So why the dream? I’ve been pondering its significance since it happened. Is the God of the universe that interested in my trivial matters? Doesn’t He have better things to do? I could’ve lived a very peaceful rest of my life without that jacket, but I think he was trying to send me a message. As best I can tell, the message is that he cares for us even in the trivial matters of our lives, and that He loves us that much, even though I am personally and often a complete mess. I’m certainly grateful to have the jacket back, but I’m completely overwhelmed by His grace to reveal its return to me ahead of time in a dream.

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That She May Know

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Excerpt from my new book on The Lord’s Prayerj

Chapter 1: Running

During my second semester of my first year at the University of Houston, I began to run away from all the things I had learned about how to be a good Christian. I stopped attending church. I stopped hanging out with my overtly Christian friends. I stopped reading my Bible. And probably worst of all, I stopped praying and talking to God…well almost, but not completely. I found a way to barely hang on to my relationship with him – if only by a slim cord. 

 

There were three distinct reasons why I wandered off. First, I had experienced what to many would have been a positive life changing power encounter with God over the Christmas break.  It was so real, so powerful and so God that I became very frightened. Most Christians might have acted in an opposite manner, but I was afraid. I couldn’t bring myself to actually accept the fact that the God in the Bible – who performed tangible miracles, signs, wonders and supernatural acts, would actually do the same with contemporary Christians. And that he would do so particularly with me was mind blowing. But he had, and it was big and bold, and it scared me half to death. I just wanted to run.

The second thing that happened involved a young woman who had become a close friend of mine and lived in the same dorms on campus. One day she approached me and tearfully shared that she had been sexually harassed by an older man whom I knew. And to make matters even worse, he happened to be a campus minister with a prominent mainstream denomination. She asked me to go with her to report this incident to the higher-ups in the denomination and I agreed to do so.  Unfortunately, it was like talking to a brick wall. There was demonstrable suspicion regarding her claim and no investigation was forthcoming. As a result of this very disappointing experience, I decided that I didn’t really trust organized religion – and it likewise made me want to run.

 

The third reason related to the fact that I was a young man in my first year at a University and I wanted to party. I wanted to join a social fraternity; drink a lot; meet fun and beautiful women and engage in all ofthe trappings of that lifestyle. So, I ran there, while aggressively dusting off the remnants of my Christian life and feeling somewhat justified by the first two reasons.

 

All of this is true. I aggressively ran away from God and into a rather worldly lifestyle. However, I did hang on to him by that slim cord I mentioned. The slim cord was The Lord’s Prayer. On the other end of the cord was God, who would eventually use it to pull me back into the fold. But until that happened, I spent years usually ending the day in my own bed; sometimes very drunk but almost always reciting the Lord’s Prayer under by breath. It became my only connection with a former life and a Heavenly Father who very much loved me. 

 

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How do I Know That the God of the Bible is Real?

In the first part of my life I accepted God’s reality because the authority figures in my life asserted it to be true. These included my parents and grandparents; Sunday school teachers and other adult figures who faithfully believed in God, so I readily accepted that it all must be real.

In the middle part of my life I became more intellectually curious and necessarily turned to theologians, philosophers and scientists who studied history and architecture and provided me with voluminous air-tight reason and scientific evidence regarding the reality of the God of the Bible.

Now in the ‘autumn’ of my life I look back and have personally experienced so much of God‘s tangible and supernatural reality and interventions in my affairs that I have no choice but to believe that the God of the Bible is who he says he is. In fact I no longer really need the experiences or knowledge from the first two parts because my personal experiences of the real God of the Bible have marginalized them to irrelevancy

God is real, and if you’re open to finding him – then he will begin revealing himself to you in ways that are beyond denial. He loves you that much. Continue reading

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My favorite Mama T Story (My maternal grandmother who loved in Cooper, Texas)j

I was in the small Northeast Texas town of Cooper often with Mama T and Pop (my grandfather) from ages 2 to 13. I think I was 12 when she died. In fact, I lived with them much of my 3rd grade year while my parents were dealing with my brother Chris Paul and his Cerebral Palsy.

In the summers I would love to go with Pop to his houseboat and run around by myself on his land all day. Sometimes I would take the row boat out in the tank (pond) under Pop’s watchful eye as he fished. I can hardly remember him ever catching anything, but he fished for many hours almost every day. I fell out of the boat a few times, and Pop would yell at me. I think that was the only times he ever yelled at me.

I loved Mama T more than anyone. As with so many of her grandchildren, she would read the Bible to me and she always treated me like I was special and beloved – though she corrected me often whenever I would curse. Curse words to her were “Gosh”, Darn” and” Dang”. I hate to think what she would have said if I ever used real curse words. She would give me a few quarters to go downtown to the old Sparks theater whenever I wanted. And she baked pies! Lots of pies.

I would often go with Mama T to shop at the Piggly Wiggly. She always knew everyone shopping and working there, so she usually spent a long time in the store gossiping and laughing with her friends.

One day I remember first hearing about the concept of false teeth and asked my mom what they were. She explained them to me and sent me in to near shock by informing me that Mama T herself had false teeth! And furthermore, mom informed that she took them out at night and kept them in a glass next to her bed while she and Pop slept. I couldn’t believe all this new information. I eventually filed this startling story away in my brain’s great mysteries file.

On my next trip to Cooper I found myself once again at the Piggly Wiggly with Mama T and she was holding forth with all her friends in the checkout line. There were probably five or six women within earshot of us. Then like a bolt from the blue, I recalled what my mom had told me – “Mama T”, I blurted out. “Is it true that you have false teeth?” All the women including Mama T began to laugh and they could hardly stop! I was suddenly very embarrassed, but they were practically bending over in laughter, and for a long time. When we got home, Mama T started calling some other friends on the phone to recount my public faux pas with much laughter. She would tell the story to anyone around, including other relatives. She had so much fun with that story.

To say that Mama T was unpretentious is an understatement. I think all 23 Pickering cousins were very fortunate to have this kind and loving woman as our grandmother. I for one still miss her.

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The River and The Wall

920x920I spent the last three years of my youth in my hometown of Laredo, Texas living literally a stone’s throw away from Rio Grande/Rio Bravo river. Like so many young people who live on a river, it became a focal point for most of my outdoor activities. I would hunt small animals with my .22 caliber rifle and wander up and down the shoreline with my four dogs in tow. I would fish a lot hoping to someday catch an elusive Alligator Gar, which probably wasn’t very edible but was the closest thing to a river monster in those parts. I would see them sometimes breach the surface of the river and it would give me chills down my spine.

Once, my friend Roly and I were walking along the shore and someone from across the river started shooting at us! We quickly jumped behind a mound of dirt and stayed in place for some time until we decided to make a dash for home. It’s probably a good thing that we didn’t likewise have our own rifles with us, otherwise it might have been an old-fashioned Mexican stand-off. Yikes!

My dogs loved the river as well. Rabbits would regularly dart across and on the trails. Three of the dogs would give chase and the other would get so excited that she just froze up, yelped and peed on the ground. It’s safe to say that she would have never survived in the wild.

It was during those years that I had a spiritual revival in my life, thanks in part to the local Episcopal Church where I attended. I found a special bluff on a ravine just off the river that was hidden from view by large trees. It was there that I would sit for hours and pray and talk to God. It was my own secret hideout. I wonder if it’s still there.

I had access to an old beat up aluminum canoe, and my friends and I would travel in it several miles upriver and all the way to the power plant where we would lay exhaustively on the shore – regaining our strength and then paddle back home downstream with little exertion. There were actually some small rapids along the way which added to the fun. When we went upstream there were places that were so shallow that we had to carry our canoe a few yards to keep moving. The Rio Grande river is not the Amazon river, that’s for sure!

We would also paddle downstream for many more miles through the middle of town and end up at the Slaughter-Glassford farm which was owned by some of my fellow church members. They were kind enough to allow us to leave a truck there on those days so we could haul the canoe and ourselves back home. Along the way we witnessed people on the Mexico side literally living on the shore in the worst conditions imaginable. Laredo’s sister city, Nuevo Laredo was full of poverty and most Laredoens were often exposed to it when we would shop and dine there, but this was poverty at a different level. I was always shocked to know that it existed so close to where I lived.

Not far from my home was a place where I would often witness Mexicans traversing the river into the United States as illegal aliens. Our southern border was and is a porous one. It’s no wonder that there are an estimated 15 million undocumented/illegal aliens living here. I have very mixed emotions about President Trump’s plan to build a wall. From what I have heard, the shores of Laredo are ground zero for the largest most fortified barriers that are planned.

A river is a magical phenomenon in human society. It molds culture, cities and young men and women such as myself. Just read Mark Twain and you will know this to be true. To the denizens of shores, a river dominates life and culture and very much shapes who we are. My memories of living on the Rio Grande are among my fondest. I hope that many a boy or girl has had the opportunities I have had to thrive along the shore, and sometimes in the river itself.

So here is why I have mixed emotions. On one hand we do need to stop large scale illegal immigration and I suppose the wall will help. On the other hand, once it’s built then only Mexican youth and adults in the future will be able to enjoy the Rio Grande river in the way that I did. And only Mexican youth and adults will be shaped by its sublime and surreal influences on who we are, and what we become. This seems like a real shame to me.
Tom D.

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Duck Takes – Pond Humor By T.M. Deliganis Ko

Duck Takes
“Pond Humor”

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Important Announcement

I have finally released my new cryptocurrency which I call TomCoin. It took every bit of mathematics I’ve ever learned to develop this. Here is how it works. Send a minimum of $20 to my PayPal account-tdeliganis@gmail.com. I will then convert it into 53,453 of TomCoin units and provide you with a certificate for each $20 you send. The initial benefit to you in this transaction is your ability to now claim to your friends and family that you own at least 53,453 of cryptocurrency. Additional value and benefits to be released in the future. BTW it’s a really nice certificate!

Feel free to share this with your friends!tc

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Religious Narcotics

Karl Marx said “Religion is the opium of the people” A correct statement I think🤔

Personally I believe that an authentic relationship with a living God and with others who posses the same is not a narcotic, but a natural stimulant and the path to true peace of mind and heart. Happy Easter Weekend

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Menudo

Menudo

By T.M. Deliganis (1972 when I was 17)

 

Menudo
By T.M. Deliganis

In that land of big and bold,
In those good ole’ days of old,
Rode a cowboy on a horse,
Riding on an infinite course.

Looking for some good menudo,
Soon he came to Laredo,
Pulled his six gun from his side,
The women screamed; the men did hide.

Then he said to Laredo,
“I want your good menudo!”
One brave soul stepped out and said,
“Since long ago our cows are dead”.

Then he got back in his saddle,
And said, “I don’t care if there are no cattle!,
Bring me some by tomorrow,
Or this whole town will feel my sorrow.”

As he left, he left a sack,
For menudo when he got back,
All that night the town was crying,
“get menudo, or we’ll all be dying”.

When he returned in the morning,
And began to fulfill his warning,
On a rock he tripped and hit his head,
Soon that mean ole cowboy fell dead.

“Oh hurray” said Mayor J.C.,
“What a miracle, can’t you see?
Because of our rocky streets we’re saved,
Never will they all be paved!”

 

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