Beyond Peanuts and Pretzels

I always pray when I get on an airplane. My prayer is for safe travel. After the plane takes off and we reach cruising altitude, I begin to pray another prayer. It starts when the flight attendant in the first class cabin shuts the drapes that separate first class from coach.

My prayer is please send someone else this time Lord. Please. In the past several years, God has chosen not to answer this prayer. “Here they come again! It’s the peanuts and pretzel patrol.

Can you imagine having a business where thousands of times everyday you have your customers as a physically captive audience? You have the opportunity to feed them something as an expression of your gratitude for their business. You decide to give them a bag of peanuts or pretzels (rarely both or more than one bag per person). Why? Who made this decision? Do you know how this makes us feel? What sense does this make?

How do I get over my disappointment? Every time I get a bag of peanuts or pretzels on an airplane, I use it as an opportunity to praise God saying: “Thank you Lord for the nourishment only You provide that is so dynamically superior to peanuts & pretzels. I am grateful Lord that you nourish us from your love and abundance, no matter what the cost.”

Thank you Jesus for treating us like loved ones rather than expenses, burdens, nuisances, cattle or inconveniences. Approach the Lord today hungry for the nourishment that only He can provide. I am grateful that I am truly someone in your eyes. Ours is not the God who serves nourishment of peanuts & pretzels to the beloved. Be kind to flight attendants. They’re just serving what someone gave them to share with us.  Pray for the airlines….and the people employed by the U.S. auto companies while you’re at it.

I adore this quote from C.S. Lewis:

We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character.

[i]


[i] C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, HarperSanFranciscoA Division of HarperCollinsPublishers, (c) 1940, p. 34

An Update from Bill Dahl

Well, here we go.

Welcome to the new BillDahl.net blog. This blog provides a new platform for sharing  Bill’s writing and photography in one place. So many people have shared their desire to comment on Bill’s writing and photography that we are very pleased to migrate to this blog format that integrates the written word with photographic images ( wherever possible ) to accommodate your requests. We have transferred the bulk of Bill’s writing from the old BillDahl.net website, as well as The Porpoise Diving Life.com website to this site. Explore and Enjoy!
Bill remains dedicated to creating dialogue in a world gone different.

As many folks know, I have taken a sabbatical in 2008 from writing (for the most part). I am recharged and very excited about 2009. Some of the writings you will see from me in 2009 include:

1. Books – One for certain, the other is a distinct possibility within the year.

2. Writings, poems and songs from the perspective of those who do not have a voice during this time of unprecedented economic malaise and chaos.

3. Other authors – Encouraging and working with other emerginf authors who have some superb works under development, assisting them in crafting their manuscripts and ideas.

4. Ideas – Consulting (gratis) with non-profits and others who are seeking to transform themselves in the midst of a riptide of socio-economic change.

5. Bridges – Building bridges in the inter-faith arena.

6. Book reviews – Although I have read a ton in 2008, I remain dedicated to reviewing pre-pub manuscripts and early realease new books.

7. I will remain an outspoken voice for U.S. immigration reform, particularly from the perspective of the children and young adults caught in the midst of this morass.

8. Assisting people to realize entrepreneurial faith breakthroughs via the ability to think differently and then carry out a strategic plan accomplish just that.

Special Thanks to David Dear at Setwise Technology in Newport Beach, CA for all the technical help. Without David’s expertise, this just wouldn’t be possible.

Enjoy.

The Little Ones

Little One
Little One

Mommy and Daddy had a fight today.
It was really loud – in a most unusual way.
I heard them very clearly,
Every word they had to say.

My little brother came running in,
Tears of fear ran down his left cheek.
He jumped up on my lap,
Startled, afraid, innocent and meek.

“We can’t make ends meet!”
We heard daddy yell.
“I can’t live like this!” he shouted.
“This economy’s gone to hell!”

We could hear mommy,
Sobbing in depression,
“What are we going to do?
To survive this recession.”

We peeked out my bedroom door,
Daddy hugged Mommy tight.
He ran his hand through her hair,
Comforting her plight.

Dad just got laid off,
Mom works just part time.
The best parents in the world.
This recession – it’s a crime.

“Our savings are all gone,
I wish we could borrow.
All our credit lines are maxed.”
He shared with mom in sorrow.

“The equity in the house;
It’s gone or going south.
“We’re going to lose our home,”
He raised his hand, covering his mouth.”

“Bailing out Wall Street!
Billions for the largest banks.
Rescuing sub-prime borrowers.
Where’s the help for families in our ranks?”

My mom and dad used to be happy,
The joy was delirious.
We had so much fun together,
Now it’s way too serious.

When your house is worth –
less than what you owe.
Why should mom & dad keep paying?
Why don’t we just pack up and go?

Dad:”We can’t even sell,
With all the homes on the market.”
Families in mainstream America,
We’re the bulls eye in the target.”

Mom: “Should we sell the house,
We’ll get a 1099.
We’ll owe the IRS —
This law’s outlived it’s time.”

Dad: “Friends and relatives are hurting.
What’s a family to do?
Does Congress understand our predicament?
Will they come to our rescue?”

Mom: “With our health insurance gone,
We cannot get sick.
Don’t spend any money whatsoever,
Until this economy begins to click.”

Mom burst out in tears,
My little brother began to cry.
As I reached out to comfort him,
I caught my daddy’s eye.

Mom and dad surrounded us,
We hugged on my bedroom floor.
“Please help our family —
We can’t take this anymore!”

Walking Home From School Today

Walking Home From School
Walking Home From School

I was walking home from school today,
When something caught my eye.
“For Sale” signs are everywhere.
I began to wonder why.

Maybe folks don’t like it here.
Perhaps some people just need a change.
It’s unusually quiet now.
Gosh – this is really strange.

Jenny’s dad was just laid off,
Her mom works just part time.
Jenny overheard her parents say,
“We’re down to our last dime.”

My friend Junior, he has asthma.
Sometimes he struggles to get air.
His parents can’t afford his medicine,
They have no healthcare.

I am passing Mr. Jacobsen’s,
“This economy really blows!”
He remarked to Mr. Johnson.
“A real recession I suppose.”

Mr. Johnson walked toward the fence,
As he shut off his hose.
“My banker said this morning,
The credit markets froze.”

Katie’s mom was at the mailbox,
As I approached I could hear her sob.
What’s the matter Mrs. Brown, I asked.
“I just lost my job!”

Miss Koski chatted with Mrs. Fern,
She spoke softly, almost paternal.
“I’ve never seen it quite like this,”
As she waved her Wall Street Journal.

As I turned right on Elm and crossed the street.
A man emerged looking quite distressed.
A truck was towing away his car,
His bank had repossessed.

He wandered out into the street,
He brandished one middle finger high.
As he watched his car go down the road,
Behind the tow truck guy.

As he turned I recognized his face,
He wasn’t angry, he was awfully sad.
I began to run toward him.
To comfort my own dad.

He put his arm around me,
As we walked toward our front door.
“What’s the matter dad?” I asked.
“Can we go to the store?”

Mom was seated in the living room,
Her face – a shade of red.
She held a tissue in her hand,
Soaked with tears of dread.

My dog Barney lay in the corner,
Head on paws, he didn’t move a muscle.
He always jumps up to greet me,
Engaging in a joyful bustle.

Mommy rose and smiled at me,
Tears twinkled in here eyes.
When Daddy joined our family hug,
I began to realize.

Somehow, life has changed,
In these unsettling economic times.
I express my own observations,
Writing these little rhymes.

We didn’t go to the store tonight,
Dad said, “Let me explain something honey –
Our family is really hurting.
We’re terribly short on money.”

I always enjoyed shopping with my dad.
For me, a source of joy and thrills.
We can’t do that anymore.
What we have must pay the bills.

I learned something walking home today,
A lesson they don’t teach in school.
Republicans or Democrats –
Everyone can use this tool.

In a world full of viewpoints,
Regarding who, what, when and whether.
My family’s no exception –
We’re all in this together.

It’s All About Us

Photography above by Bill Dahl – All Rights Reserved

It’s All About Us – Lyrics by Bill Dahl – Performed by Todd Baio – ALL RIGHTS Reserved 2007

Click it’s all about us to listen and follow the lyrics along below:

Instrumental Intro:

He provides the air we breathe
He provides the light we see
The source of our community
All praise for this reality…

Chorus: (Spread your arms wide when you sing ‘us.’ Point up when you sing ‘God,’ to the person next to you at ‘You‘ and to yourself when you sing ‘Me.’ ).

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God, You and Me.
It’s the way God designed us,
The way it’s supposed be.

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God you and Me!
He’s here to remind us,
Become all we can be.
It’s all about us!

He adores our diversity
He forgives our iniquity
We’re the ones the world can see
Reflections of His majesty…

Chorus: (Spread your arms wide when you sing ‘us.’ Point up when you sing ‘God,’ to the person next to you at ‘You‘ and to yourself when you sing ‘Me.’ ).

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God, You and Me.
It’s the way God designed us,
The way it’s gotta be.

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God you and Me!
He’s here to remind us,
Become all we can be.
It’s all about us!

Weeping over all forms of poverty
Suffering from every infirmity
You’re the comfort beyond every tragedy
Open our hearts so we may see…

Chorus: (Spread your arms wide when you sing ‘us.’ Point up when you sing ‘God,’ to the person next to you at ‘You‘ and to yourself when you sing ‘Me.’ ).

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God, You and Me.
It’s the way God designed us,
The way it’s supposed to be.

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God you and Me!
He’s here to remind us,
Become all we can be.
It’s all about us!

We’re the ones Your children meet
Transform us God, we’re incomplete
Help us to live as
Your  heart, hands, and feet…

Chorus: (Spread your arms wide when you sing ‘us.’ Point up when you sing ‘God,’ to the person next to you at ‘You‘ and to yourself when you sing ‘Me.’ ).
It’s all about us!
It’s all about God, You and Me.
It’s the way God designed us,
The way it’s gotta to be.

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God you and Me!
He’s here to remind us,
Become all we can be.

It’s all about us!

Today we pray that You will restore us
Prepare us for the day before us
Accept our praise as we sing this chorus

Chorus: (Spread your arms wide when you sing ‘us.’ Point up when you sing ‘God,’ to the person next to you at ‘You‘ and to yourself when you sing ‘Me.’ ).

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God, You and Me.
It’s the way God designed us,
The way it’s supposed to be.

It’s all about us!
It’s all about God you and Me!
He’s here to remind us,
We are who they see.

It’s all about us!

The Question

Sacred questions,
Mysteries beyond my reach.
I stretch and strain to grasp you.
Through curiosity you teach.

Lives soaked in tradition,
The rain upon every generation.
You squeeze us like a sponge,
Reawakening our thirst for imagination.

We believe too much
Of what we’ve heard so many repeat.
Suffering silently in acceptance,
Our ignorance complete.

Experts, teachers, and noted authorities.
Blind faith without exploration they serve to guide.
Your question draws me out beyond the fog:
“Is it possible they’re wrong or their truths have died?

Questions born of you Great Spirit.
In pursuit of certainty we race.
Perhaps it’s the beauty of your mystery,
We must learn to cherish and embrace?

Unknown, Unfounded, Undiscovered.
We refer to You and Yours by name.
Lives anesthetized by routines,
Reinforce captivity to more of the same.

Transform our reluctance into courage!
We surrender to Your inspiration.
We beg you Great God of More,
Teach us to treasure Your gift of the imagination.

Walls, ceiling, floors and traffic lights.
Structural attempts to insure uniformity and order.
Surrounded everyday on all sides,
Unaware of the seriousness of our disorder.

Norms, beliefs, attitudes and media
Lenses sifting what we think we know.
Worn out couches left behind by heart disease,
Evidence of the postmodern’s new death row.

Our relentless pursuit of certainty.
How You must ponder what seems so odd.
The centuries we’ve spent defining You,
The Creator of the question…our sacred God.

Endless expressions of doctrine and theology,
Attempts to decipher the truth of Your essence.
We’ve crammed it down the throats of others,
Distancing all from the beauty of Your presence.

Blessed Mystery of Mysteries,
Never quell our indigestion.
Soothe us only as we pursue You,
Led by your gift for the capacity to question.

Majestic beauty that surrounds us,

Forgive us as we ignore,

The truth of your ever unfolding wonder—

You are The God of More!

"How might words, images and ideas open minds, warm hearts and inspire imagination? May you find them refreshing and share them among your people."

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