The Revolutionary Musings of an Optimistic Cashier

There is a young man who I’ll call Walter who works at one of the local big box discount stores. He is cheerful and friendly, talks to people with ease, injecting humor into his brief interactions with customers.

On this particular morning, I maneuvered around the store, finding the large palettes filled with cases of bottled water. My wife prefers the bottled water they sell here because it has a better pH level. I prefer it because it’s cheap. Lord knows, I’m acerbic enough.

I loaded six cases into my gray shopping cart, scolding myself for not choosing one of the larger red carts. The bottled water is wrapped in thin plastic that often tears, causing some of the individual bottles to commit hari-kari by leaping from the safety of the plastic nest onto the tiled vinyl floor.

Standing in line, I grimaced because things were not moving very fast. Never fails, I thought. One checker. And a chatty one at that. I listened to Walter, who I remembered meeting during a previous visit, engage in conversation with the older Asian woman as she rummaged through a small, yet cavernous, pocket purse. The tall black man next in line shook his head as we both looked on as the woman continued performing her desperate search and rescue for long-lost exact change. I felt like buying her groceries just to speed things up. Life was ticking away.

Then Walter asked her, “How is the time change treating you?”

She paused, slipping him a flustered gaze as the man in front of me and I sighed in unison.

“I’m trying,” she responded. “What was the amount again?”

“Twenty-one forty-two.”

She went back to digging.

“I wish they would just do away with Daylight Savings Time, “Walter shared. “It has outlived its usefulness. Times have changed. Wouldn’t you agree?”

She ignored him.

the devo guy title

My heart jolted with joy as the woman handed him three dimes, two nickels, and two pennies. Walter thanked her and handing her the receipt, pattered through his spiel about the online survey and the code at the bottom that might land her a free five-hundred-dollar shopping spree.

The man in front of me set down his red carbonated soda, salted peanuts, and chocolate candy bar. Walter rang up the items, chatting with the tall man who I surmised was a little older than me. The man handed Walter a ten. Walter made change, prattling non-stop. He threw in his philosophical commitment on revolutionizing the world by eliminating Daylight Savings Time. I wondered how long he intended to hold his paying customers hostage with his verbal tirade. The older man chuckled at the hardships this young buck presumed to endure. “Changing the clock ain’t too hard for me, “the man said, “Been doing it all my life. You do it and you move on. Simple as that. Have a good day now.”

He left Walter teetering on the edge of speechlessness. But not for long. “How are you, sir?” Walter welcomed me to the register.

Finally. My turn. At this point, I had begun doubting the value of the cheap water I was buying. Perhaps it wasn’t cheap enough. But, I admit, I found the young man’s upbeat, cheery attitude refreshing. Being a Gen-Xer, my demeanor isn’t always dazzling.

The Revolutionary Musings of an Optimistic Cashier

“And how is your day going today?” Walter must have sensed that I don’t always wake up on the right side of the bed. “Are we adjusting to the time change?”

I glanced over both my shoulders to see if my invisible friends had turned visible. Nope. Nobody there. Good.

Clearly, Daylight Savings Time was having a profound effect on Walter, who I surmised to be a young Millennial. He did not seem quite young enough to be one of the Generation Z kids that I had seen protesting on TV recently. I could be wrong. Maybe Walter felt inspired and decided to start his ‘Kill Daylight Savings Time’ initiative. No doubt, us old folk were messing up the world. If only a generation would come along that knew what it was doing. Kurt Cobain was probably turning in his grave.

TItle Slide The D Guy

“Whoa. That’s a bunch of water. Thirsty? “

“Not really.”

“How many cases we got there?”


“What are you going to do with all that H2O?”

“Drink it.”

Walter nodded. “Makes sense. But not all at once, surely.”

“Right, ” I said, presenting my best happy face. “Not all at once.”

“How long does that last you?”

I glanced at the three people waiting in line behind me. I feel your pain. “A few weeks,” I sneered.

“Got it.” A beep sounded each time he scanned the bar code of the case nearest him. “One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. I believe I got ’em all. That’ll be eighteen dollars.”

I handed Walter a twenty. Smiling, he opened the register and handed me two dollars in quarters. “Sorry, I’m out of ones right now. I hope quarters are okay. My manager is working on getting me some fresh money. If you want, you can wait.”

I shook my head. “No, that’s cool. Thanks.” In a world of plastic money and virtual payments having a pocket full of change had become a rarity.

“Have a momentous day.” Walter handed me my receipt. “Don’t forget to go online and fill out the survey. You could win free money. Be sure to tell ‘em that your cashier talks way too much. My name’s Walter.”

“Thanks Walter. My day has already been life-changing. Good luck getting adjusted to the time change.”

“I’m done with it. Daylight Savings Time is outdated. We do not need it anymore. It’s not like we’re living during American Revolutionary times.”

“No, we’re not.”

I am sure the winding line of people waiting patiently behind me were relieved to see me leave. But not as glad as I was to be going. Is this how revolutions get started?


Blogging Isn’t All PJs and Coffee

Blogging takes time and commitment. Anything you want to be good at typically does. I imagine when you meet someone new a similar conversation might ensue:

“What do you do?”

“I’m a blogger.”

Befuddlement hijacks their countenance. Some of them are thinking, “That can’t be too hard.” Others have zero idea what that means.

Don’t let the fear of what others think deter you. God only created one you. Yes, you’re sure to get some funny looks along the way, but I think you’ll find more and more people who support what you’re doing if you keep after it and they see you are serious about it.


People picture you sitting on your favorite chair, wearing your pajamas. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve done it that way.

But, if you hope to make a living at blogging then you must treat it like a job.

You get up and get ready for work as if you are heading to the office or to the shop. Shower, shave, and…well you get the picture.

Those posts aren’t going to write themselves. Successful blogging means you have to show up to work. Your followers (readers) like it when you’re dependable and your posts appear when they expect them to be there. You can train your audience. You are either training them to trust you or you’re teaching them that you’re flakey and willy-nilly about posting on your blog. It doesn’t mean people won’t read your blog. They just won’t show up regularly because you don’t show up regularly.

Success is a result of effort. Be committed. Care. If you’re hacking away at the letters on your keyboard, struggling to get through, overwhelmed with the pressure of having to blog, then you might consider if blogging isn’t really for you. That’s ok. It’s a free world. No one is making you blog. It’s something you’ve chosen to do. If you’re not having fun doing it, do something else. That’s not to say that some days you won’t feel the vibe. On those days, try to push through. If all else fails—take a break.  If you’re determined to succeed, then you’ll need to be prepared to bring the necessary level of commitment required to achieve your goals. Building your following takes time and effort. Engagement doesn’t happen overnight. Commitment matters.

Growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Plan and prepare. Think ahead. Success always requires planning and preparation. Have a calendar that gives you deadlines and keeps you on track. It’s real easy to skip a post—which on occasion is okay—but not a habit you want cultivate. Think through what you want to blog about and take time to do the research that will help your posts stand out from the crowd. Don’t just wake up, hoping something will happen and expect the words to magically appear on the screen. Plan. Be prepared.


Reciprocating with kindness causes good things to happen. When people take time to comment, respond back. Engage in conversations. I’ve found the more I am willing to engage on other people’s posts the more people are willing to engage on mine. Funny how that works. Blogging is a community. An online, digital universe all its own. Building community is easier when you talk to your neighbors or spend time with like-minded people doing what you are doing.

Invest in your craft. Spend time honing your writing skills and studying all things blogging. It’s what separates the wheat from the chaff. You can check out podcasts and websites focused on helping you improve your blogging, like Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger. Darren covers every facet of blogging and offers informative, inspiring content that will help you get better faster. I also spend time reading blogs written by bloggers whose blogs are more successful than my own , like BeautyBeyondBonesIn addition to being good at her craft, Caralyn sheds light on the challenges associated with eating disorders. Finally, spend time studying other bloggers and blogs creating content in your niche’. For instance, my blog focuses on matters of faith and issues centering on addiction recovery, in addition to sharing my insights and experiences on writing and blogging. While I’m no expert, these are things I know and have spent time doing.


Those are just some thoughts on why blogging is harder work then you think it is. Blogging isn’t all PJs and coffee. No doubt, it’s fun. I get a lot of joy from engaging with readers and followers. It does my heart good when someone comes up to me and lets me know that they are reading and that somehow God is inspiring or comforting them through my words. I’m happy when people are entertained by what I write or when my blogpost brings them joy. That’s good stuff. Keep what you like, trash the rest. Be blessed.

For the Love of a Lost Sheep Wandering Astray

Parables are simple stories illustrating a moral or spiritual lesson. Jesus loved using parables to teach lessons. The Scriptures, primarily in the Gospels, contain many of these stories that Jesus told.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus called the poor and needy to salvation. Many Gentiles fell into this group of people. The Gospel writer Luke had a keen interest in them. In contrast to the rich and affluent, the poor and needy are the largest target group of the Gospel.

Parables compare two things. Jewish rabbis had used parables to hold an audience’s attention while illustrating an important moral point for centuries. Jesus uses them to teach his disciples, the religious leaders, and the crowds that gathered around him. Jesus did not start out teaching parables initially but turned to them once many rejected him as the Messiah.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus performed many miracles, demonstrating to those who witnessed them that He had the power and authority that only God could have. In a way, parables are miracles in words.

You might recall from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13, that at one point the disciples asked Jesus why he spoke to people in parables. And he responded by explaining to them that he wanted to share a new revelation about the Kingdom with the disciples—the believers—but not with the multitudes. Many had rejected Him. His message was intended for those who believed or who would believe. Therefore, Jesus chose to use parables to share these insights in a mysterious way—demonstrating that God knows what will happen in the future.

Mysteries are secrets that the Lord shares with the Elect—those He has chosen—like the Disciples and those who believe in Him. Jesus was revealing some of God’s plans concerning the future of the messianic kingdom, but He was not allowing the unbelieving multitudes to understand these plans.

As believers, God’s truth is revealed to us in a way that unbelievers cannot understand. Like the Apostle Paul, the scales have been removed from our eyes, freeing us from our spiritual blindness. Once we were blind, but now we can see.


Luke 15:1-7 (ESV)

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, This man receives sinners and eats with them.

3 So he told them this parable: 4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost. 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

God rejoices when the lost are found.

Being a shepherd was one of the most common occupations in Palestine during Biblical times. Small farmers often had a flock of 100 sheep. It was also the norm for a shepherd to count his flock at night before calling it a day. In this allegorical vignette, the herd of sheep were hiding in plain sight, grazing or resting in open country. The lost sheep in this parable was lost due to its own foolishness, not because the herd was hard to find.

Knowing one of his flock had gone astray, the shepherd heads out to find his lost sheep. Upon finding his lost sheep, the shepherd is not angry or upset. He does not scold the sheep. HE REJOICES. In the same way, when we like sheep have gone astray, God rejoices when He finds us, rescuing us from harm.

I don’t know about you, but I can relate to that foolish sheep who wandered away from the safety of the flock shepherded by God. I wrestled with sin a longtime before coming to believe in Jesus and repenting from my old ways. This doesn’t mean I don’t stumble. It certainly doesn’t imply that I am perfect in any way. No, I am still in the process of being perfected by the Lord. But, I am no longer lost. I am on the right path.

We don’t find God. God finds us.

The sheep was lost. The shepherd did not wait for the sheep to find its way home, but went out to secure it. God pursues those He has called. He doesn’t wait for us to find Him, but He finds us. God initiates the personal relationship we have with Him. He calls to us through the Holy Spirit, drawing us closer and closer to Him.

Neither Terri or I were looking for God when He called us. We had dated eight years before we ever had a conversation about God.  It wasn’t until we took a horseback ride up a mountain near Taos, New Mexico that we both felt the presence of God in our lives. This is not to say that God hadn’t spoken to us before. He had. But this time was different. This time, we listened and answered His call.


God cares for those He saves.

The mental picture of the shepherd carrying the sheep home on his shoulders resembles Jesus loving care of those He saves. It is a picture that would have been familiar to the shepherds living in that rural area. It was something they themselves had done numerous times. In the same way shepherds care for the sheep in the flock, God cares for each of us whom He saves.

You’ve heard the saying “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” Being separated from God seems like an exercise in futility. With God, we find our purpose. With God, we gain peace and understanding. With God, we know real love. Does that mean we won’t face trials or tribulations? No. Not at all. But we don’t go it alone. As believers, we go with God. He is with us wherever we go.

The Lord Delights in the Saved.

The ninety-nine righteous people are the self-righteous Pharisees and lawyers, challenging Jesus and His authority. Jesus was using the term “righteous” ironically. These so-called religious leaders were only righteous in their own eyes, not in the eyes of the Lord.

The Lord delights with joy over one sinner’s salvation and He grieves over the 99 lacking salvation. Only those who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior will be saved and enter into Heaven—or the presence of God.

Before God, our lives were completely different. Our “why” changed once God became part of our daily lives. That’s how we knew we had changed direction and were now on the right road, walking with God, no longer straying off the path.

I am glad that God rejoices over the saved. I am filled with joy knowing that He delights in me. I hope you can say the same.

May the Lord bless you and shine His favor on you.

Acts 2:21 (NIV) And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’

Romans 10:13 (NIV) for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.