Category Archives: People Profiles

StreetLights On A Saturday Night: For Dad

I wrote this post below on March 4, 2019, not long after I had a heart attack and received 2 stents. I got a third a few months later. Now, as I write this update to the story, my father is in the hospital in Carson City. He and his wife live in Reno, but they chose the Carson hospital because they thought they would receive greater care for his heart issue. My dad is currently in his procedure now; Angiogram to see what is happening. I found it remarkable when Debby (my father’s wife) told me the Doc who is performing the procedure used to actually play backup guitar for Bob Seger. Well, there you have it. God’s grace through healing hands and, well, Rock-n-Roll!

My father, Lloyd and my son, Jacob during a family trip in 2011.

I am praying for good news. In the mean time, I am sharing this post again for Pop. He too, is tired and worn, but still running against the wind...

The Longest Trip.

Lord, I’m tired. I wonder, Lord, if you might give me shelter from the storm. The wind is blowing and I’m getting older. The wind is blowing and I am still running against it, as I have always done. But I’m tired and worn. I need some help. I need some hope. I just can’t shake this and I have lost a step or two…

Lately, I have been struggling. I have been questioning. I have been confused. There are days, more lately, where I find myself trying to reconcile God’s will with my own. I feel like I can’t find that balance. There is this nagging fear that I am failing, going nowhere, no matter how hard I try. There have been too many days where I forgot what it feels like, to feel good. Sometimes it feels like pushing on the ocean. Buts its just running against the wind, and I am not failing. And, I am not forsaken.

I haven’t written much lately. I haven’t found my voice again. At least until now. But this has taken me weeks to write. I have been in a bit of a fog, feeling weak, feeling like I have been knocked down and I am still coming to my senses. I feel incredibly mortal, fragile. And, that will pass. But nothing comes easy. There is a cost to everything.

We all struggle. If you look around and think about it, every person you know has struggles. That’s life. We all get knocked down. We all deal with difficult times. We are all still running against the wind. At least now that we’re older, we know we are stronger together. And, we are stronger through God’s grace.

Still, I am struggling.

Sunday, March 4th, 2019

Last night I picked up Steve and Susan from DFW airport. We hit it off before we got out of the terminal area. I am very glad too, because it was a 2 hour trip down just southwest of Waco. They live in McGregor, TX.
I actually took them to the municipal airport where they have a hangar that keeps their 1961 Beechcraft Bonanza. Their car happened to be there as well.

Steve and I swapped flying stories. I have a little flight time in the same make and model as his Bonzana. Stock photo below.

1961 Beechcraft Bonanza

They haven’t lived in Texas very long; less than a year. I asked Steve what brought him to Texas and he answered, Chip and Joanna Gaines. Seriously? I asked. Apparently, they watched the show Fixer Upper and decided Waco seemed like a nice place to live. It definitely has a lower cost of living than their previous home of 30 years, in Seattle.

Originally, they planned a retirement in the Caribbean, spending all their time on a catamaran. But their son was diagnosed with cancer. He is good now. But they say the next 5 years are the greatest risk of it returning. Steve and Susan decided to stay landside in case their son needed help. He lives in Houston.

So they came down and met the Gaineses. Joanna helped them find a house in McGregor. Their house in a Seattle suburb sold for $450 per square foot. Their new home in Texas cost $97 per sq. foot. They doubled the size for less money. Susan said they love being here and wish they had come to Texas 20 years ago.

As we continued to talk about aviation we started getting into the history of both our families. It turns out, Steve’s dad flew F4U-4 Corsairs in WWII. He was based in Guadalcanal, Henderson Field for a bit as well as the carriers, Lexington and Enterprise. While it was a completely different ship and in the 1970’s my father was an air traffic controller on the nuclear version of the Enterprise, CVN65.
Besides the F4U-4 Corsair, Steve’s father also flew Wildcats and Bearcats off the deck of a carrier. My favorite aircraft of all time is the F4U corsair and it just happens to be Steve’s dad’s favorite as well. Especially since he flew them in combat, dogfighting Japanese Zeroes.

F4-U Corsair

Dropping Steve and Susan off at McGregor airport was a real treat. It has been a while since I have been on an airfield. I enjoyed following the taxi lane to his hanger. It definitely brought back some memories.

Dropping them off completed the longest trip thus far in my 2 and a 1/2 years of driving Uber and Lyft. I think it was 123 miles. We had such a great time talking along the way, they offered to take me to dinner in Waco at their favorite burger place called Freddy’s. I had to gracefully decline and get back up to DFW. But it sure was a nice gesture. Steve and Susan, you guys are true kindness Warriors. Correction, Kindness Aviators!

Talking about our experience flying brought back so many memories. Thinking back on those days, I was so confident, so ambitious. I didn’t play by anyone elses rules. I thought I could do anything. But I was always running. I was running to or from something. Heartache, depression, loneliness, who knows exactly. But when I flew, I was at peace. Up there with the deep blue sky and the lofty clouds, I had no fears. My demons were left on the ground below. Up there it was just me and God.

Now, here I am, ragged and worn, still trying to re-engage. Still trying to find that place of grace that seems lost. I am running on fumes with no end in sight. But, I am still running.

Bob Seger was in town Saturday at the Ford Center in Frisco. I think his song, Against the Wind represents it best.

I know I am not alone. We are all struggling. We all keep running against the wind. It’s what we do. Sometimes, it’s all we can do.

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #TheKindnessClub #StreetLights #Grace #drivingawaydepression #Peopleprofiles

StreetLights On A Saturday Night: Phoenix

Facebook Memories is a great feature. I am constantly reminded of the many wonderful people I have met and posted about, through Uber and Lyft. Yesterday, that reminder was about a man I met 2 years ago, named Winston.

In 2005, Winston Norton suffered a burst aneurysm of the brain. He was taken to the hospital but was expected to die within 24 hours. The aneurysm caused a severe stroke. When the doctors went in to try and fix the aneurysm, they found over 40 more.

The chance Winston would live was becoming smaller and smaller. In fact, he coded (heart stopped) more than once.

He lived.

Winston had lost much of his body function and control. He couldn’t move half his body. He spent 9 months at Baylor University Medical Center. 9 months!

Winston is a man of faith and determination. You can see the trauma he suffered in his walk, but you couldn’t tell from his outlook on life. He lives to serve now, thanking God for every precious, beautiful day.

He knows God still has a purpose for him so he works everyday to fulfill that purpose. His recovery/survival is nothing short of a miracle.

He believes it is important to tell his story. He and I both agreed we didn’t cross paths by chance.

Winston, rise again my friend, and keep inspiring people through your story and your dedicaton to spreading kindness and love.

Winston’s story got me thinking about the mythical bird, Phoenix. Like the Phoenix, Winston rose from the ashes. That led me to a Dan Fogelberg song of the same name that I listened to often, in my youth. When I listened to it again today, I found a particularly powerful line from this excerpt, “Like a Phoenix,
I have risen from the flames
Like a Phoenix,
I have risen from the flames
No more living
Someone else’s dreams.”

Someone else’s dreams…

In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz describes our lives as dreams. “What you are seeing and hearing right now is nothing but a dream. You are dreaming right now in this moment. You are dreaming with the brain awake.”

We make many agreements with life, with God, with ourselves. In doing so, we submit to the dreams, or the influence of others, in the way we think, we perceive, we act. We live someone else’s dreams. The Four Agreements teaches us how to break old agreements and make four agreements with ourselves to create our own dream, free of influence from others. In doing so, we are filled with love and peace.

Our lives are like the life of the Phoenix. There are periods, even days when we die and are reborn. As Christians, we attach this life experience to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each day is a renewal. Each day is an opportunity to become a better person, to give and receive love, to enjoy God’s creation and grace. Each day we rise like the Phoenix.

So RISE! Get up, get out, and feel God’s love. Share that love, so that others may find their way out of the dark, out of someone else’s dream.

Thanks for the book recommendation Mindy Lee Carlson.

Happy Easter, my friends. He is risen! Be safe in this extraordinary moment in time. Be love. Be kind.

streetlights on a Saturday night 2 of 3 April 1st, 2020

StreetLights on a Saturday night

Part 2 of 3
Last Ride


Occurred March 25th, 2018

It was late Saturday night, after midnight. Okay, early Sunday morning!

I am exhausted. My whole week went sideways. It seems to do that often. I haven’t slept well in days. My restless legs have kept me up. It’s a nice bonus every time I get one of those steroid injections in my neck for a collapsed disc. My goals for the week were on the horizon but now have completely vanished. A few more rides like the last one and I am just done.

It is day 110 of recovery from depression rock bottom back in early December. I have managed to keep clear of the fog, for the most part. That nasty shadow has been chasing me, but hasn’t been able to catch me. I have been keeping it under control.

I am so tired. No way to hit that bonus. I think it may be time to head home. I will start again in the morning. Means, I miss church again but, need to work.

I was on highway 114 coming back from the west and looking to make the highway 121 exchange to head home.

The Lyft app began chirping with a request. Wow, its 17 minutes away. I accepted it. It turns out it was coming from the airport. I guess there is a real shortage of drivers in the queue at the airport. It isn’t common to get an airport pickup 17 minutes away. So, I headed in. I didn’t get far before the rider cancelled. I guess he didn’t like the wait time.

Well, I am headed toward the airport anyway. I will take just one more rider. I will make this one count and then head home to try again tomorrow. Just one more trip. Just then, the app started chirping again, 11 minutes away this time. I accepted it. Wow, another airport request. Bet they cancel. But I am going that way.

This request wasn’t canceled. It was a pickup at DFW Airport Terminal A. Really late for activity there. I was exhausted and feeling beat down. I could feel that shadow starting to move around me. I was feeling sorry for myself and I was feeling like a failure, my mind was getting dark. But I am going to get this one last rider home.
As I approached the Terminal I saw my passenger, looking at me. Man, this guy looked worse than I feel. You could tell he was running on empty just by watching him move as I pulled up.

Just this last ride. Just one more ride and I will head home. I feel like I haven’t seen or spent time with my family in weeks. I have missed church and my friends there. Now I am going to miss everyone again. I will GET UP and keep fighting again tomorrow, I guess. Starting to wonder what the point is. I am so tired. Just one more ride tonight. Just one more Saturday night drive. Ok, time to put on a smile and get this guy home. Clearly he needs to get there. Got to keep movin’. Got to keep fighting. Else, who am I?

Hello James. Welcome back to DFW. Let’s see where we are headed…

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #StreetLights #TheKindnessClub #Grace #drivingawaydepression #Peopleprofiles #weareallconnected #lifeisbetterwithasoundtrack


streetlights on a Saturday night 3 of 3, April 1st, 2020

StreetLights on a Saturday night
Part 3 of 3
Silver Linings

Occurred March 25, 2018

In the struggle of life, especially those long stretches of time when we try to change, to improve, there is a strong counteracting force. It will knock you down, kick you, and steal your lunch money! You get the idea. Change is hard. When we attempt it, we often fail, and then fail again.

There are often times of sorrow or sadness. We are emotional, loving beings. When we are away from our loved ones it takes an emotional toll. When we lose someone, it takes a toll. When we become sick, it takes a toll.

When we must isolate ourselves at home, it takes a toll.

Something I know to be true, God is active in our lives. God puts people in our lives when we need them. God won’t give us more than we can handle. And, God has a purpose for each of us.

Last Saturday I was run down. Last Saturday I was feeling depressed. I was driving late, and I was exhausted. I picked up James from the airport and took him home to his house in Frisco. James seemed to fall into the car feeling exhausted himself. We got through the introductions and started the trip. I asked him if he had been traveling all day and he smiled and said he had a horrible trip. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. He said he desperately just wanted to make it home with no more issues, problems, or delays.

“I’ve got you covered!” I said. “Now tell me what happened on this horrible trip.” So James began telling this remarkable story of bad hotel rooms, broken rental cars, setbacks at work, and crazy flight delays. When he was done, I told him we needed to get him home as fast as we can so he can get out of my car and take that bad mojo with him! He laughed, but said the odds were against us. He was tired of travel and sad because he missed his family. I could certainly relate to that.

“James, your story alone is hilarious. Yes, it was all troubling and difficult to endure, but that was one of the worst travel experiences I have listened to, which makes it funny! And here you are on the final leg of your journey home. I will get us there!”

James asked me how my week went. I told him, not so well and explained all the things that went wrong with my week. After each of us had a chance to tell our stories to each other we both began to look for the silver lining, and we found it!

James ended up closer to his headquarters as a result of an issue with his first hotel room in Denver. He got upgraded when his rental car broke down. He could have been on the flight when the raft was triggered. It could have happened in the air. As far as his phone goes, well, stuff happens. But how cool was it that the trunk was triggered, sending his coffee mug right to him. That must have been quite a site. I told James I thought he now has a great story to tell his family in the morning to make them all laugh.

My week wasn’t the worst. Sure, I was tired. But I had so many wonderful interactions with people. I picked up some job leads and received help from numerous friends. James asked me what was most important in my life. I told him, my family. He said forget driving in the morning and get to church. He was right! I needed to be with my family. And I needed to recharge spiritually.

Sometimes, we need help gaining the right perspective on things. God is active in our lives. Meeting James was God’s doing. James was his messenger. And I was God’s messenger and delivery service for James. I delivered him to his doorstep at 1:58 AM. No issues or problems occurred.

Two weary travelers offering each other kind words and an ear. Just what each of us needed at the time. And our journey continues…

April 1st, 2020

Easter is almost upon us. I can’t think of a better time to use kind words and to listen. In doing so, we can alter the trajectory of someone’s life, in a very good way!

We can do even do this from home.

We are all connected.

Be safe. Be love. Be kind.

#Kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #StreetLights #TheKindnessClub #Grace #weareallconnected



Crossroads part 2 of 3

As I reviewed the stories from 2019, the one that stood out the most for me, and certainly the most amazing person I met this year while driving Uber/Lyft, is Holly from Green Mountain. Holly inspired with her story and reminded me how important it is to be present, not regret, be appreciative of life. There is always someone who has a greater struggle.

For me 2019 was a crossroads. I faced some difficult challenges that could have set me back from all the progress I have made. I met Holly at a time when I most needed. I am so grateful to God for putting people in my life like Holly, right when I needed them. Holly’s message, her story inspired me to choose the right path and keep moving forward.

Holly’s simple message to all of us is, Life is Love. Anything else is a waste of time.

We are all connected!

The more we acknowledge that idea and follow Holly’s simple advice, the more we will change this world for the better through love and kindness. So if 2019 was a tough year, it only has a few hours left. It is time to reset. It is time to renew hope. For all you Kindness Warriors out there, gear up! 2020 will give us plenty of opportunities to bring peace, love, joy, and Kindness to the world.

Here is Holly’s story from August of this year. Oh, the music is here favorite John Denver song. The 2nd one is mine.

StreetLights On a Saturday Night

Holly From Green Mountain

I got the request in Grand Prairie. Uber XL. Thinking it would be a group of people and at 245am, most likely drunk and rowdy, I prepared myself for the worst. Shortly after I started working my way to the pickup address, I received a text from”H,” my rider. “Please come to the front office. I am in a wheelchair.” I was relieved it wasn’t a group of late night drinkers.

When I arrived at the semi-circle drive in front of the retirement home, two women were waving at me, smiling. Holly was my rider. She was in the wheelchair. Her 92 year old mother was standing with a walker. Holly had several bags and a small dog. I began to load the car as she said goodbye to her mother. There was some laughter mixed in with some emotion as I helped Holly into the front seat and loaded her wheel chair.
As they made their final goodbyes I began to realize this was more than just, until the next time. Once the door was shut, Holly began fumbling for the window button. I hit mine as we slowly started to move. She waved to her mother again calling out to her. I stopped. But Holly said no, let’s go, and she burst into tears.

Holly regained her composure and apologized saying “It’s just tough. I am saying goodbye to my mother for the last time. She has congestive heart failure. In the morning she will be moved into a full care facility.”

Holly comes from a big family. She has 13 brothers. Not one of them have visited their mother in these final days. Here was Holly, with serious health issues herself, bound to a wheelchair, traveled from Colorado to see her mom.

Holly returned to what seemed to be her normal disposition, cheerful and positive. She was warm and friendly, even when she spoke of tough, even tragic experiences in her life. When you look into her eyes you can see this almost childlike joy.

Holly’s mother was given something called DES when she was pregnant with Holly.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic form of the female hormone estrogen. It was prescribed to pregnant women between 1940 and 1971 to prevent miscarriage, premature labor, and related complications of pregnancy, incuding nausea. It was determined to cause cancer in the mother, the child and could even reach as far as a grandchild genetically. Holly is known as a DES daughter because she, like many women born from exposure, developed cancer or other significant health issues.

Holly fought cancer twice. The first time she was only 9. And then again, in her late 20s. She beat it both times. But the genetic abnormality remained.

Holly and Bill married young. Bill is a disabled Vietnam War Veteran. They had a baby boy. He had a rocky start and passed away at 15 months old.

Eventually they tried again and she gave birth to a little girl. Her daughter was healthy. She grew up, got married and began having kids of her own. That’s when the cancer finally showed up. Holly’s daughter had inoperable, terminal brain cancer. Holly said after the news, her daughter freaked out, dropped everything and left. She left her 3 children and her husband. Holly never heard from her again.

Now another predicament. By this time, Holly and Bill had significant health issues and couldn’t take on the kids. Her daughter’s husband was in a car accident and suffered traumatic brain damage. So he couldn’t be a father anymore. They were forced to turn to the state. All 3 children were put into different foster homes.

In 1985 Holly and Bill, along with their daughter were living in Houston. There was a severe storm one day that had Holly concerned about the lightning. She called Bill on the phone and while expressing her concerns to him lightning struck the tree just outside the kitchen window. The strike went into the ground, splitting the tree, and found its way up the ground cable for the phone. And then, as Holly described it, the lights went out. She was cooked!

It took her over a year to learn to speak and walk again. That strike left her with a damaged nervous system, constant headaches, epileptic seizures, and a bone disorder that prevents calcium from being absorbed, making her bones weak and brittle. Calcium builds up on the outside of the bone. Apparently she has numerous surgeries to go in and essentially scrape it off. Holly jokes about a few other side effects, including a slightly tighter right side of her face that makes her look a bit like a pirate smiling. She said she can scratch her left shouldet and feel it in her right leg.

She underwent leg surgery not long ago where they used a cadaver bone for her right leg. It didn’t work, which is why she is curently in the wheelchair. Upon returning to Colorado, they will remove her leg below the knee. She joked about being mad at the doctors because she wanted to keep the leg, only to bury it. But they said no. I told her she should then at least ask for a core charge refund.

Holly’s little Terrier is named Christine. She is actually a service dog and lets Holly know when she is about to have a seizure.

Holly continued with her story. ” I am so grateful for little Christine, here. But I haven’t had a seizure in almost 2 years since we moved to Lakewood, Colorado and my doctor started me on CBD. My overall pain is lower. Apparently they fixed my voice too well, according to Bill because I won’t stop talking now.”

She had this childlike, innocent joy about her. All that pain. And her eyes are lit with joy and appreciation for life. She paused in her story long enough for me to ask how she copes. She smiled and said there are good days and bad days but everyday I am alive is a blessing.”

She commented on my music choice. Louis Armstrong and Elle Fitzgerald were singing a duet on my Spotify. What are some of your favorite music artists? I asked. She said she really liked John Denver.

Ohhhhh, like Rocky Mountain High?

She laughed a little and said ‘Well I like that song but it isn’t my favorite.”

What is?

“Annie’s song.” She said peacefully.

Her three grandchildren were found separate permanent homes. All three were adopted by wonderful families. Holly gets to communicate with all of them and occasionally gets to see them. They are all in Utah.

We got to Love field at 330 am. Nobody was there. But she insisted she would be fine to be dropped off. So, I unloaded her stuff onto a cart, got her situated in the wheel chair and we made our way into the terminal.

Holly you seem like such a happy person, I said. You have had a tough life.

Holly replied, “I have had a blessed life. I have been happily married for 39 years, traveled. I Live in a beautiful place by Green Mountain. Life has been good to me.”

I told her how much I appreciated her telling me her life journey. I told her I really admired her strength and resilience.

“You should visit Green Mountain. You should visit Colorado. You seem tired. It will rejuvenate you.” Holly said.

I told her now everytime I think of Colorado I will think of her….

With that pirate smile, hoppin’ around Green Mountain on one leg…

We both burst out laughing.

We hugged and said goodbye. I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. It was a strange moment as I walked away, while she sat with Christine and her luggage next to the check-in kiosk, smiling and waving me bye. She was happy. She was returning home to her steadfast companion of 39 years.

Oh Holly. You smile for me. I cry for you.

I played that song on the way home. I cried the whole way. I cried for Holly’s loss. I cried for the desperation I have felt. And, I cried for joy, because Holly reminded me that I am alive, still. She told me something else I am sure to never forget.

Life is love.

That’s it. Everything else is a waste of time.

Once again, God has given it. He sent a most interesting woman to deliver it. And, I have received it.

Grace.

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #StreetLights #TheKindnessClub #Grace #drivingawaydepression #Peopleprofiles

For Holly and Bill. And, for the love of my life, who continues to lift me up, Mindy.

March 6, 2018

People Profiles

Mark

So Last night, my first passenger was Mark, who needed to get to DFW Airport. Many of you may already know Mark. But, for those who do not, Mark is a member of my church and also the leader/teacher of my Sunday school class known as the Ragamuffins.

I can truly say my life changed when Mindy and I, along with our children, joined Broadway Baptist Church. All of our lives did. I never thought I would find a church where I felt fully accepted or fully respected, until Broadway. Last night Mark was describing when he and his wife Aubin found Broadway. He described a moment, being in the sanctuary for the first time for service, and having such a powerful spiritual feeling that connected them to the church. “There is no other place quite like Broadway Baptist Church.”

That is how Mindy and I felt the first time we attended Broadway. We instantly felt at home; like this is where we belong. And much of that is because of the wonderful friends we have made there, the immediate acceptance and love we received from everyone we met there. And, the incredible leadership in the church, including Mark and Aubin.

Mark is truly a kind and generous man. He doesn’t judge (unless you speak ill of the Baylor Bears:)) and he offers great leadership and support.

Thanks Mark for being a great leader, teacher, friend, and continually shining your light brightly so that others may find their way through the darkness.

Broadway Baptist Church is an incredible place of love, diversity, acceptance, and joy. Broadway challenges old ideology. It is unlike any church I have ever known or attended. And it is wonderful. Below is an excerpt from the last Ragamuffins weekly email that Mark sends out. He describes how the class got it’s name. Peace be with you.

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld Broadway Baptist Church – Fort Worth

“Fellow Ragamuffins,

Aubin and I had the opportunity to share our story with a class at Brite Divinity School this week. In my portion I shared about our class and the wonderful community we have become. In sharing, I recalled the source of our class name, Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel. This is from Manning’s introduction.

The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out.

It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.

It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether and are to proud to accept the hand-out of amazing grace

It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.

It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.

It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.

It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.

It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.

The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way.

[“The ragamuffin church is a place of promise and possibility, of adventure and discovery, a community of compassion on the move, strangers and exiles in a foreign land enroute to the heavenly Jerusalem. Ragamuffins are a pilgrim people who have checked into the hotel of earth overnight, bags unpacked and ready to go. Regrouping and retrenching, squatting and debating, are not their poses and postures.”]

This is the basis for our class. Thank you for who you are!!

MARCH 6TH, 2018

People Profiles: Virgie

Monday morning I was fortunate to meet Virgie. She needed a ride to pickup her glasses. She was so excited she was getting them. Virgie wants to get to know the streets of Dallas better by driving around with her daughter

Virgie is a devout Christian and through her own journey to Christ has come to know the bible well. She now serves as lead teacher at Reconciliation Outreach Dallas. She is passionate about helping 4th and 5th graders develop a relationship with God and biblical teachings.

We had a great talk about God’s calling and kindness. Virgie you are doing incredible work and making a difference in the lives of those kids. Keep it up! It was such a pleasure to meet you. Good luck exploring Dallas!

People Profiles – Armando

This is my friend Armando. Or as most of his friends call him, Mondo. Mondo needed a ride this morning at 3am to DFW Airport. We had a great conversation along the way about his work, his passion. He has been a teacher for over 16 years and is a strong advocate for at risk or underprivileged children. Five months ago, he accepted a position as Director for The Fellowship Initiative in Dallas. This program was created through JPMorgan Chase.

“The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) provides intensive academic and leadership training to help young men of color from economically-distressed communities complete their high school educations and better prepare them to excel in colleges and universities. TFI is part of the firm’s broader ongoing efforts to provide adults and young people with the education, skills and resources that contribute to greater economic mobility.
To date, more than 200 JPMorgan Chase employees have worked with TFI Fellows as Mentors, coaches, role models, speakers, or volunteers in various capacities. Since its launch in 2010, the program has been expanded and will recruit new classes of Fellows in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.”

Mondo headed up to Chicago this morning to learn more and share knowledge with the director of TFI for that area. Mondo is tasked with developing the program in Dallas and currently has 40 boys in the program.

As a long time friend of Mondo, I can tell you he is incredibly passionate about his work. He is definitely being called by God to do this. I hope you will take some time to read about the organization. I have attached a link.

https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/About-JPMC/the-fellowship-initiative.htm?fbclid=IwAR2_Q2r-MLh3uMoh78u3-WT4WIByJIHOSrFJWdBTVKo66hiyn6GL6bECVRU

Changing the world! #kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #StreetLightStories

Great job Mondo! You are making a difference!

People profiles

As I begin migrating my Facebook blog content to this new site, today marks the 1 year anniversary of my inaugural blog. Reposting here…

February 23, 2018

This is my inaugural blog post for StreetLights. This page was created to share stories from the road and amazing passengers I meet in my travels as an Uber/Lyft driver. I will also be blogging about depression and recovery, love and kindness, and as always, music! I hope to shine a light for anyone going through depression or dealing with a tough time in life. Street lights guide us and help us see hazards along our journey. We all need light and we all have the ability to create light for others.

Marshall Foster
Click image for Marshall Foster Photograph
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With that said, I have chosen as my first official blog to tell you about a very good and kind man I met yesterday, and am now honored to call my new friend. His name is Marshall Foster. He is a professional photographer. Marshall arrived at Terminal D, DFW Airport yesterday and had requested a ride to North Dallas. He was returning from a photo shoot in Uganda, where he was contracted by a humanitarian organization to photo document some of the work being done. I have included with this post a few of Marshall’s photos, with his permission. Below you will also find contact information for his website and Instagram. I encourage you to explore his work. You will clearly see his talent and his connection to every person he photographs!

Marshall believes God has called him to be a photographer, and after I had a chance to check out some of his photographs, I understand why. He is an amazing photographer. Marshall believes his work is helping make a positive difference in humanitarian efforts in places like Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and several other countries struggling with famine or dealing with natural disasters or some type of health crisis. He is a humble and kind man doing extraordinary work.

the length of the trip gave us time to discuss a great many things including God, love, kindness, and even depression. during the conversation, he mentioned something he and his girlfriend Leila do every night before going to sleep. They each tell the other three things they are grateful for. Occasionally they include one “annoy” as Marshall called it. Hey, everyone has a frustrating day from time to time. I think that is a great habit to focus on gratitude as well as form a positive, real perspective on life before falling asleep. He stated it was a great way for both of them to spend a little time every day, even if it is on the phone and they are on different continents, to have a positive and meaningful conversation. What a great practice!

I explained to Marshall, I too have felt God’s call. The Lord has given me two clear directives. The first is to support, love and be present for my family. The second is to share my experiences and struggles, to shine a light on depression, and also focus on kindness. This includes sharing stories about people just like Marshall who wake up every day challenging themselves to be kind, be helpful, and to change the world!

I hope you will like the page. I encourage everyone to join a group I created in the page called The Kindness Club. I am inviting everyone join and become ACTIVE members by finding ways to share kindness, both as an individual and as a group. The Kindness Club will be a place where we can all participate in the discussion. Everyone can share their stories of kindness and we can unite in a common goal of creating joy for others. Can you imagine meeting up somewhere as a group with a plan to bring kindness and joy to many people. We could make someone’s day. Or, we could make several people’s days. Join now and share your ideas on how we can collectively share kindness

Peace be with you.

Click on image to see Marshall’s professional photography website.
Find Marshall on Facebook


#Kindness #PurposefulKindness #Whatawonderfulworld #StreetLights #PeopleProfiles #Hope #Grace #Peace #Joy #Love #TheKindnessClub

It All started here

StreetLights began when I started sharing my personal journey through depression, recovery, and faith. I began driving for Uber and Lyft two and a half years ago. I never realized how incredible this journey would become. As I began to share my own story, I started hearing the stories of thousands of people who have stepped into my car. From there, an overarching theme of kindness and connectedness emerged. We are all in this struggle of life together.

Now, I humbly begin the next chapter, as I officially welcome you to StreetLights.blog. I will be migrating all my posts from Facebook here, and continue to write on both pages.

It all started when I picked up some KISS fans from the Toyota Music Factory, in Las Colinas. We can get to the depression stuff later. My first post for StreetLights really occurred on September 27th, 2017…

I wanna rock and roll all night!