In April, a post (below) from my friend Pastor Jack Comer Jr. reminded me of a simple, but profound moment when my son Brady Dennis was six.
I was a very busy executive at H-E-B Food/Drugs over the Facilities Management division working up to 60-70 hrs a week. But we had a family tradition called ‘Daddy Day.’
Usually a Saturday, I took turns with each of my four children with that day devoted just to one of them.
We’d usually know what we were going to do ahead of time.
On her Daddy Day, Jennifer and I would usually going to a museum, a play, zoo, craft show, out to a mall, shopping…generally whatever she wanted.
Mark enjoyed movies, visiting one of the Missions, the Alamo, to a cave, a park for hiking, etc.
Jack liked sporting events, theater, library, book stores, dining, magic shows, ane exploring.
Brady loved amusement parks, car shows, swimming, train trips and movies. But on one particular Saturday informed he didn’t want to go anywhere.
“I just want to stay here with you Daddy,” he said seriously.
“Stay here? What do you want to do?”
“I want to look at the clouds,” he proclaimed with a huge enthusiastic smile.
With that cue, I prepared a picnic to enjoy in our back yard overlooking the Hill Country, northwest of Boerne. It was an awesome panoramic view facing the direction of New Braunfels in the far horizon.
We ate and enjoyed the breeze. Then laid back on a blanket. He grinned as we watched the sky. At first I was antsy.
But as we gazed up and noticed figures in the clouds (much like Pastor Jack Comer describes below), I looked over at Brady.
He was glowing, shining with excitement just by us “being still” and appreciating God’s natural gifts.
I began to tear up. Realizing I was so busy (and I mean SUPER BUSY) all the time. Taking moments to have decent amounts of conversations with people were rare.
Just the day before, a Friday, friend and employee Phil Buys knocked on my office door and asked if he could talk to me. I was busy concentrating on the task at hand but stood up sort of hoping he’d ask me a question and go.
“Yes Sir, Phillip, what’s up?”
“Nothin’ much Boss,” he scratched the back of his neck looking serious. “I just wanted to come in and say and see if everything is OK? Seems like we’ve all been busy wrapped up in ever’thang that we don’t have time to even talk.”
His words hit profoundly.
I asked him to sit down. We chatted and laughed for about 20 minutes.
It was refreshing. I missed it.
When Phil walked out I went to the restroom to wash my face. Reality slapped. We were so wrapped up in our work that we had to almost force ourselves to just “be still” and have a decent conversation.
Brady innocently reinforced that as we laid back and looked at the clouds the next day.
My favorite verse:
☁ ☁ ☁
“Be Still and Know That I Am God.” –Psalms 46:10
Thanks to Pastor Jack Comer of Circle Drive Baptist Church in Bridge City, Texas for this message that particular day:
“Yesterday, upon receiving news and prayer requests, I went to the back patio that we have and begin to pray for these people that had these special needs. My prayer was simple but sincere, asking our Lord to let these know that He loved them and cared. I prayed that they might have a peace and might know of His presence, along with their various needs might be met. I prayed also for their family members and for the struggles and concern that they had as well. When I finished praying, even though my heart was heavy, I felt an emotion that said, “God would be there for these.”
Now not to sound unspiritual, I then began to watch the clouds. Yes, I’m a cloud watcher. There are times when I just like to sit and watch the movement of the clouds and also try to see what images I can find. Yesterday I saw a little lamb, a bunny rabbit and a cocker spaniel dog. Of course I saw a monster or two, but that may be due to a childish mind. (LOL) Some of these clouds were darker than others and some were moving quicker than others. And every once in a while I would see the blue sky behind the cloud. In fact, I know that there is blue sky behind the clouds, even if I didn’t see it.
I think there is a spiritual lesson there, not that we have to spiritualize everything. But we have clouds in our life. (troubles, inconveniences, sickness, hardships) Some are much darker than others. But on the other side of the cloud, there is blue sky. Perhaps Paul understood this, when he wrote
‘For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Cor. 4:17′”
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.