Saturday, March 28, 2009

Age Served

Friday night a couple of young friends, Alex Tudor and Ady Ilie, from Bucharest drove to Sibiu, Romania to bring me to Bucharest. Well, on the way to Bucharest we passed through some terrific scenery in the rugged Carpathian Mountains. One long stretch goes alongside a river with the road becoming a bridge for a while, then, back to clinging to the side of a rocky cliff.

Did I tell you about the trucks in Romania? Please! Two lane roads are the norm for this country. So, it means you follow trucks and you pass them one-by-one. Oops! My driver, Alex, saw a straight stretch and gunned it to get around a truck. What was wrong with this is that he passed on a double line. Yep, you guessed it! The police were perched on the only pullover that there was for miles. They saw us!

Pulled over ... waiting while the Romanian cops were giving my young friend a lecture ... my other friend was listening ... bad news! The cops were taking the drivers license away!! Not only that, there was a big fine, a very big fine. Devastating for a young Romanian worker on a small salary!

Then, one of the policemen came to our car and started talking to me in Romanian. I know six words in Romanian and he did not use one of these precious words.

"I speak English," I said.

He spoke to me in English and asked if my young friend was a safe driver. I affirmed that he is, but, my response seemed quite weak considering what had just happened. He wanted to know where I live and what I do and I told him.

He returned to the police car and told his colleague not to take the driver’s license!

My friend in the back seat listened to the conversation between the two policemen, then, he told me what was said. “Let him go! There is an old guy in the car and he is nice. Give him his license back because of the old guy.”

Old guy???!!!


Age was served again … I think. Sigh!

My young friends love to tell this story …


Monday, March 23, 2009

The Hungarian Brass in Godollo

Godollo is a city rich in history. "Sissy" the queen of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire spent most of her time at her castle in Godollo. Though Austrian she learned the Hungarian language to the delight of the Hungarians.

Yesterday, The Hungarian Brass were in concert in Godollo in a new church building not far from Sissy's Castle. Beautiful church! And, our guys played beautifully! Man, oh man, it was good, very good.

Sounds like I'm boasting since I play trombone in the group, but, the truth is that I am the weakest player in the group. The group is comprised of young men ranging in age from 19 to 33 [except for me, ahem!]. What a great sound! Actually, the acoustics in this new church are very good.

The meeting went on and on as the people asked to play another, then another and one more. The trumpet players were starting to tire because some of our songs are quite demanding [high notes, fast, etc.]. But, they really did well. The trombonists were great.

We recorded some of our music in an album called "Faithfulness". Let me know if you are interested and I can ship one to you. Email me at or for costs and more information. I think you will enjoy! :)


Friday, March 20, 2009

My Mentor Taught Me ...

"Accept a person for who he is and see him for who he can become."

Actually, my mentor told me this three times. I paid attention the first time. The second time really got my attention. The third time I was giving him some examples and he was smiling.

Jack Wyrtzen, now in Heaven, was my mentor in the 80s and early 90s. I was able to spend about one month each year for eight years. That was a treat!

The first time that Jack shared this principle with me was when we were riding in my cramped Honda Civic [they were smaller back then]. He was telling me about someone, suddenly, he nudged me with his elbow and said, "Eric, always accept a person for who he is and see him for who he can become. He went on to explain that we take people as they are right now with all of their imperfections. This is what we have to work with. Then, we look for their potential and guide them to fulfill their potential. I liked what he said from the get go. Yes!

We all have great potential. However, not all of us realize this potential. But, there is a second chance. God is gracious to provide second chances.

Lastly, let's think about using this great principle in the lives of others. First, acceptance ... in their present condition or maturiy level. Next, look for their potential and guide them in this direction with phrases such as, "You have a lot of potential ... I can see you doing this or that."

They probably will express their disbelief or shock. Be genuine and share what you see in them. Continue to encourage them often and watch their progress. It works!

I know, Jack did it for me!


Monday, March 16, 2009


The other day I was at the post office and the postmaster inquired about me, "How are you today?"

"I'm happy!" I said with a big grin.

He seemed startled, "Really? Wow! I'm not used to hearing a response like this. You made me happy just saying it."

You see, I make a conscious choice everyday to be happy. There are various difficulties in life just primed to rob you or me of our joy, our happiness. I can choose how I will respond. Actually, you have the same privilege of choice as I do. Try it out!

OK, here it is again--I am happy!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just Write!

My, my! One blog posting in November and one in January ... none in December or February!

However, there are various things that I wanted to write. I had the wrong kind of thinking in that I thought that I needed to write something really great or hard-hitting or whatever. Maybe it was a mental block of some sort.

That's it! That's over! I am just going to write!

I did it! I just wrote! Actually, it really was great ... that is, if I can up my end of the bargain to write more often about the various thoughts that I have. Check back and stay tuned.