Matthew 7:13-14

Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and straight is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14

Saturday, June 04, 2016


I recently saw a tribute on Peyton Manning from his younger brother Eli Manning. Whether you follow football or not you may know Eli as the guy who wins Super Bowls when least expected. Eli, the younger to his more accomplished brother Peyton, reminds me of myself and my older brother Michael who died in July 2014.  Our younger sister Marianne and I refer to him... as Mike-ee. 

I always looked up to my brother even though he was at least one-half inch shorter than me. He was the better athlete just as Peyton is to Eli.  Mike’s a little "cooler," less outwardly emotional than I and naturally more likable too. He had all the ability to do the things I like to do too, such as act, write, communicate, and give direction. He did them all effectively. If he visited you, and there was a piano at your house, he would have us all singing along. Good voice or not, Mike had you singing. He carried on a tradition from our father - another Mike. Only Mike-ee got you to join in where my Dad was more the soloist. Our Dad, by the way, had quite the voice! 

The difference between Eli and Peyton and Mike-ee and I is that some of you don't know Michael and I want you to know who he was. I want you to know who he is and was to me. You are my friends. I want you to know how much I miss him. 

He was a fantastic person who had my back in desperate times as well as the good times. 

I am remembering this because, for one, I was so moved by Eli's remembrance of his big brother Peyton. There was admiration in his words as we saw pictures of the Manning boys as children playing football.  The other reason was that day was Marianne's birthday and we talked for a long while on our cell phones. She got to be on the Oregon coast for her special day. 

Aside from sharing how thankful to God she was, as for her life she also spent half her birthday conversation speaking of Mike-ee. She misses him so. Sometimes when we talk I want to be Mike-ee for Marianne, but I cannot. He was such a good brother to “Mares.” The two with their families lived near one another in Oregon for many years. Oregon was also 3000 miles from where they began. They both left the NY City area around 1970. 

Mike-ee was the unofficial head of the family in Oregon. There was my sister and 4 children as well as 3 of his own. He was a brother to Ron Carter, Marianne's husband, and Ron is my brother too.  He and Ron made a beautiful business together.  Michael and Ron learned to be great partners and brothers. 

Peyton is gone from the game and Eli's tribute was to a famous brother. Eli's words however were personal and universal. The legacy we leave is personal. The game, job, our physical location, etc., are forgotten. The essence of life however is a signature that has eternal realities. Eli and I share our brothers’ legacy and legacy is what lives on. 

My sister Marianne showed me what really counts. It’s not the Super Bowl ring or the local equivalent of its accomplishment. Neither is it the failure to attain the status of what we call success. What counts is what does not count in the super status of what we spend so much time trying to accomplish.

It's in how much love you gave and give. It’s never too late to give love. It's in how much you give even at the risk of being rejected for giving love. Mike, Marianne, and I found Love when we found God. We found how to value victory, how to savor victory, and to embrace victory even in human failure. We found this as adults. I found Wendy and God found me and we had Stephanie. 

We did not win the Super Bowl. According to Eli Manning, who has won two Super Bowls, there is something greater. 

You may know Jesus or you may not know Him, but if you know unselfish love you are on His Trail. If you want to give and want to receive love, be the first to give love. To truly forgive is to give love too, and this destroys hate for people. 

It all comes from Him. It’s where love flows from ... "streams come out of His Rock, and cause waters to flow down like rivers."

It’s a Super Bowl stream. It's a veil of tears, and waters of hope, and closure. It’s Shalom, Peace and a new start.

He is in your unselfish Love desire and He is there waiting for you and me. He is at the goal post. 

A forever touchdown.


The below post originally appeared on The LoHud Yankees Blog for Feb 16, 2016.  For his post, Dennis follows up on a “Pinch Hitter” post he wrote for last year’s series. His piece last year was called: Alex Rodriguez, Please Come Home

Last season, Alex Rodriguez came home. Beyond the 33 home runs he hit, he was a great player again. More so than his obvious talent, Alex changed his mind, an adjustment that requires a change of heart and is difficult to do as a grown man.

It is even more difficult for one so much in the public eye. A-Rod accomplished this feat by going opposite field — opposite from the expected way.

He did the unexpected. He played the game with joy. It was a boy’s game once again. Rodriguez went in the one direction that would improve his game. He smiled often and obviously enjoyed being a team member. He made choices that transcended career. He chose to be different from what he once was. His year off made him hungry for simple things again.

A-Rod always had amazing ability, but what was missing in his game is what he brought last year. He shined in fun, joy, and mostly in thankfulness to once again be part of the game. 

In the height of “P.E.D.” arrogance, he lied, cheated and blamed others. His talent was blocked by fear and greed. The ironic blessing was that his humiliation became his new humility. New boldness was unleashed through brokenness. His talent was no longer blocked by trying too hard. 

In its place, he gained new mobility and physical strength to excel once more at the game. The new clutch of A-Rod was better than a line drive double with the bases loaded. His new clutch was to say, “The fans do not owe me a thing.” That statement and others like it unleashed the God-given ability A-Rod always had. 

His heavy weight to perform was now lifted. Instead of adding more weight to his burden, he went the other way. It was better than hitting an opposite-field home run at the Stadium, which he so often did. He became a person first. A person who was also an athlete, and not the other way around. 

Rodriguez sacrificed something of himself for his team and his fans by going the opposite direction of the norm. Change is hard to do, but his sorrow blossomed into thankfulness just to be on the team. Thankfulness, the very root of humility, gave birth to a new boldness. He was no longer a defensive person but a broken man. He was no longer arrogant, but a man humbled by life’s journey. 

My prayer is: A-Rod, do not go backward. Go forward and upward. Go deeper into this new direction. Gain more wisdom by learning even as you teach others. The team is taking on new and troubled players, and we pray they all learn that the star system and money cannot buy what you are learning now. Have more joy in the simple things common to all humanity, as the poet-apostle said, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Finally, that your spirit of clubhouse gentleness will transfer to others and foster fantastic  team play in 2016. Mercy travels as you journey through the true game, the game of life.

In the words of the poet Robert Frost: “And I – I chose the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”