Can’t is a Four Letter Word!!

Of all the four letter words we’re taught not to say, I added one that I consider the worst offender… Can’t. Nothing can frustrate success more than a bad attitude, and believing you can’t do something virtually guarantees that you won’t. That’s why I say “Can’t is a Four Letter Word.” In “From Woodstock to Eternity,” Dustin Morgan’s sister forces him to confront the notion that he can do more with his life than he thinks he can. In fact, he can do things he never thought of before, and why? Because he never thought he could. Can’t is the enemy of did, and the ally of didn’t… or never tried in the first place.

Dustin pictured himself in the cockpit of a 727 airliner and thought, “I have never allowed myself to think this far, to consider it a possibility, to dare to dream.” His sister assured him that he could do anything he set his mind to do. She also assured him that Jesus was not just a baby in a manger or a body on a cross. He is alive and active in our daily decisions and helps to bring them to pass. Dustin wondered, “Will God do that for me?”

Having a dream motivates you to achieve it, and without a dream, there is no will to carry on. As Proverbs says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This is not a unique concept. In the aviation instruction realm, it is called motivation. Every lesson must have an introduction, and that includes attention, motivation and an overview. If you want to learn what is in the lesson, it must gain your attention. The motivation, or your “vision” inspires you to do the work required to learn the lesson.

So, here are some key points in reaching your full potential

Listen to wise counselors

Sometimes we need to hear from another perspective. We get trapped in

our own little bubble and can’t see a bigger picture.

Allow yourself to dream

It’s OK to have grandiose ideas or to believe you can do great things. Some may call it ego or pride, but if you put it in Jesus’ hands, you will approach the endeavor humbly and earnestly. The tragedy for any of us is to fall into complacency and never use the gifts God has given us.

Don’t say “Can’t!”

Once you envision a goal, never tell yourself you can’t do it! Allow your dream to give you the motivation to work. study, be patient, and persevere.

In my ground school class, I had students from their 40’s and 50’s on their second and third careers to become an airline pilot.

Never sell yourself short. Remember,

Can’t is a Four Letter Word!!

Dream It – Do It!!!

Dream It

You want to fly airplanes? Are you crazy? What makes you think you can do something like that? Most aspiring young pilots come out of peer groups with an attitude something like that. In fact, most people with grandiose ideas are surrounded by people who could never imagine themselves doing anything so far out there. This is because most people are stuck in their present mindset, have no vision for their future, and don’t have the drive to go for it even if they did. They had a difficult upbringing, are content with where they are, or just have no idea what they want to do with their lives. They have no dream.

This reveals the sad truth that only a small percentage of people actually do have a vision they are pursuing, and they are the ones who reap the sweetest taste of success in their lives. If you have nothing to conquer, you will have no victory.

Realizing Your Dream – The Highest Level of Human Needs

Aviation Instructors learn this in the study of Human Behavior. In a pyramid of human needs, basic food and shelter are the first level, progressing through security, love, self esteem and finally to the peak of Self – Actualization. Not everyone gets to this level. In fact, many do not even reach satisfaction in the areas of inward and outward self esteem. This is why so many sermons and self help workshops focus on propping up our self image.

Be All You Can Be!

The top level, on the other hand, follows the motto of the Army to “Be All You Can Be!” Another way of looking at it is “achieving what you were called to do.” In the Bible, Jesus told a Parable about Talents (Matthew 25:14) that are given to each of us to put to use during our walk in this life. Paul refers to Spiritual gifts (Romans 12) that are given to each of us that empower us to fulfill our calling for God. Unfortunately, most of us never find out what we are called to do, much less get around to doing it, which leads to the final point.

Do It!

A Turning Point in Dustin Morgan’s transformation in “From Woodstock To Eternity” comes in a talk with his sister about what he really wants to do in life. The party hardy days had just about run their course, and he knew it. She pressed him to imagine with no boundaries. “All I’ve ever wanted to do is fly airplanes,” he said. Then Sis raised the bar. “Imagine yourself in the cockpit of a 727.” It blew his mind. “I have never allowed myself to go that far… do you think I could do that?” Of course Sis had the answer… “With God anything is possible.”

They set out a plan to find out how to get flying lessons, hired an instructor, bought a cheap, second hand Cessna 150, and he was on his way. He worked his way into the commuter airline industry, but then things fell apart. Finally, almost 40 years later, he resurrected his dream and became an instructor for young flight instructors eager to go to the airlines. There is no greater thrill than to stand on the other side and know that you dared to dream, put in the work, and made it happen. This is why I write on top of the marker board at the beginning of every class…

Dream It – Do It!!!

Aviation Lessons – Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Lessons Learned in Aviation – What to do, and what not to do

There is a mysterious, hidden truth to be found in “From Woodstock to Eternity”… it is a book about aviation, cleverly disguised as a counter culture epic. Even though all the aviation stories in the book are grossly distorted applications of aviation in no way takes away from the conclusion. Interwoven through the wild escapades of Dustin Morgan’s airborne adventures are solid aerodynamic principles that are common to every flight a pilot makes.

Right Wrong Switch

Let me first issue a disclaimer that in no way do the aviation escapades in “From Woodstock to Eternity” represent proper, legal or moral uses of flying skills. Alternatively, look at them as examples of what NOT to do with your airplane.

With that said, here is a sample of the Airplane maneuvers and procedures that are alluded to in this adventure story.

Slow Flight

Otherwise known as flying “on the back side of the power curve,” Morgan had to configure the Navajo for slow flight during every air drop. Flying at 100 MPH at tree top level was definitely flying slow. However, one of the many rules of flight that he broke during this phase was to breach obstacle clearance limits of 500 feet in uncontrolled airspace.

Short and Soft Field Landing

The strips in Columbia and were certainly short and the grass was soft. Each of these conditions required specialized maneuvering to perform.

Short and Soft Field Takeoff

Perhaps one of the most frightening episodes in the book is the takeoff from Tommy’s strip in the Bahamas. The airstrip was short, the grass was long, and heavy gross weight increased the takeoff roll.

Emergency Descent

In order to evade the Customs jets who were trying to “make him into a sandwich,” Morgan had to get everything he could out of his heavy, slow, propeller driven beast. The mad dash descent was not simply a matter of pointing the nose down. It was a calculated maneuver with many components that enabled the Navajo to hurl down at a high rate of descent.

Aviation Related Articles Are Coming!

Sometime in 2018, the Lord put in me a great desire to return to aviation. This endeavor was nothing short of re-inventing myself at 68 years old. I am grateful to say that all the work and study I put in has resulted in returning to work as an Aviation Ground Instructor. I am having the time of my life teaching and mentoring new flight instructors and watching them achieve their dreams.

That being said, look forward to a new series of blogs on aviation related topics. For those of you who could care less about flying, I hope to at least make them entertaining. For those of you who do fly, or have a little seed planted deep down inside, they should mean something special to you.

Happy Trails!

Happy New Year to All Woodstock to Eternity Friends!

2020 Will Be a
Great Year!

All Expectations start with a Dream. People who say it’s not good to have big expectations, because they could be dashed, will just remain where they are. Like Dolly Parton said, “I wish all those people who try to tell me I’ll never make it would just get out of my way while I’m doing it.” If we don’t have a dream for our new year, then we’ll obviously never make it. So, gird up your loins, put on your dream cap, and make 2020 the greatest year ever!

Thanks and Grats for your continued support for From Woodstock to Eternity

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Even though I have not written a blog in a while, I continue to get notifications that people are visiting this site and buying the book. As a matter of fact, the increase in interest has coincidentally lined up with my new job. In 2018, I decided to re-invent myself as an Aviation Ground Instructor after being out of aviation for over 30 years. As anyone who has read “From Woodstock to Eternity” knows, there is a lot of flying in that book. God blessed me with a position as CFI Academy ground instructor for a major flight school, and I now have class after class of aspiring pilots on their way to becoming flight instructors. Somehow, word got out that I wrote a book, and a lot of my students are now very intrigued about Dustin Morgan. I tell them it’s just fiction.

Major Ups and Downs in 2019

2019 was an incredible year, so 2020 has it’s work cut out to beat it. Two major events happened to our family, one catapulting, and the other, catastrophic. First the good news, which I already mentioned was my career makeover into a Ground Instructor who now has great influence and responsibility for hundreds of young pilots, which results in great rewards. The accomplishment is theirs when they pass their checkride for Certified Flight Instructor. The reward is mine when they hunt me down and thank me for helping them get through it. The joy in seeing the ones you serve succeed is priceless.

The bad news is my daughter crashed into a mountain in Alaska in an airplane with three other people on board. She was the sole survivor. With 13 broken bones and a broken back, she has had a miraculous recovery so far as the doctors have put her back together like Humpty Dumpty. She will be going back to work at United sometime next year, so 2020 will be much better for her!

The Future for From Woodstock to Eternity

I have been reprimanded for leaving my readers hanging at the end, but I felt the cliff hanger was needed, because that was the end of that segment of the story. The obvious question remains… will you tell us what happened? When are we going to get “The Rest of the Story?” I will tell you that I have in mind three books in the Eternal Pioneer series. “From Woodstock to Eternity” takes you through Woodstock. The next book, “The Steel Wall” will take you through the intense metamorphosis to Eternity and out of this world. The third book, “Eternal Pioneers” is intended to take you into the heavenly country of living in eternity while going through the many facets that make up this earthly life.

While I have been hesitant to dive into “The Steel Wall,” I have written many chapters as a rough draft, and as soon as I get the OK from the Lord, I will finish the book. It is painful for me to relive this period, because it was a time that God had me pull the plug on many attachments to the world and its ways and devote complete allegiance to His Word and His ways. The value of the book is to show real life execution of coming to Him and being separate. Something all Christians are called to do.

Dream It Do It!

Get a dream, dig up an old, dead Dream, or Do the Dream you already have! See you in 2020!!!

Deliverance vs. Recovery

While there is a great story line and lots of drama and action in From Woodstock To Eternity, the main theme of the title hinges on the transformation from Woodstock to Eternity. The key to this transformation is in the chapter titled “Deliverance.” However, Recovery is not the same as
Deliverance.

The Deliverance chapter is where the long struggle with the old life comes to a climax, and Dustin Morgan is freed from the bonds he put on himself. What he initially thought was good and upright and fun eventually entrapped him in his lifestyle, his attitudes and his very freedom to exist. This is how it came about:

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A change comes over Pastor J.R. Instead of the nice, soft spoken church pastor, his eyes come alive, and his whole persona flushes with boldness. He is on the attack. A look of fire lights up his face, and he strides toward Dustin like a lion. Morgan’s eyes make contact with J.R.’s. He starts shaking. J.R. points his finger right at his face and speaks directly to the spirits. He snarls,

“You demons of lust and drugs and drunkenness, I command you to come out of this man now, in the Name of Jesus Christ!!”

In the heavenly realms, the screams of Legion and his demons resound like tormented echoes going down a well as they spiral into the pit of hell. The angels watching the LIGHT screen see the hordes tumbling down to Hades as Jesus casts them all out of Dustin Morgan. The heavens erupt in a deafening sea of applause and shouts and praises. Thousands and thousands of angels sing, “Worthy is the Lamb!!” and “The Lord, my God, my Strength, my Song, has now become my Victory!!!”

Many programs have evolved to help people “Recover” from these issues, but Recovery is not the same as Deliverance. Recovery implies a permanent state of bondage to old addictions, whereas Deliverance means total and permanent release from the bondage and victory over the old temptations.

For instance, Recovery programs all follow the same general plan. They usually incorporate some variation of the commonly known “12 step” program first made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous. While these plans help many people, I am disappointed by Christians, believers in Jesus, who still maintain they are an “Alcoholic,” or a “drug addict,” even though they have been sober for 20 years. These programs have indoctrinated them to believe they can never be completely free. The fact of the matter is, if you truly believe in Jesus, and in His power over Satan, you can absolutely be free. There is only one condition… you must surrender completely to Him, no reservations, no clinging to one last thing. Once you have come to that point, and it may take a while, you are a candidate for Deliverance.

This is how Dustin Morgan felt after he received his Deliverance.

While he’s driving down the highway, he feels lighter and lighter, like he’s floating six inches above his driver’s seat. A smile creeps over his face, and a Presence hovers right in front of him, slightly above and to the left.

“Who is that? Jesus, is that You?”

All the way back, Jesus is right there, all around him, so close he can touch Him. Dustin reaches out and grabs the air, over and over, laughing out loud with a gusher of release that erupts out of his belly. As the reality of what just happened sinks in, he explodes with joy. No visions now, no visions the next day, no visions for the next year, no visions for the next twenty years.

He is in awe of God. Physical miracles are one thing, but when God enters the battlefield of your mind, conquers your oppressors, and throws the bums out, you know there is another realm, and He is the King. Morgan knows it. He is sure of it. Jesus has rescued him from the clutches of Legion and his demons, and he owes Him his life.

From Woodstock to Eternity 50th Anniversary Kindle

Kindle version of From Woodstock to Eternity 50th Anniversary is coming soon!

Yes, I am working on the Kindle for my new 50th edition of From Woodstock to Eternity. I know it may be confusing, but I left the original, unabridged version of FWTE on the Amazon site in order to keep the reviews from the old version. The new version is the same story, but it has undergone a complete editing and polishing process that makes it a much better read with some added stuff.

Why a 50th Anniversary Edition?

For those who weren’t there, never thought they would live this long, or are too young to know about it, the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival in 1969 is coming up next year in August 2019. There will be a lot of attention given to this landmark event, because it played such a big part in defining an ideology that created a counter culture that still has an impact on us today.

What is From Woodstock to Eternity about?

This book gives an eye witness, “you are there” journey through the wild, fuzzy, good vibe days of the hippie era. It also shows the effects of too much of that wild living, and the path Dustin Morgan took to escape. Most of all, it is an adventure packed, light hearted tale of Woodstock, Haight Ashbury, draft dodging, pot smuggling, romance, and victory.

Kindle for Christmas!

When the Kindle version is ready, it will be available at a highly reduced price for the Holidays, so please check out the new

From Woodstock to Eternity 50th Anniversary Edition

Woodstock 50th Anniversary Edition

News Flash! From Woodstock To Eternity 50th Anniversary Final Push!!

Calling all From Woodstock To Eternity readers… the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival will occur in August 2019. I know that seems a long way away, but I

need your help for this final push. As the anniversary date approaches, there will be a swarm of media attention surrounding it. The best source for information about the anniversary is The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

There will be books, articles, TV documentaries, and From Woodstock To Eternity should be a part of that swarm.

With all the hype glorifying the hippie days, From Woodstock To Eternity needs to be there to show the love and deliverance of Jesus Christ. So…

Here is how you can help… If you have been blessed by From Woodstock To Eternity

PLEASE GO TO THE AMAZON PAGE AND LEAVE A REVIEW!!

Click on this picture

Scroll down to the bottom and click “Write a Customer Review”

I already have a great list of 4 and 5 star reviews, and agents take these into account when considering whether to take me on.

For this final push, I am putting an exhaustive edit on the entire book, making it more readable, more exciting, and more heart felt. A literary agent will get it published through a major book distributor.

I appreciate all your likes, reviews and overall support for the message of this book.

Please help to make From Woodstock To Eternity part of the message of the 50th Anniversay…       WRITE A CUSTOMER REVIEW!!

 

God Bless – And may angels bear you up today!

 

After Woodstock – Where is Different Now?

Different Becomes Normal

When we were in the Woodstock days, we were freaks and proud of it. We used the term for everything someone could be passionate about. Acid freaks, clean freaks, camping freaks, money freaks, whatever. It was cool to be freaky, and the freakier you were, the cooler you were. We actually had a philosophy behind our bent toward “different.” We wanted to empathize with the downtrodden, and all this seemed like a good wholesome thing to do. We wanted to Walk a Mile in My Shoes. However, I don’t think anyone dreamed we would plumb the depths of weirdness that we have come to today.

I saw a cartoon once that had a flapper, a hippie, and a spiked punk standing next to a little kid who looked up at his dad and said, “Do I have to be weirder than the generation before me?” This sparked an article that I recently wrote, and I have included some excerpts.

Definition of Different

To be different is to be not the same, or distinctly separate from something else. In today’s culture, the “something else” is what people think is normal. So, each child grows up trying to be not the same as whatever normal is. The more unlike normal you are, the “cooler” you get. However, when “normal” changes, so does different, and so does “cool.”

Ways to be Different

You can be different in a good way or a bad way. You can be better than normal or worse than normal. The trouble is, most people think the only way to be different is to be stranger than what used to be. Long, weird hair, freaky makeup, and bad language are the ways to achieve “cool.” This has been going on for generations. What young people did to be different in the 1920’s became normal in the 1960’s. So, kids in the 1960’s had to be more different than their parents were. Then, what was different in the 1960’s became normal in the 2000’s. So, kids now have to be even more different than their “different” parents were before them. Do you see where this is going? How weird do we need to get?

When Normal becomes Different

Here are the facts. Normal is the average of the majority. When more and more people try to act “different,” they become the majority. Their many ways to be cool suddenly become the average… they are the ones who are normal. So now what do you do?

When sloppy clothes, spiked hair, hats on backwards, tattoos and bad language become normal, there is only one thing you can do. According to the definition of different, you have to change. You have to be unlike that. If you want to be different, you need to be normal.

Definition of Normal

Being normal means to conform to a standard. This is not a bad thing. It is standard to drive on one side of the road. What if everyone zig zagged back and forth down the highway? In order to avoid wrecks, everyone must drive “normally.”

People used to say it takes courage to stand up and be different. But these days, different is what everybody is doing, and if you don’t, they may not like you. So guess what? It takes courage to not be different, to not go along with the crowd. And if the crowd is not doing the right things, they will suffer for it, and you do not want to suffer with them. Also, people look up to those who stand for what is right and good. So, do you really want to be different? Be normal, and you will definitely stand out… you will definitely be different!

2018 Resolutions: No Blasts from the Past

The Past is a Tyrant

There we are, moving and shaking, excited about new goals, hoping, dreaming, expecting great things… then BOING! Something from our past jumps up and says, “Here I am! Remember me? We had all the good times, you feel comfortable with me, everything is familiar. Why change things? It’s risky out there in the future with all your big ideas.”

Have you ever had those thoughts? The past likes to bring up things that will derail our resolutions for the future. Doubts, fears, old desires, fantasies, and bondages just waiting to pull us back. In From Woodstock To Eternity, Dustin Morgan finds himself face to face with the past in the form of a Michelob sign,

The two cabin builders settle into a small cafe on the main strip and order their coffee and cinnamon rolls.  As he sits in the wooden booth, sipping his coffee, Dustin looks out across the street.  There, beckoning him from a small saloon, is a glowing, red neon Michelob sign.  It’s a blast from the past, intruding into his new life from the other side of the road.  It’s saying,

“Dustin, I’m here.  Come on in.  Remember all the good times we had?  You used to have a ritual, remember?  Every time you went up the mountain, you would stop in a bar in the foothills and have a couple of beers to celebrate.  Well, you’re getting ready to go up the mountain, and here I am.  Come on, Dustin, just have one beer.  One beer won’t matter.”

This is the tyranny of the past

The past tries to manipulate us by softening the effects of what has gone on before. Time is a healer of wounds, and the past tries to capitalize on this by telling us the bad things weren’t that bad, and the feel good things that got us into trouble were really OK. If our new focus is not clear, we may be easily influenced to go backwards.

How to overcome the tyranny of the past

1. Make a sharp contrast between where you came from and where you want to be.

The contrast is stark, and the choice is clear. The church side of him is here, in a coffee shop, with his church friend, representing his deliverance.  And the saloon side of him is over there, with the tinkling glasses, the smell of liquor, the crack of billiard balls in the back. 

2. Have a healthy respect for the power of the past to hold you back.

“Yes, Dustin.  You are delivered from one beer.  Let Me tell you what will happen.  Just like that door to the saloon opens up into another world, with another set of experiences, one beer will open a door to the complete array of temptations and desires that you just left.  One beer will unplug a hole in your wall that will let all the bondages of drugs, and lust, and drunkenness flood back into your life.  It’ll be like pulling your finger out of the hole in the dike.”

3. Press on – Have faith in the Lord to take you where you need to go.

Philippians 3:12-14 … but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

References: “True Freedom – No Longer Obligated”      “The Agony of Not Trying”

2018 Set Your Affection in the Right Direction

The Direction of Your Affection Determines Your Action

Excerpt from my next book, “The Steel Wall”

Scooter’s heart ached as he took one last fond look at the stack of bricks. He opened the side door and gradually let it down, the wind plastering his face and tearing at his shirt as the sea rushed by 200 feet below. Whitecaps lined the tops of raging swells. He gripped the framework of the doorway hard and looked down.

“Oh Lord, there’s no coming back from a fall into that.”

He carefully maneuvered his feet as he picked up three bricks and shuffled toward the door. His gut had a big knot, like he had to shoot his dog, knowing he was throwing away perfectly good cocaine. He hesitated, thinking, “Maybe I don’t have to do this. Maybe they’re not there anymore.” He had already stowed his backup bricks in the baggage compartment, but tossing the rest in the water was more than a situational necessity… it was a calamity.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.

There is no simpler way to describe why we do what we do… why we feel like we feel. Scooter was distressed about throwing out the bricks because the coke was his “treasure.” It was valuable to him, not just monetarily, but in his psyche, in his gut. Cocaine was an integral part of his culture, and coke smuggling was his lifeblood. He wasn’t born this way, but this is where life lead him. And, frankly, he had never taken the time to consider living otherwise.

The things that are important to us always motivate our actions. This is why it is so important to look at ourselves and realize what we value the most.  I’ll pick three “treasures.”

  1. Career: There’s no better satisfaction than working at what you love. Or pursuing a goal and achieving it.
  2. Pleasure: To a single, independent young adult, there seems to  be no greater rush than partying down and letting it all hang out.
  3. Lifestyle: To anyone who has found their niche, there is no fonder fulfillment than soaking up the friends, the atmosphere, and the frills of the culture they have created.

Having our heart set on a career makes us persevere through college and low level jobs. If we are set on pleasure, we’ll spend lots of money and avoid things like commitment. If we are settled into a lifestyle, we may not even know there is an alternative out there, or we may not want to know. Either way, we are content to stay like we are.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2.

The good news is, we can actually do something about all this. Many cannot see outside of their present existence to know they even have a choice, but they do. We all do. In “The Steel Wall,” Dustin Morgan comes face to face with two cultures, two concepts of pleasure, and possibly two career choices, all hinging on where he will set his mind… what he will embrace as his affection.

That is our choice for 2018. Not resolutions, but where will you set your affection… on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God?  or things on the earth?

2018    … Let’s all look upward!