Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Smile in the Dark

(I actually wrote this a couple of years ago.  Some recent events made it seem like a good time to publish it.)

Inside it is dark
The gloom penetrates every corner
Only shades of gray and black fill my soul
Perhaps a smile can chase the shadows
Perhaps laughing eyes can return the dark to where it belongs
The blackness is powerful and seeks to break and oppress me
But your smile is omnipotent and will prevail against it

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fighting at Funerals

Fighting at funerals.  Why do funerals seem to bring out the worst in people.  It seems to  be the time you find out who has been holding grudges, who has been unforgiving, who has never talked to someone because they did something that was really meaningless. 

Why do people fight over such meaningless crap, why do we hold ill feelings over some stupid comment.  I mean who really tries to hurt other people with what they say.  Normally it is said accidently or inadvertently.  Then when we have a final celebration of someones life it all comes out.  Now there are some things that I can see could be hard to fogive.... if someone harms your child, or a spouse cheats on you, or someone robs you of all of your money, things like that. But seriously why does Aunt Martha still feel pissed of at her brother because he missed her daughters wedding or that cousin Betsy called her fat.  That kind of stuff is meaningless in the overall scheme of life and being petty and unforgiving just robs you and your friends of happiness.  Come on people get over it and realize what a joy it is to have family and friends, don't mess it up.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Circles in Life

Ever notice how life sometimes circles around and you end up in a spot that you shouldn't have left in the first place. You are left wondering what you missed out on and why did you not realize that you should have stayed there to begin with. You worry about what all you missed and how would things have been different. But wondering what you missed is not really an edifying exercise. You never now what would have really happened. And as a matter of fact you really would have probably not done anything different. Just enjoy the fact that you made it around again. Tell those you made it back too that you are glad that they are once again in your life. Tell them how much you missed them. Tell them how much you love them and start a new circle with them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Old Friends

I just spent the weekend with some friends from way back, friends from grade school and high school. There is something really special about old friends. They grew up where you grew up. The grew up when you grew up. They grew up with you. They remember the sights, the smells, the sounds. They remember being innocent, and life just being about playing and having fun. Somehow being with them brings back those happy days.

Some say that is living in the past. They say you need to live in the present and deal with the realities that life is now. Maybe that is true I need to worry about today. Or maybe I should just say to these people, "screw you" I want to life like I did as a kid.

I love my old friends and I wouldn't trade them or the memories for anything else in the world.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Veterans Day Reflection

The date of November 11th for Veterans Day commemorates the end of WWI. The truce took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I lived in Belgium for a few years and this afforded me the privilege of visiting American Cemeteries in the area. I went to all of these cemeteries in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. They are all awe inspiring. There is only one WWI cemetery in Belgium. It is located in the village of Waregem and is the resting place of 368 American soldiers. There is something particularly poignant about this cemetery and on this day I am always reminded of the sacrifice our veterans have made for our country.

There are three American soldiers buried in the cemetery in Waregem that stand out.

Ray A. Kistner from Ohio
William T. Fossum from Minnesota
Andrew B. Horrell from Illinois

What is so heartbreaking about these three is that they all died on November 11th, 1918. The very last day of the war. Just a touching reminder of what price our veterans have paid for our freedoms.

Monday, November 2, 2009


It is cloudy and dreary
The rain falls
The mist surrounds me
It is dark and somber out
In my soul it is the same
The clouds and gloom envelop and oppress me
But I know that beyond the clouds the sun shines
Someday the clouds will break
Someday the sunshine will pierce the darkness
I will once again feel the warmth of its rays
Its brilliant light will chase the gray melancholy from me
The oppression will be broken
Someday I will smile in the glorious light

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Rain

The rain is falling again today
The clouds add to the gloom
Everything is wet and cold,
Muddy and miserable
We curse it for the dreariness it brings to our lives
But what about the wildflowers and prairie grass?
Do they complain?
It is life for them
Does the oak and elm grumble?
Without it there is death
Our lives will always have rain and clouds and storms
Will we waste our energy and time ranting against it and feeling sorry for ourselves?
Or will we recognize that it gives life and allows us to grow stronger
Without it we are weak and unprepared for the realities of life
Life’s most important lessons are learned in the rain not in the sunshine

Friday, September 11, 2009

Spirit of 1979

Thirty years ago we looked forward to everything life offered.
We were young and ready to challenge the world
Life was easy, we felt immortal and full of energy
But time and life moved on and we all had to face its realities
Sometime harsh, sometimes joyous
We felt the elation of children, grandchildren and careers
We forever said goodbye to parents, brothers, sisters, friends
We found love, we lost love, we found love again
Time has not always been kind to our bodies
Sickness, fatigue, and weariness have become more persistent companions
Some of us have even stared directly into the face of death
Others of us are forever gone physically but will never be gone from our memories
These realities of life have made us careworn, drained, and weary
We are reminded that mortality is no longer just a distant concept but a harsh certainty


For a magical weekend we came together
Our spirits livened, our steps lightened, our smiles came quickly
The years disappeared as though we stepped into a time machine
We were transported back to our youth
Friendships that were lost became instantly alive
As though the summer of seventy-nine was here again
We realized that we are indeed part of something special
God gave us a chance to shed our cares, share our joys, and grasp our youth one more time
We left this miraculous weekend with something more than what we came with
We return to our busy everyday lives with the knowledge that we are still part of an extraordinary group
The spirit of 79 is in all of us and we will carry it as well as our love for each other forever
We take comfort knowing that when we come together again this spirit will always return
Once again our steps will lighten, the smiles will quickly return and the bonds of friendship will instantly appear

May God Bless You All

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ethics of Forced Charity

In my MBA Business Ethics class lately the subject of charity has come up. Being that the program is at a Baptist school the Christian approach is discussed. It is obvious from the Bible that we are to help widows, orphans, and the poor in general. This is clearly our duty as a Christian. It is ethical and moral behavior.
But is it ethical for an organization to forcefully take my money and give to a charity? If a robber breaks into my house, steals my computer, then turns around and gives it to a high school student that could not afford a computer but needs one for homework is that ethical or moral? I don't think anyone would say it was.
Why then do we accept the premise that it is okay for the government to take our money with the threat of jail and then give it to a charitable cause. Not only do I not have any recourse but to pay it but where my money goes is up to some nameless, faceless, bureaucrat that probably lives 1000 miles from me.
Forced charity is stealing pure and simple. Unethical and Immoral!