What Would You Do with Your Last Month on Earth?

last-month-on-earth

Pretend for a moment that God has given you a special break: He has allowed you to be the only person on earth to receive 30 days notice of your death.

Most of us will never have a clue. We usually die suddenly and unexpectedly. Even if you’re elderly and ill, you could linger on a good while with no idea exactly when you would draw that last breath.

But you have been notified! You know you have a month to close out your life. What an incredible gift that would be. Armed with the knowledge that you have 30 days to prepare for your exit, think of what you could do!

Foolish people might consider traveling the world on their credit card, knowing they’d be dead before the bills came due.

But a wise person would never disrespect this gift. He or she would take advantage of the 30 days notice and wrap up the business of life. Continue reading

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With Thanks to Soldiers I Have Known

This was originally posted in 2009…but it bears repeating…

soldiers departing for deployment

I write this today, and you read this today, because millions of American soldiers, engaged in various battles that spanned over more than two centuries, fought for the cause of freedom.

I have had the privilege of knowing some of these men and women. They are regular, everyday working people, paying their bills and raising their families. They don’t consider themselves special.

They will, without exception, tell you that they were just doing their jobs during those times when they risked life and limb to protect us.

I have known my wife’s Uncle Nick for over 35 years. A great guy, a retired automobile salesman, Nick has always been a fun guy to know. We get to see each other at least once a year at a Labor Day family reunion, and I have always enjoyed sharing some laughs with him.

In all that time, I never knew he had been in the military.

Last summer, my wife and I were visiting at Nick’s new home in Greenwood. He was gone at the time and his wife, Aunt Marilyn, was giving us a tour of their new place.

I noticed a plaque hanging on a wall in the hallway. On one side was a black and white photo of a trim young Uncle Nick in a United States Marine uniform. On the other half of the plaque was a print of the famous WWII photo of the Marines raising the US flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

I mentioned to Marilyn that I had never known that Nick was in the Marines. “Oh yeah,” she replied, “He was all over the Pacific back then. He went to Guam and Tarawa and Iwo Jima and a few other places.” She mentioned it so casually, it almost sounded like a cruise itinerary.
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The Trouble with Taking a Knee

flag & v-sign

Hell must have frozen over.

My old buddy Mike, the most rabid football fan I have ever known, stopped watching the NFL this season.

“I can’t watch that crap anymore,” he told me recently.

This is a man who lives for football. A man who sinks into post-partum depression every February a week after the Super Bowl.

But his wife is thrilled. Now Mike takes her out to eat on Sundays.

My buddy is just one of millions of NFL fans who are tuning out their favorite sport. They are too irritated by the kneeling protests during pre-game ceremonies. Continue reading

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Celebrating Another Ungrateful Thanksgiving: America 2016

My younger grandchildren always enjoyed watching videos of Jay-Jay the Jet Plane. If you don’t have small children around the house, you may not be familiar with Jay-Jay, but trust me, he is really big with the pre-school crowd.

But I became troubled recently while I was watching a holiday-themed Jay-Jay video with one of the kids.

Jay-Jay and his friends were flying around (as they so often do) while discussing the meaning of Thanksgiving. Jay-Jay didn’t understand the concept of being thankful, or even what to be thankful for.

His little jet-friend Tracy set him straight, to some degree, by reminding him of the good things in his life and teaching him to appreciate his friends, his job, and the comforts of home at Tarreytown airport.

What bothers me is the fact that my grandchildren are being taught a lesson that is only two-thirds complete. Watching Jay-Jay, they will learn to count their blessings, and they will learn to be thankful for them – but aren’t these two concepts wasted unless they learn WHO to be thankful TO?

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Not Everything Can be True

Everybody has an opinion about God:

“It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere.”

“All religions worship the same God, just in different ways.”

“There are many different paths that lead to heaven.”

But there is a big problem with this whole “all religions are equally valid” concept – and that is the simple fact that two contradictory ideas cannot both be true at the same time.

It is true that many of the world’s religions share some common elements of morality, but to argue that all religions lead to the same God does not make any sense, since every religion paints such a unique portrait of who God is and how he operates.

I have heard otherwise intelligent people publicly proclaim that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God, just in different ways. Yikes! I suppose that is possible if God is schizophrenic! Continue reading

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Remembering a Fatherhood Past

My life changed forever on August 29, 1979, when my wife Peggy delivered a baby girl and turned me into a father. As I held that helpless babe, with her cute little pudgy nose and wrinkled face, I was overwhelmed by an awesome sense of responsibility.

Stephanie and me in 1979

I knew I was not cut out for this. Patience? Nurturing? Setting an example? This poor kid had no clue what I had gotten her into. But I sure did love that little girl, so I resolved to do my best as a father, however inadequate that might be.

Eighteen months later, Peggy blessed me again, this time with a son. Now there were two young minds full of mush, depending upon us for wisdom, guidance and encouragement! The  stakes were getting higher all the time, and I really wasn’t feeling any wiser or more patient or confident. Continue reading

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When the Political Process Gives You Lemons…

I am not happy about Donald Trump.Trump

I have voted Republican most of my life. Not because I necessarily believe that Republicans are more virtuous, but because they usually seem less dangerous than Democrats.

I embrace those traditional conservative values of smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation, which nourish individual liberty and prosperity.

I like liberty. I like prosperity. I want all of us to have the freedom to better ourselves in a country where the government gets out of our pockets and leaves us alone to do that “pursuit of happiness” thing we all like to talk about. Continue reading

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The Hypocrisy of Virtue

caterpillar

“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” – Charles Spurgeon

I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my little girl about a week after she started kindergarten.

Stephanie seemed upset as I was tucking her into bed that evening, so I asked her if anything was wrong. She looked at me sadly and said, “Daddy, it’s so hard to be good, and it’s so easy to get into trouble.”

Oh, little girl, truer words were never spoken!

I hated to have to tell her that she was right, and that it was pretty much the way life is. We are never more than one step away from stepping in it, and the road we travel in this life is fraught with peril.

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Apple vs FBI: Why Apple Needs to Give It Up

Victims

The 14 victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

If I murdered a few of my neighbors and hid their bodies in my basement, should I be able to invoke my right to privacy to prevent the police from searching my home?

If I was laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel, could I invoke my right to privacy to keep police from looking at my bank records?

The obvious answer to these questions is a very reasonable “No.”

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Is It Really God’s Fault?

A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord.  (Proverbs 19:3, NIV)

distressed faceDo you know people who are always complaining?

No matter how much they try, things always seem to go wrong? Do they whine about how unfair life is? If it weren’t for bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all?

It is amazing how often people with this attitude will blame their troubles on God. They say things like, “I don’t know why God is punishing me this way,” or “If God is supposed to be so good and loving, where is he? Why is my life so messed up?”

The people who say these kinds of things are missing an important point: You cannot blame God for the condition of your life if you have never allowed him to be in charge of it.

If your life is a train-wreck, you need to ask yourself, “Who has been running the locomotive for all these years?”

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