Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! Folks ask me all the time what do I think is the most important holiday for our Nation's Veterans.  Veteran's Day?  Memorial Day?  I argue it is Independence Day....because that is why our Nation's military exists...to preserve those freedoms provided by those who proceeded us.  There are Americans who believe that our Nation will always be free.  That is not necessarily so.  There is no guarantee that our Nation will always be free.  There are groups across the world who despise our freedoms and our way of life, and we must fight, daily, to preserve our Independence.  That's what today should be all about....a grateful Nation who enjoys our freedoms and pledges to do whatever is necessary to keep them for our children and their children.  Enjoy the day...but remind each other that this thing we have called Independence came at a significant cost....and that even today

Smell the Roses

Last week Sarah and I took a week off to spend time with the Family on the beach in Port Aransas.  Focused on the Family...not on the emails or the next task at hand.  We had a blast with the three grandkids seen here walking, hand in hand, to the beach.  God's true blessings. Please ensure you are taking the time to stop and smell the roses.  Enjoy the day like it was your last one on earth.....because it might

North Korea

I am cautiously optimistic about the upcoming meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leadership.  The very fact that they are meeting is a move in the right direction.  I was there in Fulda Germany on 9 Nov 1989 when the Warsaw Pact crumbled and the East Germans came into Germany to experience freedom for the first time. I know it can be done, and I believe that is the direction we are heading on the Korean peninsula.  Let's all remain optimistic and hope / pray for a good

Memorial Day

I cringe every time someone uses the phrase Happy Memorial Day.  There is nothing happy about it.  It is the day when we as Americans are supposed to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the 1.2 million citizens who have given their lives in defense of our freedoms....153 of those under my command in Iraq. Freedom isn't free.  Someone has to pay the cost, and these folks did.  Let's ensure that we take the time today to tell our children, and their children about these great American heroes.  As Calvin Coolidge said The Nation that forgets it's defenders will soon itself be forgotten. Enjoy the time off.  Enjoy the days festivities with Family and Friends.  But remember....we wouldn't be able to have this fun day if someone had not sacrificed their lives to protect our

Take Both Knees

As a retired Army General, I am absolutely amazed at the amount of time we have dedicated lately to addressing the NFL and a handful of football players who are “taking a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem. We are a Nation at risk. We have active, external threats from Russia, North Korea, Iran and ISIS. We also have internal threats: from domestic terrorists, from a general lack of respect for law enforcement personnel, and from what seems to be an epidemic of divisive people trying to pit Americans against one another. With all of these problems affecting the Nation we love, why in the heck would we give so much of our attention to a few peaceful protesters? I can only come to one conclusion: We have lost our focus as a Nation. So how do we begin to regain that focus? I would recommend that we forget about

The Importance of Being Humble

“I’m worried.”   That seems to be the overwhelming sentiment of the day, and rightfully so. Our Nation is at risk. We are concerned, justifiably, about North Korea, Russia, Iran, ISIS, and many other external threats that are amplified hourly by the national media.  In addition, we face the internal threats of domestic terrorists, divisive people trying to divide our nation, and sometimes shocking lack of respect for our nation’s first responders.   But none of that is what worries me most right now. What worries me most is the way our nation’s leaders are behaving in the face of all of these threats.   Every day we see examples of our nation’s leaders acting less than humble, and as a longtime leader myself, that is what worries me. I know from experience—bolstered by the great lessons of history, and of my faith—that great leaders, strong leaders, leaders who actually accomplish positive things in the

Wrestle With Pigs

I find myself amazed every day with how our National leadership is engaging with a “war of words” on the international stage.   I don’t think that is useful or productive.   I learned many years ago that two things happen when you wrestle with pigs: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.  Unfortunately that is what is happening now in our dialogue with the North Korean leadership.  We are knee deep in the muck wrestling with him.   Our National leaders must show restraint in how they respond to his bellicose statements.  We must “rise above the fray”.  We must be careful with our words.  Words matter, and have serious consequences.   Just because he makes some silly statement doesn’t mean that we have to respond kind.  As always, we should consider the source prior to responding.   I have also learned that the higher up you go in an organizations the more carefully you must

Trusting God

Trusting God   We are finite, but God is infinite.  We must always remember that.  There are things that have happened, and will happen, that we just don’t understand.  That is OK.  We should just trust God and know that everything is happening for a reason.  God has a plan, we just don’t know what that plan is.   Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   That is the essence of inner peace.  Just “Let go, Let God”.  Don’t try to do it all yourself.  Turn it over to God and trust Him, knowing that He will make sure things happen the way he intends them to.   When I was in Iraq, I had a picture under the plexiglass

Growing Beyond One’s Sinful Nature

As it says in Romans 3:23,  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. “  We all have sinned, are sinning, and will continue to sin.  Paul laments in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”.  I find myself thinking those same thoughts everyday.   I am convinced that no one is perfect, and we all have our frailties and shortcomings.  I myself hate being around the “holier than thou” crowd.  They pretend that they are righteous and always without sin.  That is just not true.  1 John 1:8 tells us “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”   Why do we sin when we don’t want to and know that we shouldn’t.  The answer is obvious.  It is our very

Be Humble

Humility is a virtue that we should all have, and practice everyday.  I like both kinds of music……both country and western.  Tim McGraw’s song says it best…..always be humble and kind.  I wish we all did that.  Just imagine what a wonderful world this would be.   The line in Tim McGraw’s song sticks with me “When you get where you’re going, don’t forget- turn back around and help the next one in line”.  Our role is to ensure that we always focus on helping others.  Their success is our success.     Humility is mentioned 33 times in the Bible.  God tells us, many times, the importance of being humble.  Here’s a couple of examples: Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility values others above yourselves.”  In Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”   But my favorite verse is
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