What about 2016?

So we’ve entered another year.  Some of us are anxious.  Some of us are afraid.  Some of us are overwhelmed with the prospect of all that needs to be done in 2016.  What will 2016 have in store for us?   I believe if we turn to Scripture God has given us the insights we need to make 2016 a wonderful year.   I find myself turning to four scripture verses as I think about 2016.  I would like to share them with you.   I believe that God has a plan.   Refer to James 4:13-15:  Now listen, you who say “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?   You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say

Moses, A Man with Limitations

  Everyone has limitations, but we cannot let those limitations determine who we are.  The key is being self-aware.  I am convinced that the most important piece of furniture in our homes is our mirror.  We should routinely look in the mirror and do an honest self assessment to determine what are our strengths, and what are our weaknesses and limitations.  We should aggressively pursue candid feedback from our peers, our colleagues, our bosses, and our subordinates.  This is termed a 360 assessment.   Once we are aware of our limitations, we have many ways to work thru those.  One way is to get some additional education or experience that will allow us to improve those weaknesses.  We should always be looking for ways to improve ourselves.   Another way is to surround yourself with folks who have strengths in those areas where you fall short.  Allow them to compensate for your limitations.   Another way

The True Meaning of Christmas

On this Christmas Day let’s think about the true meaning of Christmas.  Sure, we’ll open our presents and enjoy a wonderful meal.  We will marvel at the beautiful Christmas decorations.  We will have a wonderful time with Family and friends.  That’s all great.   Let’s just carve out time on Christmas day to pause and reflect on the wonders of the day.   John 3:16 says it best:  “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”.   That is the ultimate “gift” and the ultimate sacrifice.  We can rest assured knowing that God has a place for us in Heaven and we can take great comfort knowing that our sins have been forgiven.   Let’s think about that gift, and what it means to all of us.  And…let’s commit to sharing that gift with folks God puts

Giving

I am confused.  We just finished Thanksgiving,  a time when we as Americans supposedly express our thanks for all that we have….family, friends, good health, prosperity, etc.  Then we went into a frenzied cycle of spending….Black Friday (that actually started on Thanksgiving evening), Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday (that turned into  Cyber Week in some cases).  Then finally we celebrated “National Giving Tuesday”.   What is wrong with this picture?  Don’t we have it backwards?  Shouldn’t we give first….and then spend?  It would seem to me that we should give thanks on thanksgiving….and then give to those folks less fortunate than us.   I recently gave a high school commencement address.  I told the graduating seniors that I hoped that they woud be successful, but for the right reasons.  I hoped that they would be successful because (1) they would reach positions where they could touch more lives and be more influential, and

Happy Thanksgiving

We all have so very much to be thankful for.  We must take the time this Thanksgiving to pause and reflect on what those things are, and give thanks.  Sometimes it's easy to feel sorry for ourselves.  Maybe things are not going exactly the way we would like them to, but that is life.  Let’s concentrate, at least for one day, on the good things we have and should be thankful for.  And let’s dedicate ourselves to helping those less fortunate.   We should all be thankful that we live in America.  With all the problems we are having today, we still live in a free society.  We can express our opinion, worship where we want, vote for who we want…. all the things guaranteed in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.  Many folks take those freedoms for granted.  Sarah and I had many opportunities to be with folks who

What to do about the Syrian Refugees

We as a Nation are struggling to determine what we should do to assist the Syrian refugees as they flee the Assad regime in their home country.  There are tens of thousands of people who need our help.  Remember that they want what we want….freedom from fear.  They want to be able to raise their families in a safe and secure environment.  They want to be able to provide for their families.  There is a humanness dimension to all of this.  We cannot turn our backs on them.   We built on Nation by helping others.  The poem on the Statue of Liberty says it all:   Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!   This has become our National heritage. 

The Future of our Nation

It is clear to me that the future of our Nation lies in the hands of our children and their children.   We have an obligation to ensure they are prepared to pick up where we leave off.   I am very concerned about what I am seeing these days in our some of our youth, primarily in the area of respect for authority.   When I hear stories about what is going on in the classrooms, I cringe.  We see numerous instances where children are being disrespectful of their teachers.  They are being unruly, causing problems, and just not paying attention.  What is going on?  I remember when I was a kid; if you acted up at school you got a whooping there…and then another one when you came home.  I knew that respect for teachers was non

What is Truly Important!

Throughout my career in the US Army, I distributed a quote from W. Peter Blitchington.  It reads: “No one is indispensable or irreplaceable at work….anyone from the lowliest yard worker to the highest executive, could easily be replaced and few tears would be shed.  The most important person in the US---the Presidency---is rotated every four years with little mourning.  But try replacing a son or daughter, a mother or father, a husband or wife without grave psychological damage.  For it’s in our homes that we are needed; it’s to our family that we are important.”   That quote was widely distributed thru out my commands.  I think it made people stop and think about how they were living their lives, and to ask themselves how were they doing with their priorities.   I tried to ensure that everyone that worked for me understood my personal priorities.  My priorities have always been (and remain

Honoring Our Defenders

Sarah and I spent time last week with the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF).  We are on Gary Sinise’s Advisory Board and Ambassadors for the Foundation.  Gary Sinise is an amazing humanitarian.  Folks know him as an accomplished actor.  We know him as a great human being who always focuses on taking care of others.  He places service above self, everyday.   It is amazing what the GSF has accomplished in four short years.  They focus on honoring our Nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.  Gary always says we can never do enough for our Nation’s defenders, but we can always do a little more.  It is wonderful to be part of the Gary Sinise Foundation and I urge you to see what you can do to help them in their efforts.   Calvin Coolidge, our Nation’s 30th President said “A Nation that forgets it’s defenders will soon itself
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