Special Request …


David Greer is an author, professional connection, and a truly good person.  Over at the Lead Change Group, he has shared a blog post with the news that his friend John Ridsdel, a Canadian hostages held by Islamic terrorists, has been killed.  David shares openly and very personally about his reaction and the learning that he has experienced from this event.  It’s a must read.

David also noted that a fund for girl’s education has been established in honor of his friend.  You can read the announcement from his blog post below. 

My friend John Ridsdel truly believed that woman were equal in our world. To honour John and that belief, his sister and two daughter’s have started a memorial fund to support girl’s education, protection and empowerment around the world. Should you wish to support this initiative, here is the link to the donation page:


 I only ask that you consider memorializing John by contributing to this fund as you are able.


Just In Case …

Feeling a little overwhelmed by life this fine Monday morning?

A little perspective setting …

Not saying your personal dragons are not fearsome beasties or that the fire they breathe does not burn … but the reality is twofold:

1)  They could be bigger and more fearsome.

2) How you deal with your dragons is the issue, not how much fire they breathe.

Getting ready to do battle with my own herd of fearsome beasties in the Heartland ….


Playing With Loaded Dice … ?

“I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe.”

Albert Einstein in The Born-Einstein Letters (1971).

Number seven in the great-quotes.com 100 most popular quotes list.  The direct quote is “I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice,” but Einstein often used variations of this quote and indeed spoke it differently to different parties.

A comforting thought and much in line with current scientific thought which places an order on the universe, even when we cannot see it.

We do seek order in our universe, don’t we?

When things happen that affect our sense of safety, stability, and reason, we look for answers, for causes, for reasons why things are the way they are.

When our careers go all awry, we wonder why our plans have derailed.  When the causes are global, we see a lack of ability to affect those global causes and feel helpless.

When relationships go south, we ponder on the deeper meaning of the dissolution.  Human nature being how it is, once a relationship has changed, returning it to a former state is just not possible.   

When we fail in any respect, we often feverishly look for answers.  We mistake the knowledge of why we failed with the action we need to avoid future mistakes.  These are not always the same things.  

However, not everyone seeks reasons for why things are the way they are, do they?

In some recent posts, I’ve ranted just a bit about the popular use of phrases such as ‘It is what it is” and “There it is”.  Besides all the vague pronouns which cloud communication in these phrases, the underlying message of helplessness also irritates me.

Maybe Einstein was speaking to that tendency to feel helpless in the face of events and situations which do not fit neatly into most of our lives.  When we feel helpless, we fall back on a shrug of the shoulders and an innocuous statement about the whims of the universe.

Both the constant seeking for answers and giving in to the helplessness are less than ideal responses, at least sometimes.

The trick is, as it so often turns out, to find when the cause of something is not knowable to us and when we are just afraid we can’t deal with whatever is happening.

Solutions come after you figure out which situation you are in.

Feeling alternately competent and not so much in the Heartland ….



Getting Up The Next Day …

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

Vince Lombardi  As quoted in Into the Gauntlet (2010) pg. 181

Well, it might be a little about HOW you get up too …

In one of those little life coincidences, this quotation comes in the order the day after I learn of a dear friend’s cancer.   My thoughts over the past day have been much about how we deal with what life presents to us.

We will get knocked down … as sure as God made little green apples.

No surprises there.  Life has an apparent randomness to it and events happen without notice, without reason, and without checking first to see who deserves a better deal.

I hate this phrase, but it fits:   “It is what it is.”

Railing about the unfairness of something does little to address the reality.  Being upset may feel good for a while, but that gets old rather quickly.    Despair only leads down and that spiral does not end well.

So how to get back up when you are lying flat on your back with the wind knocked out of you?

Here’s one prescription from another dear friend and the husband:

“In the meantime we are focusing on healing prayer/meditation, right thinking, trusting God, and giving attention to the many avenues of health and support that are so very important. Thanks in advance for your love and care. It means so much in a time such as this.”

The simple faith, acceptance, and positive attitude I see in these words works for me.  If you are lying on the floor and struggling for breath over what life has handed you, maybe they will help you some as well.

Hurting and looking for comfort in the Heartland ….


“And This Too Shall Pass …”

“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.”

Winston Churchill  as quoted in The Prodigal Project : Book I : Genesis (2003) pg. 224

Remember the old joke?

When things are rough, just keep reminding yourself This too shall pass.”

When things are good, just keep reminding yourself This too shall pass.”

Like most really good humor, that joke is based on reality.  Churchill understands this.

Life is about the average.

We all experience some soaring ecstasy and transcendent moments.   Our brains tend to interpret these as fleeting.  We also all experience some “dark nights of the soul“, as Thomas Moore describes in his book of the same title.   Our brains try to convince us that these depths last for long periods.

Enjoy the highs and endure the lows.  Have patience and develop the ability to recognize when you are “up” and when you are “down“.  Figure out how you can tell the difference.

We also experience many days which lie between the two extremes.  Our days usually consist of some positive and some negative events, in various mixtures.

This is where we live our lives … and you control the math.

How you view your daily life events will produce an average which can reflect either a generally optimistic or a generally pessimistic line.

How are YOU doing on average?

Trying to stay ahead of the curve in the Heartland ….