The War Is Here …

Merry Christmas

For years, I have heard my conservative Christian friends rant about the supposed “War on Christmas“, which by default became part of a larger “War on Christianity“.  

Their proof seemed rather thin to me, consisting mostly of some people in some stores saying something seasonal other than “Merry Christmas” to them and actions by schools, organizations, companies, and public spaces to reflect and respect the reality and the diversity of American society, rather than some half-imagined and more idealized version.

I did not believe that any war was being waged on Christians in this country.

I was dead wrong … Continue reading

Fireside …

“Faith is what makes you feel the comfort of the hearth while you’re chopping the wood.”

Frank Clark

Just a little something to start your thinking off this fine, chilly Autumn morning.

Feeling a little like building a fire in the Heartland ….


Why Not …?

“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want.  It is instead the realization of how much you already have.”


I have been thinking about fulfillment lately.

Those kind of thoughts have been increasingly with me.  You know, the ones which start out  …

“I wish I had …”

“If only I could  …”

“Why can’t I …”

Sigh … so many unfulfilled desires, dreams, hopes … so little time and money.

One could spend a lifetime wanting what they do not have.   

Or I could spend my time thinking these kind of thoughts …

“I have …”

“I can …”

“Why not?”

Why do these kinds of thoughts seem so much harder to entertain?  Sometimes we seem hardwired to be pessimistic and “glass half full” types.

When I find myself falling into negative territory, I do three things:

1)  Fix my physical:   Eat better, sleep better, exercise more, and drink water.  Avoid sugar and snacking.  Clean up the house.  Do the chores.  Play with grandchildren.

2)  Fix my tangible:  What I can deal with, I try to face and do.  What I cannot deal with, I try to put aside.  Pay bills.  Repair things I can repair.   Make priority lists to help me decide.  Have guests for a meal.

3)  Fix my spiritual/emotional:  I seek comfort in positive thought, prayer, and trying to do good for others.  I go to church.  I volunteer to do things.  I seek the company of those I trust.

About that glass half full thing …

The pessimistic sees the glass half empty.  The optimist sees the glass half full.

The realist drinks the water,  and refills the glass, and drinks more until he is no longer thirsty.   I like that option.

Actually, I’d refill it with beer, but that’s another story for another time.

Having a long, cool drink of water 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 ….