Sunday, March 9, 2008

How Great Thou Art

It's been a while since I've been able to post. My current project has the contractor working 10 days on and 4 off. By the time I get my paperwork and reports up to date, I get three days to myself, but they have been going by awfully fast. Despite the current schedule, the contractor is falling behind so they announced last week that when they come back they will work 30 days in a row to catch up.

My wife decided that if I was going to be working that kind of a schedule, then we both needed to take a couple of days and get away. So she decided to book us for a couple of nights over in Grand Island, NE just because we had never been there before. As it turns out, Grand Island is right in the middle of the busiest flyway for migratory watefowl, including the Sand Hill Crane. I wish pictures could show or words describe some of the scenes we witnessed as we drove the back roads around Grand Island. At times the sky was just filled with Cranes, Snow Geese, Canadian Geese and ducks of all kinds. The sound was unbelievable. One thought kept coming to us over and over again..."How Great Thou Art."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Growing Through Grief

Today is my daughter Annette's 33rd. birthday. For 31 years I would wish her a Happy Birthday and get her a present. Last year, just a few weeks after her death, I was not able to do any more than just remember that it would have been her 32ond birthday. This year, Annette sent me a birthday present.

My wife reads a daily devotional called "Our Daily Bread" and today she shared this with me. I do not believe in coincidences. This was today's reading for a reason. This was Annette sending me a birthday present this year. This was God letting me know that He has Annette in His care, that He is there for me...always.

Here is today's reading from "Our Daily Bread".

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” Psalm 119: 71

A woman who lost her husband of 40 years to a sudden heart attack said that the resulting grief had caused her to value love more. When she heard couples arguing, she sometimes spoke to them, saying, “You don’t have time for this.” She noted that the wasted moments in all our lives become more precious when they cannot be repeated.

Grief changes our perspective on life. It is trite but true that how we deal with sorrow will make us either bitter or better. In a remarkable statement, the psalmist actually thanked God for a difficult experience: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word….It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” (Psalm 119: 67, 71).

We don’t know the nature of the psalmist’s affliction, but the positive outcome was a longing to obey the Lord and a hunger for His Word. Rarely can we use this truth to comfort those who hurt. Instead, it is the Lord’s word to us from His compassionate heart and the touch from His healing hand.

When we grieve, it feels more like dying than growing. But as God wraps His loving arms around us, we have the assurance of His faithful care. –David McCasland

I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the God of all comfort was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain. –Anon.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. –Psalm 116: 15

Happy Birthday Annette, I love you.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Political Correctness

I usually leave the political commentary to my brother and in my humble opinion he does a very good job of making people think. But I was sent this definition of "PC" by a very dear friend in Texas and felt obliged to pass it on for what it's worth.

The following is the 2007 winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A&M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term.

This year's term: Political Correctness."

Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Don't Count Your Chickens...

A picture truely is worth a hundred words.

They say pride goeth before a fall and in the case of the 18-1 Patriots this is certainly true. Just watch the clip of Tom Terrific responding to Plax's prediction of a Big Blue victory by a score of 20-17, or any of the Beantown bloggers who were predicting a humiliation of the G-Men of epic proportion. And make no mistake, this was a game of epic proportion, just not quite the way all the talking heads and sports pundits called it.

And even in the aftermath of one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time, one of the greatest upsets of all time, one to rival Broadway Joe's famous guarantee, many of the experts still can't give the Giants their due. I've heard all kinds of explanations and rationalizations to account for the Pats stunning loss. The fact is, the Giants were just plain better in all phases of the game and just gave New England an old fashioned a** whoopin'. They took 'em out behind the woodshed and tanned their hides. So hats off the the G-Men and let's not rush to crown Boston as the center of the sports world just yet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Game for the Ages

What a game. It was one of those games where you didn't want either team to loose. And though I am a Green Bay fan, I am a Giants fanatic. With only the slightest bit of regret because of all my friends in Hayward, I was a very happy camper yesterday evening. It was a crazy final few minutes of regulation and overtime. My phone kept ringing. My son, who is now stationed down in Mississippi, called several times to talk about high points and low points and missed calls. I heard from several friends back in Hayward, in fact Rollie called to watch the field goal kick in overtime and because his cable feed was about 4 seconds ahead of mine, he offered my a very gracious congratulations before I saw the ball being snapped from center. Thanks Rollie. And congratulations to all the Green Bay fans on an excellent season and a truly class football team.

Now lets hope all experts continue to give the Giants no chance to win like they have the last three weeks and see if the G-Men can be the fly in the Patriots ointment down in Arizona.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


When I was running and gunning, I can remember so many different times when I would be in a room full of people I had know all my life and feeling like I was all alone. I felt like there was a hole inside me that no amount of sex or drugs or rock and roll could fill. And I felt like none of the people in that room understood or even cared.

I have not felt that way for the last fourteen years. When I came into the rooms of AA fourteen years ago, I found a way of life that I can't imagine being without today. I found a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Since that day, these men and women have seen me through the first stages of my recovery. They loved me until I learned to love myself. They saw me throught the death and passing of my mom when I was about five years sober. They were with me when I found and married the love of my life, a wonderful woman who is also in recovery. They were with me when my grandma passed away, when my niece died last year and they were there for me when my own daughter passed away last year.

Through all the joy, through all the sorrow, from New York to California and from Alaska to Texas, these men and women have been there for me. I have never felt alone. I have never been alone.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

Well its the start of a another new year and the start to another new job. After three and a half years in Wisconsin, we find ourselves in Nebraska. It was very hard leaving all the friends we made there behind but I know there are many new friends here in Columbus that we just haven't met yet.
I haven't posted in a while due to all the packing, moving and regular holiday hubbub that comes along every year. But we made the move without incident and are getting nicely settled into our new apartment. I need to take a moment to remember my daughter Annette. One year ago yesterday, the Lord called her home. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't grieve her passing. I miss her so much. She was so special in so many ways. She was challenged, but never submitted to her challenges, she never gave in and she never gave up. Things for her in this life were never going to be the way she imagined them, they were never going to be the way she longed for them to be but that never stopped her from dreaming that some day her dreams would come true. She was just shy of her thirty-second birthday and left two young sons behind. But she left them with her mom. They will be well cared for and loved. Annette, you did your job. Your dreams did come true and now you can rest from your labors in the loving arms of your Lord and Savior. I know you accepted Jesus into your life and I know in my heart that He has taken you into His care. I am happy for you honey.