It’s overcast, but I think there will still be a nice view of the sunset from my backyard, which is currently the Gulf of Mexico. Life is tough sitting here barefoot on the cottage deck as I write about relaxing.
The beach appears from here to be nearly empty. The intermittent rain showers have kept beach-goers a little tentative. Now that evening is upon us, there won’t be much more activity, until the sunset. That’s when you pull up your chairs to the beach, sip a glass of wine, and get your camera or phone ready for nature’s spectacular climatic display.
It is very quiet except for the intermittent pitter-patter of sprinkles on the awning over my head. Then there is the neighbor’s dog, a sweet lonely sounding puppy. I wish I could recue him.
This place is such a contrast to where I really live, the land of the reluctant spring, but then we are pretty much at the other end of the country. There is stuff to be done at home.
Here it’s hard not to be mesmerized by the vastness of the ocean, the dive bombing seagulls, or the occasional dolphin or manatee. At the edge of the sea, the waves, the churning of the shells and the tingling sound they make as they roll back into surf will hypnotize you. It’s easy to stand or sit, look and listen, and feel like you are doing something when you are doing nothing at all.
Just as there is value in work and accomplishment, there is also value in doing nothing. It’s called rest and relaxation, and it is a beautiful thing.
I wrote this a few days ago when we were in Florida.
Our nation has had only one independent president. That’s right, only one who stayed out of the partisan fray and refused to be locked into a political ideology. He certainly had his principles and stuck to them, yet he understood the value of moderation. While non-partisan, he was far from … Continue reading
Our newspaper prints a summary of the obituaries on the front page along with celebrity birthdays. As I look as the obituaries, I say to myself, “older, older, older, younger, older, younger”, etc., depending if the deceased was older or younger than me. Then I glance at the celebrity birthdays … Continue reading
On March 3, 1991, in the wee hours of the morning three friends who had spent the night watching basketball and drinking were speeding on Interstate 210 in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. A California Highway Patrol unit gave chase, but the driver refused to pull over. The … Continue reading
Brian Zahnd is a pastor in my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, and he is about the same age as me. In his newest book, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Brian takes on some issues that have been mysterious and troubling for me, and countless others. The … Continue reading
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I have been fascinated by the concept of repurposing ever since our weekend visit to Mineral Point, Wisconsin about three years ago. It was a bleak time of year, like now, in the middle of February when we made that trip. We surprisingly discovered that many of the shops and … Continue reading
“After telling me how to live my life, who to love, what to believe, what not to believe, what to do and what not to do and now you sit back and the prostitutes don’t matter? The grabbing the you-know-what doesn’t matter? The outright behavior and lies don’t matter? Just … Continue reading
In this supposed golden age of television, I am having a hard time finding programs I want to watch. Having recently switched to Amazon Fire Stick and Hulu Live, I have found a few movies and series that are pleasant new discoveries, but it seems the vast majority misses … Continue reading
For about thirty years, I have thought something was wrong with the way we practice Christianity. At first, I thought the church’s methods were out of date. They were, but that was not the problem. Then, I thought the way we did church was sad proof that we didn’t … Continue reading
The market is up. Immigration is down. Some people are thrilled. Others think we are led by a scary clown. The United States isn’t. Divisions abound. Legislators are cowards. Or else they vote everything down. Congressmen and senators hold to the party line. They are such a letdown. Volatile … Continue reading
I have read and written so much about matters of faith for so many years that I finally got tired of it. I felt like that’s pretty much all I have to say on the topic. In the process, I fell in love with writing and began writing about other … Continue reading
It’s time to hang the new calendar on the wall! it’s a good time to briefly celebrate the victories, recall the blessings, forgive those who have hurt us, forgive ourselves as necessary, and move on to 2018. For the new year, I have adopted three values that I want to … Continue reading
It’s so pervasive. Songs, shopping, Santa. Sometimes we feel it. Sometimes we don’t. Warm memories fill our hearts. Sad realities replay over again in our minds. It’s fun. It’s obligatory. Rooted in faith. Embedded in culture. Yet, it is real. Though, we have made it fake. It was … Continue reading
Do you have a mantra,a frequently repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism? I do. It has been my personal focus for quite some time. I wrote it down and remind myself of it daily. Here it is. Peace. Love. Joy. Peace. I am at total peace with God, so I will be at peace with … Continue reading
One of my gifts as a writer is being to identify what is wrong. Unfortunately, it is a common gift. Most people need very little prompting to complain because it is vastly more difficult to suggest a positive way forward and become part of the solution. It is time for … Continue reading
My favorite breakfast place in the world is The Coffee Pot. What’s not to love? The food is fabulous, the menu interesting, the location full of character and charm, and the service is dependably friendly and efficient. So, I decided to meet with owners, Julie Zorn and Janis Barnhil to … Continue reading
Patty and I are at that time in life when the Christmas festivities have slowed down, a least, a little bit. We don’t have as many family obligations and they are for the seceding generations, rather than the preceding ones. We have also worked to pare things down. Patty … Continue reading
I was tired. Really tired! I might even have experienced heat exhaustion. Anyway, it was hot, ninety-five degrees to be exact, and I was exhausted. Moving dirt, laying sod and pushing a lawn roller filled with water is hard work even when it is not scorching. But I feel fulfilled … Continue reading
This was my column in the Kenosha News in February, but is still very relevant. We have a very energetic president who currently lives alone, doesn’t require much sleep, works weekends, and tweets before most people are awake. So, there is no telling what may have happened in the intervening … Continue reading
How did this happen? How did Donald Trump get elected? Certainly, we were presented with two historically unpopular candidates in the general election. It appeared that a good many of the votes cast for these candidates were really expressions of opposition toward the other candidate. I have lost track of how … Continue reading
It’s been a stormy one hundred days for Mr. Trump. His approval ratings have plummeted as the administration seems to bring us a new surprise every day. Two years ago, how hard would it have been to believe that Donald Trump would be President of the United States? In his … Continue reading
What is the most important thing in life? Is it how you treat others? Is it how well you love people? Is it living life to its fullest? Is it being true to yourself? Is it having no regrets? Is it preparing for the next life? Is it what you … Continue reading
I have become a bona-fide winter hater. I didn’t used to mind it much, but after weathering sixty-three of them, I have had it with winter. Short days, slippery roads, and snow blowing the driveway give me no joy. My body aches more. I eat more. I sleep more. I … Continue reading
I have thought about it many times. For over two decades, church was my life, and my employment. But I have had very little to do with the institution called “the church” for the last ten years. For most of my life, most of my friends were church friends, most … Continue reading
The view from the mayor’s office on the third floor of the municipal building is impressive. Harbor Park is on full display on one side and downtown on the other. It is just high enough to be grand, but not so high that you can’t see a lot of detail … Continue reading
How does a follower of Christ respond to a President Donald Trump? What is the role of church in the age of Trump? The evangelical leaders who endorsed Trump looked oblivious and uncaring because he so obviously violated Christian values and even common decency back when he was candidate Trump. … Continue reading
This question is probably more important than you realize, because it applies to more than novels and screenplays. It’s a question that rolls around in my mind from time to time since I have a written a novel and am writing another. Hopefully, before long I will have the courage, … Continue reading
How do you experience community, if you don’t go to church? That’s one of the questions I am asking myself as I am trying to figure out what I believe at this point in my life; and I have an answer: like everyone else. I enjoy people and connect with … Continue reading
I felt alive yesterday. Today, too, for that matter. By the way, just because you are alive, doesn’t mean you feel alive. Our winter has been mild. It snowed a few times in December and was quite cold, but January and February have been odd months; mild, thirties and forties … Continue reading
Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a good day for me ask myself an important question. Is it an over simplification to sum up living life in way of Jesus with the word, “love”? My beliefs and faith practices have undergone such a dramatic change over the last few years that … Continue reading
Aunt Twila squealed when she hugged you. Really, it was her hearing aid that squealed. She was profoundly hard of hearing from a childhood illness and had just a bit of a speech impediment, as a result. As my mother-in-law was high strung and industrious, her sister, Twila, was laid … Continue reading
He was a little short guy who always sported a mischievous grin and always carried a few hundred dollar bills in his wallet. While generally a quiet person, he was not afraid to speak his mind when he decided it was necessary to do so. A repository of homespun wisdom, he would often preface … Continue reading
Off hand I can’t recall much I learned in high school. I suppose if someone quizzed me I might be surprised what all I did remember. But forty-five years later, I certainly remember two teachers. Mr. Blakely was a very intellectual and savvy sort of guy. He taught International Relations … Continue reading
Dan Stika lives a full life doing the things he loves and giving back to the community. He has lived in Kenosha for all of his seventy-six years. After he retired, Dan decided to obtain his undergrad degree. He enjoyed the experience so much that he went on to get … Continue reading
Unfortunately, I believed some myths about downtown Kenosha. Maybe, you have, too. Downtown is not dead. It is a vibrant, entrepreneurial business community. If you haven’t been there for awhile, then revisit your downtown. Catch lunch at Loula’s or the Buzz Café. Plan a night out enjoy dinner at Wine … Continue reading
Free Range Faith is a companion memoir for people who have left the institutional church, but not the faith. Glenn Hager addresses the question, “Is there a more real and meaningful way to try to follow Jesus and express your faith without having to deal with all of the baggage … Continue reading
Interested in Jesus, but not the church? Used to go, but not anymore? Find the whole church scene irrelevant? You may be one of the 38 million individuals who stopped attending church in the last decade in The U.S. With honesty and a wry wit, Glenn Hager tells his story … Continue reading
The inauguration ceremony just wrapped up, but many Americans feel the nightmare is just beginning. About the same number of citizens, think they have finally been heard. How in the world can this nation find a way forward when one half disdains, belittles, and shuts out the other half, and … Continue reading
Honky Tonk Romance is an excerpt from my novel-in-the making about identity theft. It’s a side story that adds a little background information about one our private investigators as he and his mentor fly from Tampa to Nashville. At an unseemly hour I met Jeff at his place and we took his … Continue reading
Here are a couple of short excerpts from a novel I have been working on. The first one sets up the story of a private detective’s first day on the job, fulfilling his state mandated internship working with a seasoned investigator. Together they meet their new client at a classy … Continue reading
There seemed to be a collective sigh of relief as 2016 wound down last Saturday. Good riddance weird and surprisingly awful chunk of time. Thirty-three percent of Americans felt the nation got worse over the course of the year. The Top Ten news stories of 2016 were: U.S. election Brexit … Continue reading
Here is my column in the Kenosha News published October 16th. I am writing from my hometown, St. Joseph, Missouri. Yesterday, I was honored to have a small role in the memorial service for my favorite uncle. The day before, my mom and I began hospice care for my ninety-year-old … Continue reading
Sometimes life gets our attention. In fact, it may be God who is getting our attention. Sometimes something happens that forces us out of our regular pattern of activity and causes us to reflect. I’m there right now. My dad’s death was a big part of the things that got … Continue reading
Wisconsin has something special to offer to the rest of the world, besides the Packers and cheese. It is the supper club capital of the world. While these dimly-lit destinations from decades gone by are an upper Midwest phenomenon, Wisconsin hosts by far the largest concentration. The Badger State is … Continue reading
Tomorrow is the big day when Americans will vote for a terrible person so the other more terrible person does not win. The political parties, the media, and the special interests got what they wanted. They have propagandized people so their supporters think those who differ with them are idiots. … Continue reading
I am openly proclaiming my total and complete lack of support for Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Clinton has proven herself to be untrustworthy and Trump and proven himself to be reprehensible. Though every election is touted to be historic, this one certainly is. It is historic in relationship to … Continue reading
Here are the remarks that I shared at my Dad’s funeral on October 25th. My Dad did things right. If he took on a job, he did it right. He would give attention to detail and put in the time required to complete the task to the very best of … Continue reading
Just a few weeks ago, my wife and I were living in the paradise that is the gulf coast of southern Florida. We spent ten days living on the beach of a little known barrier island that is one of the last remaining pieces of “Old Florida.” “Old Florida” … Continue reading
Have you ever surprised yourself? What I am really talking about is change. I usually fight change, but appreciate it in retrospect. I used to think that art museums and galleries were a waste of time. Now I am the one who who moves the slowest when we visit one. … Continue reading