Here I am in my happy spot again on this tropical, secluded southwest Florida island on the Gulf of Mexico. I lived most of my life thinking I would never have an opportunity like this, even once. So, coming here for the sixth time in about a dozen years is a tremendous treat.
There is much to like about hanging out here. It’s warm. I like warm and Patty really likes warm. (She is comfortable for about two days in August.) I like sunshine and struggle with the climatological blues called SAD. I also like that warm glistening big drink of water called the Gulf of Mexico. I am looking at it now. I like walking in the sand, splatting in the water, looking for interesting shells, soaking up the rays, and taking in the sunsets.
I like the laid-back vibe of being able to pretty much forget shirt and shoes for a few days. I like meeting other relaxed folks about my age from all over the country and even other nations. I like the foliage. It’s a lot of color and plants that are unseen where I live. I like eating meals outside on the deck and at open-air restaurants. It’s laid back, low key, and not crowded. There are no high rises permitted on the island. The are no theme parks and pretty much no businesses. The best days are the days we don’t do anything or go anywhere because you just can’t beat where we already are.
We will, however, go somewhere in a little bit, a favorite local spot on the Intercoastal Canal for a dinner out. Patty deserves a break once and while.
I am a big believer that everyplace needs to be our happy place. It takes more than a location or a comfy climate to make us happy. It takes an attitude.
I also believe we need to find a little rest, relaxation, and renewal every day. We need to find some things that feed our soul.
Then, once and awhile, we need to do something a little crazy like go to a tropical island.
It was about a month ago we were there.
Saw this somewhere and decided to take the challenge. Jesus. Christianity is based on Jesus, not a church or a prescribed set of beliefs. Love. Christianity is based on love, loving God, loving others (especially those we do not understand), and loving ourselves (in a healthy, non-arrogant sort of way,… Continue reading
Easter is about life. It’s about the rebirth of Spring and Christ’s resurrection culminating in ultimate victory over sin, Satan, and the last enemy, death. We have been celebrating this for a couple of millennia, and we should. But there is one more slice of life that deserves celebrating…this life,… Continue reading
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I can’t say that I wasn’t warned about discussing religion and politics. A large chunk of the responses I have received when have I written about those topics has been discouraging. It was not because people disagreed with me, but because they obviously did not read the entire post or… Continue reading
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We are living in strange times, aren’t we? I certainly did not want for anyone to take an unnecessary chance to be exposed to a disease that took my brother’s life. Also, an oversized chapel at the funeral home did not seem like the right setting for what would have… Continue reading
Plague / Conspiracy Caution / Frivolity Fear / Foolishness Scientists / Politicians Facts / “News” Reality / Spin Gaff / “Clarification” Understanding / Accusation Poor / Lazy Caring / Bleeding Hearts Honest / Racist Rule of Law / Trending Topic Comply / Refuse Rant / Resolve Snarky / Civil Demonize… Continue reading
It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. It’s hard to say why, since emotions can be hard to figure out, but it is safe to say some of these things have had an effect on me an many others. Covid has cancelled all festive events; for many it has had… Continue reading
Every year when Christmas rolls around, I feel like I should feel something; something warm and cozy that evokes a sense of joy, gratitude, and peace. Usually, things are just too busy for me to get around to that until very late in the season. There are those moments late… Continue reading
I have had a crisis of faith. Oh, I haven’t gone completely heathen, but there have been drastic changes about how I believe and express my faith. Losing some of the simplistic, clear beliefs that I embraced for most of my life is a kind of loss that has been… Continue reading
I am looking at the edges of the earth. My panoramic view is so spectacular that it is rounded off at the edges. Even better, it’s the Gulf of Mexico. Better yet, I am sitting on the patio of the villa we have rented for the week. The warm Gulf… Continue reading
Writing is my therapy. So, as I kick back on the couch, would you mind asking me “And how does that make you feel?” every once and a while? I appreciate it. I get anxious sometimes, even depressed. I have some good runs, some for weeks, sometimes months. Other times, I… Continue reading
What makes a great story? You have to have a protagonist, someone who has a good heart. He is determined to solve the crime and get the bad guys off the street. He works really hard at being a good father and husband. She is unafraid to stand up to… Continue reading
Hey ya’ll! Yes, that is a southern greeting! And yes, I am in the south. The southern portion of the Appalachians in Northern Georgia, more particularly, the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. When I say I am in the mountains, I mean I am in the midst of a majestic mountain… Continue reading
Honestly, I impressed myself just a couple of days ago when I said, “ I don’t need my opinions re-enforced, I need them to be challenged.” I patted myself on the back and felt very “woke.” So much goes into developing those opinions, our upbringing, our life circumstances, our friends… Continue reading
Kenosha, Wisconsin (pop.100,164, about 150,000 with suburbs)) is our nearest city at about 10 minutes away. We are there several times a week. It was a manufacturing city that has successfully re-invented itself as a distribution center and tourist destination. It’s growing. The downtown is rapidly redeveloping and the Lake… Continue reading
I’m a t-shirt, shorts, flip flop, beach sort of guy who likes it toasty outside and air-conditioned inside. This summer has miraculously come through. That’s downright rare to have consistently warm weather here in the upper Midwest on the shores of Lake Michigan. What a wonderful gift in the midst… Continue reading
Covid death and confusion. Deadly plague or sort of just the flu, but different. The U.S. leads the world, but in a bad way. Economy in the toilet. Workers with no jobs. Entrepreneurs and companies giving up the ghost. Schools, sports, even the NFL. No one knows what to do.… Continue reading
It’s demoralizing when you take a step in good faith only to find out that it was a mistake and then realize that we need to change your route. That’s where hundreds of thousands of people have found themselves in relationship to their faith and the institutional church. So, I… Continue reading
We just wished America a happy birthday. She is a magnificent lady, but she is starting to show her age. There are a few tell-tale signs that everything is not working as good as it used to. It is one of those concerns that I would like to address today.… Continue reading
The rage over George Floyd’s death at the hands of local police officers has consumed our national psyche as it revived the demand for racial justice and reformation of our law enforcement system. It was the recent spark that re-ignited protests, violence, as well as scoffing by some who just… Continue reading
The glue of our society is brittle. Under the pressure of various crises, the cracks have widened and things are beginning to break apart. A virus has killed over 100,000 Americans. Yet, we are re-opening the economy even though the number of cases (and deaths) is continuing to rise in… Continue reading
Today will be a departure from the COVID pandemic of disease, information, misinformation, varied projections, confusing advice, and conspiracy theories. Instead, I want to talk about my gallbladder. Hold on there, partner! Don’t skip to the next marvelous insight from the internet because much wisdom came from my encounter with… Continue reading
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The Super Bowl for Christians Only every year your team wins A big party with lavish religious productions A happy time with colorful eggs oddly laid by rabbits A celebration of new clothes and new life An empty cross and an empty tomb Hope. Life. Victory. Only this year is… Continue reading
Life has we have known it for all of our years has been suddenly and severely altered. If you are working, you are vulnerable. If you are locked down at home, everything about your daily routine has been changed. We feel like we are living in a syfy novel in… Continue reading
Response: any behavior of a living organism that results from an external or internal stimulus. What do our responses to this pandemic and our staying at home to lessen its impact tell us about ourselves? Honestly, I believe we tend to have an initial knee-jerk reaction that is more related to… Continue reading
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It’s an oxymoron. How can you be social and distant? Do social media and technology finally attain a higher purpose? Perhaps, though they have so many limitations. There is no substitute for physical proximity and eye-to-eye contact. Social distancing is an odd term. Very clear and very imperative in one… Continue reading
“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” – ancient Chinese proverb This is the post that I have been wanting (and dreading) to write for months. It violates that age-old admonishment to avoid discussing religion and politics. If fact, they may be the two most… Continue reading
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The call comes.Everything changes.A flurry of activity ensues. Sunken cheeks.Is she aware?Is she there? Each breath scrutinized.Sit and watch.Was there a slight change? Nurses care.Hospice explains.We speak words of love, not knowing if they are heard. Even the aids kiss her forehead as tears roll down their faces.Our hearts melt.We love their love. Faith and… Continue reading
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We miss a lot. Life is busy. Let’s be honest, it’s hard not to think about what we are going to do next, even when someone is pouring out their heart to us. We can be so agenda driven that we only think about the end goal and regard the… Continue reading
We have all heard that it is unwise to talk about religion and politics. However, when you think about their far-reaching effect, it is unwise not to talk about religion and politics. We just need to learn how to do it without hating people or concluding they are crazy. Continue reading
Note: This is a synchroblog in which several people contribute their thoughts on the same topic. This time the topic is unity, how the church can foster unity among its various factions and our divided nation. At the end of this post is a list of links to the other… Continue reading
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The more I heard of Senator McCain’s story, the starker the contrasts became between the man who tried to become president and one who is president. One was born into a family of service with a glowing history of military careers. The other was born into a life of privilege… Continue reading
The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Charles Krauthammer may be practically forgotten and long gone from the internet’s trending topics by now. Yet, they deserve to be remembered. They were artists who, to the best of my knowledge, never painted a portrait or sculpted a bust. They used words, reasoning,… Continue reading
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Recently, I was face-to-face with someone I thought highly of and we were in the midst of a serious disagreement about political issues. It has happened several times with several people. While I enjoy a good open discussion, I don’t enjoy these encounters. In these situations, I am usually shocked… Continue reading
When Fox News anchor Shepard Smith was asked about the opinion side of Fox News in a recent Time Magazineinterview he ruffled some feathers when he replied: “We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side.… Continue reading