Sharing Good Ideas

Sep. 19, 2019

She had plans for this day, but time was cut short. It was a beautiful day on September 19, 1972, that Tara was born in the boot hill of Missouri. From infanthood to old age, one thing we all have in common is a recall of one special day each year we'd better not forget. Tara always wanted to be remembered on this particular date. She had not yet reached 45 but had anticipated this day for months with plans and hope. 

While death is an appointment, all must eventually face, we can celebrate life while we live. One of the saddest realities is that once the bar is crossed, only memories remain for there is no turning back. The accompanying photo was taken about six months after tragedy met rescue. She had come from homelessness to medical care demanding 15 prescriptions per month. The difference was remarkable. Health challenges became unbearable before being released from the dreaded anticipation of numerous back surgeries. 

Whether her death was hastened by mental anguish remains only in the survivors' imagination. While life is forgiving, death is not. My last words to my daughter were, "I love you." These are words which leave no regrets just in case they are the last to a friend or foe. So love, and kindness should be our goal in all our relationships. May we be reunited in the great beyond! Tara, you are remembered for all your blessings while you were with us who remain. For us, the best advice is that to honor the dead, serve the living.

Sep. 4, 2019

The human voice can be one of the sweetest sounds welcomed by receptive ears. The fact is especially true when the message profoundly alters the direction of our lives, continually corrects our course and motivates us to be our best. From my teenage years, no one has consistently supplied all the above qualities like Paul Harvey. Being focused on studies in Florence, Alabama, (now UNA) in the late 1960s, I missed my best opportunity to see and hear him in person. He has appeared in a dream or two. But, I hope to meet him in heaven!

Perhaps you have heard his story about his "submitting to God." At the height of his career in Chicago, he along with his bride, Angel took a vacation to Arizona. On Sunday morning, they drove up a mountain to visit a small ("a dozen or so worshippers") congregation. The "country preacher" offered to assist anyone who wanted to "be baptized." Paul came forward in response to childhood exposure to John 3:16 and later in life, John 14:15. 

Harvey is a hero who deserves emulation: Married to the same woman till death did them part. Humility, as in the above account. Disciplined, focused, loved, and friend to mainline America. He was dedicated to God, outspoken, and not ashamed.

Fortunately, we can still listen to many recordings like, "The Bird Cage," "So God Made a Farmer," "If I Were the Devil," "A Letter From God." So, on this day September 4, 1918, God blessed us with the birth of a great example in a man who was destined to influence millions to count their blessings, set an example of humble submission to the Creator and show how modern communication can be a real asset.

Aug. 25, 2019

Life is so precious while it is so easy to take for granted. You may be aware that my daughter, Tara, died early this year on January 5, 2019. She had mentioned numerous times that she believed I would outlive her. We often do not listen to off-the-cuff statements. They come back sometimes to haunt us. 

My sister sent this picture to me several weeks ago, suggesting she wanted it placed on Tara's tombstone. As I reflected on the past, it occurred to me how life contains many surprises, coincidences, and wonders. This picture was taken within a square yard of where I first met her mother in June of 1963. Had I been able to visualize the future, I wonder how wise I'd have been in playing my part in history. With such impossibility one lesson we might learn. Make the most of life while the opportunity is present. Within two months, one of my best friends, Patsy Andersen-Presley, lost her youngest son, Dustin. You may recall several previous posts concerning her on this website.

Regardless of how many times we meet and greet survivors of the one-way street of death, no words have been discovered to satisfy our wishes. The only way to fully be relevant and honor the dead is to serve the living with our best. That will be the criteria of final judgment.

Aug. 11, 2019

Imposing models speak well of the builders. The locomotive in the accompanying photo is a 1/48 scale model. That's the same scale as the two boxcars (Canadian National and Great Northern) on the "Arts and Crafts" page.

Jul. 30, 2019

After a long-anticipated trip with my brother, we returned from the Oshkosh trip. Always unexpected aircraft and events await the over half-million crowd. I had never been to the yearly event, but as always, positive things happen when one travels. It's been said that world travel for two years is like a four-year college course because of things learned.

Earlier (March 4, 2019) you may have noticed the story of Giles' homebuilt airplane. We visited the Sonex factory where the kit was designed and marketed for a private build. One event especially attracted my attention. The Blue Angels made two or three passes over the airport in Oshkosh. Here are some lessons in life and reminders. 

  • Be ready for an opportunity. The only chance makes the unprepared look ridiculous. With an iPhone in hand, why not grab a moment in time. With modern technology, we can immediately delete a photo. The accompanying photo is of the famous precision military flying team.
  • Be quick. Only seconds are available for an opportunity like this. This fact is one reason for hanging around an airport. The chance to experience any event is so fleeting yet often so memorable. Like life itself, you have one chance. Make the most of it. Live in the moment.
  • Ignore senseless controversy. Remember July 4, 2019, about our President's military parade? Trump made it clear before the 2016 election that we need a strong military so strong that no one would want to mess with us? Let that soak in. Government based upon fair principles for human welfare is Biblical as the powers that be bear not the sword in vain (Romans 13). 
  • Dispell myths. Often we may hear, "practice makes perfect." That's not necessarily so. Aren't we all practicing? Are we perfect? Only perfect practice makes perfect.
  • Be thankful. Some of the most valuable things in life are free, such as the air we breathe, love of friends and family, and life itself. Money cannot replace these. 

Overall the trip was meaningful and profitable. My motive was more profound than to experience the Nation's number one airshow. My real motive was to experience quality time with my brother!