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Archive for June, 2004

“…only a year to live.”

There’s a lady in our church – I don’t really know her – who heard those words recently. It seems that she has taken a medication for a malady for several years that has badly damaged her liver. Those are not words that anyone wants to hear. Upon reflecting on this situation, I prayed for this lady to have hope, if not for this earthly life, for the life she will have with her Lord.

I wonder how I would handle hearing those words. My first reaction is to travel to places that I have never been and do things that I have always wanted to do. How do you make the last year of your life “special.” I would love to go overseas. I would love to drive a motor home all across our great nation. All of that would be prohibitively expensive, though. But the more I think about it I don’t think any of that is as important as other things. If I only had a year left I would want to spend it entirely with my wife and kids. I would want to travel but only to visit special friends in my life. I think it would be important to me for everyone I love to know that. It would be important for the people that have influenced me throughout the years to know how much they meant to me. I don’t know if I would even tell them about “the time I have left” because I would not want pity or sadness. I would want everyone to know that they have reason to celebrate the day I go. They should know that I am in a better place. When it comes right down to it the doctors here do not really have all of the answers. I remember when they told my dad that he had 6 months to a year. He lived four or five years from that time. So we don’t really know, I guess. It’s all in God’s timing. And it is best that way.

On an unrelated note, Noah came in tonight and asked Rhonda and me if we knew Mrs. Zippy. Rhonda asked if she was married to Mr. Zippy. Then she helped him spell Mississippi. She apparently knew exactly what he was talking about. I was (am) still trying to figure out who Mrs. Zippy was.

Categories: Family, Religion

Jonah had a whale – the Cowboys have a tuna

I was talking to a friend the other day about the new cowboy stadium. We started talking about Bill Parcells and wondered how he came into the nickname of “The tuna”. After many long minutes of research I have found the answer – or at least what appears to be an answer.

Parcells also found time to address the burning question of how he got his nickname: “Big Tuna.” “I think it goes back to my first time with the Patriots,” said Parcells, who was New England’s linebackers coach in 1980. “There was an old commercial from Starkist with Charlie the Starkist Tuna, so my players were trying to con me on something one time, and I said, ‘You must think I’m Charlie the Tuna,’ you know, a sucker, and that’s kind of how it started. We started with it that year and they used to wear those little tuna helmets, you know, tuna pictures on their helmets. That’s where it all started.”

So there you have it. That is how he got his nickname. But if you think about, it he kinda looks like Charlie the tuna. A similarity with Jonah is that both the whale and the “big tuna” are, well, big. Also, the “big tuna” spat out a focused, disciplined playoff team which was formerly undisciplined and losing. The whale of course spat out a more focused and obedient Jonah who then went on to Ninevah. I think the two stories are similar after all.

On a different note, it seems the Buffalo Bills have got nothing on the Fightin’ Forney Jackrabbits. Two years ago we were in the state final game in both football and baseball and lost both to La Grange. This year we got beat again in the state final baseball game. Guess who beat us? Yeah, La Grange. It was to be our last chance at a Class 3A state championship. Now we are on to Class 4A.

Categories: Sports

Thoughts About President Reagan.

June 8, 2004 1 comment

He has been called many things: The Gipper, the Great Communicator, a giant of a man, Ronaldus Magnus. One thing is for sure. He was an extraordinary man and was a man for the times. I sit here transfixed by the ongoing memorials for Ronald Reagan and wonder why it affects me so deeply. I think it touches me on a number of levels.

Ronald Reagan was the first president that I voted for. I was in college and remember looking back over his first term and admiring what he had done for the country. He was a non-nonsense, shoot from the hip kind of guy that cleverly used humor to get his points across or deflect the arrows launched by his detractors. I will never forget his answer to a question raised about his age at an ’84 debate – “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” So was the way with President Reagan. He believed in lower taxes, smaller government, and holding a big stick. Who can deny his role in the dismantling of the Soviet Union? He is considered the father of the modern conservative movement. A lot of the conservative principles and convictions I have were his convictions that I made my own. He convinced me that across the board tax cuts will expand tax revenues. It just works. On the surface, it doesn’t sound like it would work but it does. He proved it. Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest presidents ever. Certainly, in the 20th century. I think history will bear that out.

On another level, I grieve with the Reagan family. Much has been said about the love affair between Ronald and Nancy throughout the years. Her devotion to him in the past 10 years is just inspirational. Having gone through this journey with him… recently she stated at a fundraiser for Diabetes research that “…in the past couple of months Ronny has gone to a place where I can no longer reach him.” How devastating must it be to lose your soul mate like that? How painful for his family that he did not recognize them? I heard that right before he passed, he opened his eyes (which had not been done in five days) and looked into Nancy’s eyes. She was sitting there holding his hand. Reportedly, his eyes were not the cloudy, dazed eyes that were off somewhere else but those that had a spark of recognition. He wanted one last look of the love of his life. Then he was gone.

Still, on another level, it amazes me of how much love is being poured out onto his family and memory by people like you and me. I don’t guess it should amaze me. He was enormously popular among republicans and democrats. He won 49 of the 50 states in his last election 20 years ago. Has it been that long? Wow! I have tried to express to Trey what a great man President Reagan was. I want Trey to have the passion that I have for this country and the conservative values that Ronald Reagan thought were so important. That I think are so important. All in all I know that I am a better person because of President Reagan’s influence and the country is undeniably greater because of it.

Categories: Current Affairs