A Ten Year Hope
May 20th, 2009

cigar-smokeThe things we did as soldiers, the rituals that bound us together, really helped to shape us into the men and women we are today. I can remember some of them and I know that today, many of them are frowned upon and some are even considered criminal. But we thrived in them and they bound us together as brothers and sisters…….forever.

This brief story is one of the promises we made to each other so many years ago and I hope it’s come to pass.

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Silent Night Hope
May 19th, 2009

cabin-in-woodsIt was a cold winter in 1944 when three American soldiers, embroiled in the battles of WW II, stumbled across a cabin in the German woods. Tired, cold and hungry, they enter the cabin to find a woman and her son alone, scared and yet calm. Despite the language barriers, she makes them as comfortable as possible, demands they set their weapons aside, and sets about preparing what little food she has for them.

Suddenly, there is banging at the door. The Americans freeze.

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A Week Of Soldiers Hope
May 18th, 2009

veterans-dayThinking of this week that leads up to Memorial day, I couldn’t help but begin to think of the stories of soldiers, the hopelessness of war and the tragedy that breaks over all of us as waves of relentless devestation crash into us as individuals, families, communities and Nation. We as a people have been spared so much and the battles that have taken place on our shores and lands pale in comparison to the virtually countless battles that plague the rest of the world even to this day. We can take the stance that we know suffering, but truly, while we have suffered, we as a people have forgotten what suffering really means on a national scale and the saddness of that reveals an arrogance that spells hopelessness for the generations to come. For once we forget, once we fail to pass on, once we forget the lessons we were supposed to learn, we only matter to ourselves and suffering no longer binds us together. Then we are lost and merely floating along, oblivious of the rocks that surely lay ahead.

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One More Day
May 15th, 2009

Ever felt like you just can’t make it one more day? I had just gotten to sleep when I heard the distinct sounds of sobs coming from one of the men. I knelt down beside him not fully knowing what to do but I put my arm around his shoulder, hung my head resting it on the side of the bed and asked him what was wrong. Through the tears and sobs I was able to make out that he just couldn’t take it anymore. Beaker thought he couldn’t make it another moment. He was on the very edge and about to go over. Much like me, he was hastily making plans to run, escape, go AWOL, perhaps even worse. Are you there at that edge? I’ve been there. Suicide? Running? Hiding? Do they seem like real options for you? Hang in there just one more day.

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The Problem Pie
May 14th, 2009

How do you go about solving a very complex problem or series of problems without getting overwhelmed? The “problem pie” offers a solution when dealing with all we have to face in life. You might get messy, or you might just find a friend to help take it all in.

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Faith Through the Storm
May 13th, 2009

Knowing the twists on the road of life would cripple our ability to navigate to any definitive destination. Therefore, Hope motivates us and a firmly placed faith directs us through the turbulent storms of life so we can be sure where our ultimate destination will be.

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It Will Be OK Mommy
May 12th, 2009

Baby reaching outHave you ever taken a small child into your arms only to realize you are holding onto, and taking to yourself the very future, an intangible that suddenly has come into your grasp in such a beautiful and vulnerable way? You are able to hold in your arms a lifetime of hopes and dreams. A multitude of aspirations and yes, even failures. And even more painful is when you know that this small child’s innocence has been selfishly taken from her by those who are supposed to keep her safe. A mother, addicted to drugs with no home and no job; the mother’s boyfriend, also drug addicted and jobless; they mistreated and neglected this little girl your holding so badly that her life dependeds on outside protection.

As I held that baby tears welled up in my eyes as not only did I reach and hold her, but she held me. I could feel her arms wrap around my neck as she looked into my eyes and smiled such a peaceful smile. I smiled but my heart was broken. She had no idea what was to come, what the next day would be like. Her life was torn apart and I had to wonder what she had experienced that would make her respond in such a calm way when I had tears and she had none. As I held this precious child, she reached her hand out and patted her weeping mother on the head and said, “It’s OK mommy. They’ll take good care of me.” How did she know that? Was it hope? Trust? Somehow, somewhere, we lose that. We get exposed to the worst in life and we forget that there is a hope that despite what we know and what we don’t see, things will work out. Somehow it will get better.

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What Was I Thinking
May 11th, 2009

dirty-kittenThe concrete tunnel closed in around me. I inched forward on my elbows, pushing with my toes, unable to get to my hands and knees because the tunnel was so narrow in diameter. I couldn’t look back because of the tight cramped quarters. All I could do was push my flashlight ahead of me, ignore the spiders and keep the panic at bay. It worked……….for a while.

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Mother of Hope, Painful But True
May 8th, 2009

mary-at-crossShe snuck through the chilly night air unable to find rest for her tired weary body. She had dreamed of having a child. Every little girl did. But the fanciful dreaming that had been a constant companion of her youth had been replaced with the constant tension and stress of running, moving and eluding those who now sought her life and the life of her child. She was soon to be a mother. Her day was coming. Soon.

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Mom Kicked Me Out
May 7th, 2009

boy I pray you will indulge me for a brief moment of your life and allow me to tell you a short tale of the day my mother packed my bags and sent me off into the big world. I was 8. There was no where to go. So off I went.

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