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 Athens, KY

As the sun sets on another day I have hope. Hope in an interesting thing, it comes to us with faith and asks us to believe in something that may or may not happen. There is no sure outcome with hope unless we turn it into action. If we tell a person we "hope they have a good day" we know they may, but may not. We have, however, taken a positive step towards giving them the positive outcome of getting that good day. Hope is not quantitative and we often feel because of such, it is out of our control. Hope can be positive, hope can be negative, and hope can be neutral. Hope is.

So why do I have hope? I have hope for positive outcomes that I have no control over, or that I choose not to control because of how I feel, or how I perceive situations. Sometimes I have hope so I can let someone come to a conclusion on their own. With children for example, sometimes they need to make mistakes and we "hope" they find a way. We also can hope a special person sees the truth, or a family member makes a mistake as it will help them grow while understanding we have the power to effect the situation, but the wisdom to give them the time to find their way. We hope daily we are doing the right thing, this is heavily true with children. I pray each day I guide my children down the right path, show them the world can be hard, and the world can be just, and the world can be full of love, or have the pitfalls that may hurt us all. My solace in all of that is that I will be there with the good and the bad, and though I make mistakes as well, will ford the way for them to learn from me towards happiness and benefit from my successes and my failures. I know times change and my opinions may change as I will grow as well, and it is my hope that they will know happiness through both my happiness and their own in knowing I will someday be truly happy as they will.

Hope is a positive force to be reckoned with as we give ourselves the power to teach others, and sometimes ourselves of the truth in our life. From a biblical standpoint God gives us the ability to do as we see fit, with no pre-destiny and instead gives us the free will in the hope we will find the right way. The hard part is determining which way is the right way in today's complex society. We need to make decisions that are positive, and guide us towards love and fulfillment and avoid those decisions that lead to our suffering and demise.

I like the way Thich Nhat Hanh said it best:

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.

Tomorrow: Hope Part 2 and Mother Teresa

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Richmond, KY

The sun sets on another day, and on that day we begin building something new and exciting! We are not sure what that exciting new thing is, but it will be new and exciting and we will put all we are into making it happen! Why? Because we persevere! We will find a way if we are driven, passionate, and in the end we will win. Today I was reminded of so much as I waited patiently for a giant box with a server in it. While I waited I was going through many of the things left to me by my father and came upon a stack of posters he created, on top was one of my favorite quotes from Calvin Coolidge:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is filled with educated derelicts.  Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent." Calvin Coolidge

When you think about it this says more than a lot. (A duh statement to be sure) As we work to complete anything in life it is so easy to give up, but if we persevere the benefits to us or to our goal outweigh almost everything. In our work this makes us assets, and in our lives this can make us successful. 

I had a friend once whose life was about getting by. Richard spent each day I knew him trying to do the bare minimum he could to make ends meet. If he was given a goal, he would make the goal, but no more. For him, and he said this, the only goal he had in life was to get to tomorrow. He stayed with me for a while, and his idea of completing anything was about 1/2 of what was necessary. Don't get me wrong, Richard was a nice guy. he just never achieved any type of success. He met a beautiful young lady, and eventually she left, as he did only what he wanted to make things right with her as well. I do not know where Richard is now, but during the time I knew him he never had a goal or pushed toward that goal to make a difference. 

In our time on this planet it is my opinion that every day should be an adventure. We have at least 29000 sunsets (I may go for a lot more) and in that time it should be our goal, no, our responsibility, to live life as completely as possible. Whatever we do we should do it with the passion that will make it happen and persevere to complete what we started. That is not to say we will always succeed, but at least we will have given every moment to success before we move on. If we fail, we can learn from that mistake, commit it to our lives, and find a way to be better next time.

Smile everyone, life is a place of wonder and passion. Those of us who persevere will make the world a better place.


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As I was taking today's sunset shot I was speaking to my friend Gary, and he suggested today I write about new chapters.

So as the sun sets on another day I ask that each of us consider the chapters in our lives. This may be difficult, many people do not have the cognitive power to understand that they change over time. (Sure, they say they do, but they often do not) We all change, but we do not change. An interesting consideration huh?

As children we grow to become adults. This becomes a chapter and the people in our childhood mold us. Many children do not realize they are even children anymore as they are exposed to so much. We then go through the scary part of our life known as puberty. What a big chapter, whether man or woman this time changes us all. We interact with hundreds of people in this time and those may or may not create chapters as well. Consider me for a moment, in high school I took a shower every night and often fell asleep on my wet hair which would transform me to a terrifying mess of hair in the morning. Once, after one of those nights a young lady named Leslie came up to me and asked me if I had lice. Since that day I take a shower ever morning and for years every night as well. A weird reaction, but I could see her point and did not want to add any questions. Whether it was innocent to her or not so innocent was another story that I will never know. It did create a new chapter in my life.

As we move into our twenty's we again have chapters, love, marriage, children, jobs and more create interesting times for us all. All of this forms who we are and how we react to everything. Some of us find peace, some of us find happiness, others find pain, and some punish themselves for their past. The point is, every new chapter can allow us to move forward, move back, or stay the same. 

I seem to always try to help people, even to my detriment. At some point in my past I was dating a wonderful young lady named Kathy. Kathy was beautiful and intelligent and had two young children and apparently was trying to get her life straight. She could not go out with me one night, and so I went to a local bar with a friend. To my surprise there was Kathy, with another man sitting in the back. This was the beginning of a bad chapter in my life as I was very angry, jealous (something I just do not feel) and hurt in a way I had not really felt before. She was obviously very scared and I was obviously very angry. (Her date was a little bit meek at the time and said something like "whats the big deal" at which point she grabbed his arm and said to be quiet)

I left the bar, feeling so many emotions they could not easily be counted only to have her chase me out and say to me (at my car no less) "Please please don't be mad. I am trying to decide. You are the nicest guy I have ever met, but he likes to drink and party more than you do, and I want that too". I looked at her, and said "I am going home now" and smiled, "you need to make a choice in your life".

She and I had never been physical yet, so it was not as strong as it could have been, but it was still tough and a difficult night. The next day, she came over and wanted to talk it through so she could decide which of us was better for her life. I looked at her and simply said she knew who I was, and needed to make that choice herself.

She left.

At that point, I started a new chapter, that one day I would revisit when she returned again, saying she was wrong. 

My point is, chapters divide our life into easily digestible parts. As we watch the sun set each day, let us consider the best chapters we can have and make every day the best it can be, and in the process, close the chapters of pain, and hurt, and embrace the chapters of love, patience and fulfillment. After all, we all deserve to be with that special person who will be everything for us each and every day of our life.

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Clouds closed in on the sunset once again today, so I consider the beach a good place to post. Ever notice how life comes in waves? Waves of excitement, waves of dull, waves of happiness, waves of silliness and sometimes even waves of sadness. I would love to say that life is always a bunch of roses and I would hate to say life is always cold and depressing. Life is a series of adventures. Like our picture today, the light of our life is sometimes hidden, and sometimes we overlook that but I am here to say (sing it loud) that we can overcome! Overcome the darkness, overcome the apathy, and ride the waves into shore! (Even if we can't swim and sink whenever we try). It is time to start riding the waves and looking for the light. It is out there, there for us to enjoy, there for us to laugh with, and there for us to love with! Let's embrace the light and set aside darkness, life is worth it and so are we. 

Years ago I met a young lady in college. I wish I could find her now, but I doubt that will ever be possible. Why? Because I would like to know if she found the light in her life. We went out only a few times, barely kissed, but it was obvious there was an attraction. She felt something, I felt something. We laughed, and we loved our moments together. I met her at orientation camp, and things just seemed to get better. Then one day she told me she could no longer see me. You see, she had begun to feel something for me, and told me she could not do that. Why? (We all want to know, right?) well, it was because she had a boyfriend once that she loved very much, who died. I was devastated at the time, and felt as though my world had come apart on me. Wave after wave of despair hit me as I had done nothing wrong, and felt betrayed. Later in life I would realize that she was riding the wave of despair, and it was taking her out to sea, away from everyone. She believed that if she dated me I would die as she was being punished for something. (We never got into that). In that age of no cellphones and minimal contact information she was lost to me quickly after we broke up. Later I would consider her point of view, and realize she was reacting only to what she knew. I wish more people would read the bible and believe. It does not say anywhere you will be punished forever for what you do, it says that there is forgiveness. To me today, there was no way a person on earth would be punished for their actions and it is unchristian to think such. If you run though a dozen other religions, none say you will be punished for all time for a mistake, there is a path to forgiveness. A way to "ride the waves" and find your way to happiness. 

For me, weird person that I was (and am), I found a passion to live, but I still remember, the pain never goes away, but I ride larger and larger waves and try to stay above it all. With understanding at least there is some solace.

Lisa, if you are out there, I hope I hear from you someday. If not, I hope you found happiness in your life and realized that love is the most important thing in the universe. (Yep, it is, so there nya)

Be happy everyone, ride the waves, look for the light, and hold onto it and never let go.