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As the sun sets on another day I consider how hope affects us all and how we should deal with love. I had pre-written this and the sunset comes from a hospital room where I sat this cold Friday the 13th with my youngest daughter. It is only fitting on this day of turmoil I continue to discuss hope, and love and how they are intertwined.

I seem to write a lot about love, because it seems to float inside me all the time. I have loved when I shouldn't, loved when I should, loved in the face of adversity, and loved more deeply than most can ever understand. Only a few know the depth of how I feel, and how much love and life truly influences me and my actions. As we hope we will all have love lets think about what Mother Teresa said on the subject:

Love cannot remain by itself--it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. Whatever form we are, able or disabled, rich or poor, it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing; a lifelong sharing of love with others. - Mother Teresa 

This applies to life in many ways. It can apply to love as we serve others, serve God, or serve the important ones in our life. I also feel it can apply to much more.

In relationships we have to hope that we find someone who loves us as much as we love them, so we can turn love into action every day.  What to do about it. Well, the idea in my opinion is to spread the love across everything we do, and this needs to be a real love, not contrived, faked, or the love that is simply a sham for places like Facebook, but instead the love that people can truly see. I (and I hope you) have hope that we find a love like this and hold onto it every day. We should also have hope we live a life like this as without hope of this love we are lost to ourselves and to our children and family.

I am sure I will revisit love, but on this day I would like to say a little prayer of hope.

My daughter,

I hope I have taught you the things you need to know to do well in life. I hope I have taught you how to see people as they really are, even if they are not as they appear. Shun those people who would do you harm, protect those who are innocent or misguided, and love those who you can with a passion that cannot be put into words. Do not ever let yourself be abandoned by those you love as you would not abandon those who love you. Treat everyone with patient respect, even if they wrong you. Live a true life to yourself and to those around you. If you have children, teach them to be good adults and to understand that life is not always fair as I have taught you that sometimes life does not deal you justice. Teach them to, that life can give us the greatest rewards we can ever receive; those who we love and love us. Be there for those children as I am for you, but live your life, and not just theirs. Teach happiness to everyone around you and remember that hard work is better than an easy way. I love you every day and will be with you always,


Today has had some difficult moments, and some additional difficult moments. As we all watched the sun set this eve I hope we got to see the crescent moon setting close behind the sunset and as we saw it set remembered that the moon and back is not enough to love, but only the stars beyond. Hope for more, and work to make it happen each day.

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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.