3 01 2012

ImageWhat an amazing year! I experienced the thrill of riding the bike trails of Wisconsin with my Lady 140 mile of some the most beautiful scenic landscape the region had to offer, all the way to and across the mighty Mississippi. We hiked an incredible gorge in southeast Kentucky, and then the back country of the Smokey Mountain National Park to one of the most breath-taking waterfalls located in the east. At the tender young age of 57, I competed in my 1st triathlon (and didn’t drown!) with my 2 sons, something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It had such an affect on Cathy she trained and did 2 more with me, finishing 2nd in her category at the last one. Cathy discovered something she never realized, she was a natural runner and her times just keep getting better. It also aided in her losing nearly 50 lbs. this year. (Hubba Hubba!) She is now training for a half marathon with our Daughter-in-law Tracie; just Awesome! Oh yeah, almost forgot, I found my degree from Purdue that was lost! I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it was something I earned late in life that stands as an affirmation that a certain individual was wrong about what I could or could not accomplish; and that individual was me.

But, hands down, the greatest moment this year came Oct. 12, with the birth of little Miss Mae Nicole Miller, daughter to our youngest son and his wife Tracie. Isn’t she beautiful?!! At certain times while holding her, questions come to mind that I think I ask mentally for each of my grandchildren and children also. What will the world be like for you when you reach my age? Will you find it to be a friendly place to live? Will you find the people you share your world with special, and will they see you in the same light?  There’s no chance I’ll be around to find out the answers to little Mae’s life journey in 57 years; but as a grandfather I can only hope and pray each day I’m here for her and her future. But one of the lessons I’ve learned over the course of time is that it doesn’t truly matter what a person is surrounded by, be it happiness and love, or pain and suffering. Of course, as a rule, the 1st option seems to yield more positive fruit in a person’s life. But the bottom line does not lie within an individual’s surroundings when it comes to happiness; it lies from with the individual themselves. People who know me best can attest that I am not a religion man, but a man of faith. That faith is based on the guidelines and principles I learn from the Bible. One of those principles teaches me I need to love my neighbor as myself, I have no problem with the main emphasis of the verse, but the question is raised, what if you don’t love yourself? I’m not talking about an egotistical self attitude; I’m referring to ones who do not see that they are special; at one time that included yours truly.

I spent 30 years working with children and young people through different organizations and some were on the wrong side of the law at a young age.  In nearly every single case where I dealt with a trouble filled individual the root problem was not the person was bad, it was they had little or no self esteem; they did not see themselves as good as people around them. Okay then, now that I’ve said all that, if you have never heard these words before let me be the 2nd to say it to you; you are an incredible, wonderful, special person!  I said I was the 2nd to tell you that; then who is the 1st? Three Guesses? ;0) Here’s a hint; “What is the price of 5 sparrows – 2 copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid. .. you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Luke 12:6)  “God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God, He created them. Because you are made in God’s image, you are a reflection of His glory and valuable. God loves you and made you to be like Him. (Genesis 1:27)

We’re in a new year, friends and neighbors–2012!  For the ones of us who’ve been around, just saying the date almost sounds like something from a Sci-Fi movie! I’m going to go out on a limb here and also say if you’re preparing yourself for the end of the world in the next 12 months don’t go blow your life’s saving on something you’ll regret later; because it just ain’t a gonna happen!  If I’m wrong, which I doubt, hey my bad and who’s gonna really care anyway. But if I’m right just remember where you heard it 1st. (actually 2nd again but that would be too long to go into ;0)

Instead, dedicate this year to you, to learning how special you are to yourself, to others, to the Lord. Get up, get out, and get moving!  Do something you’ve never done before.  It doesn’t have to be earth shattering.  It just has to be something that reaffirms all I’ve said. One young lady who discovered how special she was said it this way; “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar, When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” Helen Keller.

My prayer, in Jesus name, will be that each that reads this will realize they are special; and made to SOAR! Happy New Year!




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