Beep and Wave

George’s sister shared this story. One day she was driving with her brother as he beeped and waved with a smile to everyone they passed. “George, you sure do know a lot of people!” she said. “Oh, I don’t know most of them”, he replied.

You see, George was that special guy who made everyone he encountered feel loved. His booming greeting and genuine interest in you confirmed that you really mattered.

Returning to her home state after the visit, George’s sister emulated her big brother’s approach. She beeped and waved. Smiles were returned. The habit stuck. She noticed that life felt better.

Today, George’s life was celebrated. A poem in the service guide serves as a reminder.

God has not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives thro’,
God has not promised
Sun without rain,
Peace without pain.
But God has promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.
                                          -Annie Johnson Flint

Thank you George, for growing love.

Many people will be beeping and waving in your honor.



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At a cost

While we enjoy our holiday weekend, let’s be sure to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom to do so. As many of us reflect on that sacrifice in general terms, chances are that someone nearby is mourning a specific friend, family member, or fellow soldier. Our U.S presidents help provide perspective:  Continue reading

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Like Peanut Butter and Jelly?

Peanut butter and jelly – milk and cookies – pizza and beer; some things just go together. Whatever the combination, experienced together a few times, the expectation is that one doesn’t happen without the other.

Consider “Love of God” and “Love of neighbor.” Can we say we love God as we show disdain to our neighbor? Can we love our neighbor without showing the same to God?

Pope Francis not only answers those questions with a resounding “no”, but he also tells us it’s the law:

“What is the law of the People of God? It is the law of love, love for God and love for neighbour according to the new commandment that the Lord left to us (cf. Jn 13:34).”

“It is a love, however, that is not sterile sentimentality or something vague, but the acknowledgment of God as the one Lord of life and, at the same time, the acceptance of the other as my true brother, overcoming division, rivalry, misunderstanding, selfishness; these two things go together.”

“What is this people’s mission? It is to bring the hope and salvation of God to the world: to be a sign of the love of God who calls everyone to friendship with Him; to be the leaven that makes the dough rise, the salt that gives flavor and preserves from corruption, to be a light that enlightens.”

It’s peanut butter jelly time!

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My money is on team God

It doesn’t take much deep thinking to realize who is behind the battle of good and evil. Pope Francis spells it out for us:

 “Look around us — it is enough to open a newspaper, as I said — we see the presence of evil, the Devil is acting. However, I would like to say out loud: God is stronger! Do you believe this, that God is stronger? Let us say it together, let us say it all together: God is stronger! And do you know why he is stronger? Because He is Lord, the only Lord. And I would like to add that reality, at times dark and marked by evil, can change, if we first bring the light of the Gospel especially through our lives.” Continue reading

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“Different is Different, and Different isn’t Bad”

When Hornsby Middle School dedicated a week to focus on Kindness- with events and a theme each day- two young ladies seized the opportunity to make a difference. Months earlier, seventh graders Briar and Anne heard Lauren Potter (the “Glee” actress who portrays a spunky cheerleader) speak in support of “Spread the Word to End the Word.”  Continue reading

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The Kindness Curriculum

What many of us remember about middle school may not be a direct correlation to growing love. We recall the rollercoaster ride of changes, the fickle world of popularity, and daily fluctuation in figuring out what really matters. All immersed in the study of reading, writing and arithmetic. Continue reading

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Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness

A random act of kindness – the moment we capitalize on an unforeseen opportunity to be kind in some way to someone else. It can be as simple as letting someone ahead of us in line, holding the door even when the person is several steps behind us, or giving an unexpected compliment, smile, or greeting. Ideally, the random act is paid forward by the way the recipient interacts with others throughout the day.

And then there are those who not only embrace the opportunity to perform a random act of kindness, but diligently plan them – leaving no question that kindness will occur. Here are two shining examples. Continue reading

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A Kindergarten Teacher’s Perspective of Commonality

We have all experienced the commonality phenomenon – when we discover we have something in common with someone, which then serves to link us. If you’re from the East Coast, you’ve heard the sometimes serious, mostly tongue in cheek, “You from Jersey? I’m from Jersey! What exit?” Travel outside the country and you find being a fellow American creates a bond. It links us when we come from the same place.

Tracy shared her perspective with us as a Kindergarten teacher – and the ultimate commonality to remember… Continue reading

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The Perfect Gift

We think about their wants, needs, and interests. We carefully consider options, shop, wrap, and then eagerly await the reaction. We are elated when the gift brings joy – our thoughtfulness is confirmed by gratitude.

A week or two later we might see the gift left haphazardly, forgotten in that moment. A bit of wind leaves our sail of contentment.

We received The Perfect Gift on Christmas. Have we thanked the giver? Are we honoring the gift? Let’s not cast Him aside.

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What’s your celebrity status?

Billy Chang recently shared a great point about social media – that we are all celebrities of sorts as we allow increasing portions of our lives to be on display. His question… What kind of celebrity do you wish to be?” 

“We can choose to inspire rather than instigate.
We can compliment and calm rather than cast stones.
We can respect instead of resent.” Continue reading

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