Crosswinds (Dallas: The Next Chapter Publishing, 2014)

Here’s an idea for a book. The setting is a smoke-filled bar in an airport in North Carolina. Shut down by a raging storm, the airport has become a temporary prison for travelers waiting to catch a flight out. A chance encounter in the crowded bar brings together a crusty old sailor and a young seadog straight out of boot camp and headed to his first assignment at sea. The two strike up a conversation, and a friendship is born. The entire book will be a detailed account of the conversation between these two sailors over the next eighteen hours as they pass the time waiting for the storm to subside.

The List

My friend PamPam Nelson, a dear friend and high school classmate, recently posted to her Facebook status a thought-provoking list of “to do” items that will make anyone’s life more meaningful. I was intrigued as to the source of the list, so I Googled a few of the list items and found several websites with a nearly-identical list of 39 items, including the items from Pam’s Facebook list. I have edited the list in a few places for increased clarity or meaning, and have included relevant sources where appropriate. I want to share the list with you on the eve of this new year. Some of the list items will resonate with you more than others. That’s OK. Pick and choose the ones that mean the most to you, and resolve to incorporate them into your daily journey. I pray God’s richest blessings on you and yours for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Sing Your Song

Mighty Joe Young movie poster - Wikipedia

Mighty Joe Young movie poster – Wikipedia

In 1998, Walt Disney Pictures released a movie called “Mighty Joe Young”. The movie was about a huge gorilla named Joe living in the jungles of Africa. Joe is brought to the United States to save him from being killed by poachers, and he eventually ends up back in Africa on a wildlife refuge created especially for him.

It was a pretty good movie. But the best thing about the movie was an enchanting lullaby that kept appearing in the soundtrack throughout the entire movie. The song is entitled “Windsong”, and it was written and sung in the Swahili language.

Listen to “Windsong”.

I was captivated by this incredibly beautiful, soul-stirring composition the first time I heard it. But not knowing Swahili, I had no idea what the song was saying. So I did some research.

The Last of a Dying Breed

Horace and Doris Bratcher

Horace and Doris Bratcher

Horace Bratcher is a dear friend. He has been around nearly twice as long as I have, and he likes to say that he has spent his life “collecting experiences”. He is quite the philosopher, and has spent untold hours at the local Public Library reading voraciously, expanding his knowledge, always looking for tidbits of wisdom that he can incorporate into his already vast storehouse, and can then share with others.

Horace comes by my office nearly every day to visit. He almost always has one of those tidbits of philosophical wisdom to offer, usually accompanied by a story. Horace has lots of stories. I have learned much from Horace Bratcher, from his homespun philosophy, and from his stories. Now, it is time to tell Horace’s story.