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Make America Good Again

Jim Cathcart by Hope and Pray wall on Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship

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Vultures eat the dead or dying.

It is a fact of nature. If you are too weak to resist them, they will finish you off as they dine. No amount of indoctrination or retraining will get a vulture to eat only approved food. Likewise with rats, they’ll gnaw on it even if it isn’t organic matter. Scavengers do not make good pets. Nor will they ever be your friend.

Ironically, a group of vultures when not in flight is called a Committee. I’ll resist the temptation to run with that idea for now. Vultures feeding are called a Wake. Vultures in flight are called a Kettle. Let’s just go with Committee.

Reports have shown very little separation between Al Qaeda, ISIS and Taliban. All are Islamic extremists. They are predators, scavengers and vultures. Among desert people they are the desert rats. It is their nature to destroy and devour. In fact, they revel in it. It is their idea of a good time. Really. Let that sink in. They seek subjugation of and dominance over all who would disagree with them. How do you negotiate with such a creature? You don’t. “Negotiation” implies two parties seeking to reach a conclusion that will be acceptable to both. They don’t do that. But we do.

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Is America Good?

We have been good and, in fact, that is our main weakness. In war anything that reduces the threat from an adversary is an exploitable weakness. So, when ‘coyotes’ are herding immigrants across the Rio Grande they will often throw children into the water, knowing that Americans will rush to their rescue. Then in the confusion, the drug smugglers cross the border upstream uncontested. They don’t care about human life and we do, so they use it to distract us by creating an emergency we can’t resist.

Our adversaries are free from the limitations imposed by caring about honor, duty, friendship, compassion, or even personal integrity. The “god” they believe in is a scary dude that will take you out if you disobey. Their faith, if you can call it that, is in diminishing human life to the level of compliance and ritual. They believe in killing and they are not inhibited by morals. They treat women as cattle and don’t allow them to become educated or productive. They only want them subjugated and indoctrinated so that they will obey. They have no interest in the advancement of human life. They simply want to control it.

Meanwhile back at the ranch:

In America all of our laws, policies, cultural practices, religions, and societal norms are based upon the valuing of human life. We believe in caring about each other and being good stewards for future generations. Generations of good people. This is rooted in the belief in a good God, the God of the Bible, a loving Creator. We have Muslims, Hindus, Protestants, Catholics, and many variations on these faiths but the one dominant premise in America is: Human Life Matters! We are creations of a loving God and it is our blessing to help to advance life on Earth. We are the most joyful people on Earth, the most resilient, the most creative, and certainly the most influential in the history of the world.

Everything in Moderation.

When we are more compassionate than committed to victory then we are exploitable. When we go to the other extreme we become creatures like our enemies. There is a point along this continuum beyond which we are no longer being compassionate nor considerate. Beyond that point we are being stupid and weak. In a tornado it is not smart nor nice to hold open a door and say, “No, you first, I insist.” It is a crisis so just find shelter and help others do the same! Likewise in a war, know that your vulnerability will be exploited and plan against that tactic.

The same applies when raising children. Parents who shelter their children from difficulty tend to raise weaklings and cowards. It is as if they believe that a child’s muscles will grow if the parent lifts the weights for them. People who do not face difficulty do not learn to deal with challenges. A “safe space” on a school campus where you are shielded from those who disagree with you is a really dumb idea. It doesn’t keep the kids safe, it just deflects the difficulties temporarily. It is like finding a shelter that only protects you from the first few hours of a two day hurricane. Sooner or later all of us have to deal with bullies, political opponents, jealous coworkers, unfaithful partners, greedy vendors, unscrupulous business people, and the physical dangers of the world. If we don’t then we end up hiding in Mom’s basement long after we are adults. And we seek to blame others for our weakness. Protect your kids from harm but let them find their own way through difficulties.

Goodness is not something that is taught.

It comes from what we believe. Our natural state is animal; do what it takes to eat and survive. Our enlightened state is spiritual; seek to do good and to advance and grow. Mortimer Adler once said there are only two basic questions we need to answer: Is there a God? and What is his nature? If there is no God then we are just intelligent animals, so do what works and then die. If there is a God but he’s a mean S.O.B. then you’d better figure out what he wants and give it to him. Just obey and he won’t hurt you.

But, if there is a Loving God, everything is different! That means that someone cares about us and we should care about each other. That means that Life has a purpose and we will become happier and more fulfilled when we help to advance life. Everyone who finds meaning in their life will tell you how good life is. Everyone who finds life meaningless will be angry because life is futile. Money, fun, food and bling are very poor satisfiers. They are the sugar of life: a big rush followed by an empty and guilty feeling. Love and goodness are the proteins and minerals, the nutrients of life that foster even more life.

Hope and Pray

If there is no God then what do you pray to? You don’t. Instead you beg, demand, rail against, gamble or blame whatever is outside of you: the weather, the country, the laws, the unfairness, the systemic-anything that disadvantages people like you. When you find others who have the same sour worldview then you organize to pass more laws, rules, policies and requirements so that others won’t have an edge over you. No God equals many many more laws, rules and regulations. Diminished life. An exercise in futility.

But when there is a loving God you can count on goodness as an asset. With good people contracts are kept. With good people consideration of others is given. With good people compassion is shown. With good people what we do in private is not a threat because good people don’t lie nor cheat nor steal. There’s nothing to hide. Good people do generous things with no expectation of reward. They thrive on being good. There is joy in generous living.

Hope comes in two forms. Weak hope is “I sure hope it doesn’t rain on our picnic.” Strong hope is “I see a pathway to safety! There is hope for us after all.” Weak hope is begging, it is a subject’s form of proactivity. But it is rooted in negative expectations. Pessimism is the worldview of weak hope. “There is no way! We tried that before and it didn’t work. What makes you think you are so special? You’ll never make it with all this traffic. Give up you are wasting your time.” Strong hope is expecting to succeed.

My own family’s motto, from long ago in Scotland, is “I Hope To Speed.” It used to perplex me so I looked up the ancient meanings of those words. Hundreds of years before automobiles “Speed” meant: to prosper or succeed. And hope, in this context, meant positive expectation. So, today’s translation of my family motto is: I Expect To Succeed. No wonder I  became a motivational speaker!

Now look at the dark side:

Closed Schools, Teachers Unions Blockades, Comprehensive Racism Training, Unconditional Surrender to the Taliban, Unfettered Government Spending, US Support to Rogue States,  Fighting COVID with Masks, Mandatory Vaccination, Micro-agressions, Pejorative Language, Systemic unfairness, Technological Threats from China/Russia/Iran, Social Media Censorship, White/Black/Brown/Yellow Supremacists, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Climate Change Deniers, Defund the Police, Make Landlords forgive Rental Debt, Make Banks forgive Student Loans, Low Respect among Nations, Stalemates in Congress, Lies from our Leaders, Communism, Socialism, Greed, Slavery, Banning Plastic Straws, Homeless multitudes, Nonstop Immigration, Voting Law fights, Atheism, Next!  

Surely there is something else to fear that I overlooked in this list. Name your poison. Which ones get your blood boiling? If there is no loving God, then folks, we are toast! This laundry list of evils is all rooted in conflict among those who are not good and cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Good people could resolve almost all of this, without being required to do so. Pick your devil and apply goodness to dealing with it, most problems  would dissolve quickly.

How many laws are enough?

Among bad people no amount of laws would ever be enough. Look at the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of laws on the books already in the USA. We have storehouses of documents across the country with policies, regulations, laws, requirements, codes, restrictions and other pronouncements that are not working. Passing a law against murder didn’t stop murders. So they passed more painful punishments. That’s not just a crime, it’s a “hate crime!” Excuse me, but all violent crimes are rooted in a hateful attitude. And penalties only restrict the good people who might consider doing the deed. Criminals just work harder to not get caught. What’s the difference between a 7 year prison sentence and a 50 year sentence when paroles and pardons can erase either of them?

Laws are not the answer. Goodness is the Answer!!!!

The best and cheapest law enforcement comes about in the home. When Mom and Dad require good behavior then the community doesn’t have to worry about it. When families go to church, pray together, bless their meals, say the Pledge of Allegiance at public events, then goodness ensues. When children are required by their parents to behave respectfully, responsibly, and with good intentions then society becomes safe again. When police officers are treated with respect and friendship they respond in kind.

There is no adversary so great that good people working together cannot resolve it. There is hope as long as there is goodness. There is goodness when we pray in gratitude rather than as a form of begging. Let’s be a grateful, generous, self-disciplined Good Nation Again!

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Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is an Executive MBA Professor, Author of 21 books, Hall of Fame Professional Speaker, Top 1% TEDx video (2.4 million views), US Army veteran, Singer/Songwriter, and Lifelong Motorcyclist. He is known as "Your Virtual VP" for his Advisory/Mentor work with organizations worldwide. Based in Texas...and proud of it!



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Faith

What If You Only Had One Year to Live?

How would your life change day to day?

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What if all of the sudden your doctor told you that you only had one year to live? How would your life change? Chris Widener, Founder of PolitiCrossing, talks about his new book, Four Seasons. Focus on the preciousness of life with Chris in this short video. You can purchase Four Seasons right here. Or read the first chapter below the video.

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March 10, 3 p.m.

As Jonathan Blake turned off Roxiticus road and into his drive, he pushed the console button that would open his gate, and the massive, wrought-iron gates began to open. While waiting, his gloved hand on the stick shift, his eye caught the marker on the brick post. It read “Three Lakes.” When the gate had opened far enough, Jonathan eased his black luxury car through and continued up to the house. Jonathan had always cherished Three Lakes, but this afternoon, he loved it more than ever. Moving slowly up the mile-long driveway, he surveyed the land on which he had lived for most of his life. The massive, glorious trees that guarded the front entrance created a secluded tunnel leading to the first of the three lakes sitting just off to the right, a quarter-mile up the driveway. Lush, rolling terrain that occupied most of the rest of the 157 acres that made up the estate welcomed him warmly this afternoon.

The drive from Manhattan had taken him roughly an hour and 15 minutes. Having until two years ago been the owner of some 50 city and county newspapers up and down the East Coast, Jonathan had driven in and out of Manhattan thousands of times during his lifetime. This trip was different, though. There was so much to think about today, so much weighing on his mind. Monumental events loomed on the horizon—events that would affect Jonathan and his family profoundly and change their lives forever. Normally, the drive from the city to Three Lakes was a calm and soothing one, changing slowly along the way from the sterile, high-rise atmosphere of the fastest-paced city in the United States, to the natural, colorful scenery of the area surrounding Far Hills, New Jersey, deep in horse country. The drive usually drew Jonathan through an inner change, taking him from the overworked executive to the relaxed husband and father, ready to spend time with his family. Not so this day. The mind-numbing thoughts racing to and fro had made this drive seem nonexistent. By the time he approached Three Lakes, he was dull from the desperate mental exertion. He negotiated the drive on autopilot.

Nearing the house, Jonathan reached to touch another button, and the second stall of the five-car garage opened, making way for him to park. He slowed down and eased the car into its resting place. Turning off the engine and climbing out of the car, he pressed the opener again and closed the garage door behind him. The first stall, closest to the door to the mudroom, was reserved for his wife Gloria’s car, but seeing that it was gone, he knew that the house was his, at least for a time.

He rarely felt this way, but today he was glad Gloria was gone. He needed some more time to himself before revealing the tragic news.

The house on Three Lakes was enormous. At 23,000 square feet, the English Tudor-style home built by Jonathan’s father on the rolling landscape outside of Far Hills was the quintessential Northern New Jersey estate. It had five bedrooms in the family quarters, a two-bedroom guest wing above the garages, and a formal dining room that seated thirty-two when the large cherry table was extended. The huge kitchen was where wonderful family memories began, where feasts were prepared for the hungry family to enjoy. In addition, there were formal and informal living rooms, a den, a recreation room complete with a billiards table built in 1865, and two offices, one for Jonathan and one for Gloria. The two rooms that set Three Lakes apart from the other large homes in the area were the library and the ballroom. It was Jonathan’s mother, Charlotte, who, indulging a lifelong love affair with books, made sure that her husband, Edgar, included a library when he built the home. It was 2 stories high, with bookshelves all the way around its 1,800 square feet, holding 20,000 volumes. All of the great books of history were there, and Jonathan, also a book lover and avid reader, had spent hundreds of hours in the library reading them. The room was decorated exquisitely with overstuffed leather couches, recliners, and study tables in the corners, complete with a banker’s lamp on each. Providing access to the volumes on high shelves above your head was a two-story, rolling oak ladder that moved around the perimeter of the room.

The second special room was the 4,000-square-foot ballroom. Throughout their years together, Edgar and Charlotte had hosted many a party there and always engaged the most popular bands and ensembles to entertain their friends, relatives, and business acquaintances. A large chandelier hung like a sparkling beach umbrella in the center of the room, while off to the side were sitting areas around the wooden dance floor where tired dancers could talk, enjoy good food, and drink their wine or champagne. A huge fireplace dominated the outer wall, and in the winter months, guests looked forward to the warmth of a crackling fire. Large, two-story windows around the room gave way to broad, sweeping views of the gazebo, the front gate below, and the largest of the three lakes. The room was, quite simply, breathtaking.

Edgar and Charlotte Blake had built the home as a place in which to raise their two children, Betsy and Jonathan, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was their permanent family retreat. When Jonathan was 20, his older sister died in a freak drowning accident. Edgar and Charlotte then lived alone after Jonathan left for college, their solitude punctuated with frequent visits home from Jonathan and later, Jonathan and Gloria.

When Edgar died at the age of 64, he left the house to his wife, Charlotte Wilson Blake. She died four years later, and the house in which Jonathan had grown up became his. Jonathan, Gloria, and their four children have lived there ever since.

After entering the house through the mudroom, Jonathan moved quickly through the kitchen, stopping only briefly at the preparation island in the middle of the room to see what had come in the mail that was laid out there. He quickly perused the stack and came to the conclusion that there was nothing important, at least not compared to what else had been occupying his mind since this afternoon. He left the kitchen cutting through the formal living room, down the hall, through the main foyer, and into his haven, his office.

Jonathan always felt safe and at home in the office that had originally been his father’s. Scores of books nestled in the bookshelves, surrounded by dark, rich, mahogany woodwork and leather furniture. He settled into his favorite chair next to the glass cabinet that held his favorite hunting rifles and shotguns, slipped his tired feet out of his shoes, and raised his legs to rest on the ottoman. Reaching over to the table next to him, he opened a small humidor and took out an Opus X cigar, one of the small pleasures of his life. Jonathan never smoked more than one per week when he was working, as he didn’t want them to become commonplace but to remain a special privilege he allowed himself as a reward for making it through another hard week at the office. Since retiring, though, sometimes he would allow himself an additional cigar during the week. After cutting the tip off, he took the lighter from the table and lit the cigar. Jonathan savored the rich aroma of the cigar. He loved the smell and had since he was a little boy when Edgar would relax with an occasional cigar.

There he was, home by himself and left to his own thoughts. The quiet of the house was deafening as he sat motionless, his head resting against the back of his chair. He stared out the window toward the backyard, where he could see the gazebo and the fields beyond. He looked longingly over his land and dreamed of what the future might have held.

“How will I tell them?” he wondered. “When will I tell them? What will they think? What will they do? How can I let them down like this?” As a cloud of cigar smoke curled into the air, his eyes turned toward what the Blake family affectionately called “The Wall.” The walls of the office were covered with artwork, plaques, and diplomas, but “The Wall” was reserved for the special photos that, taken together, told the story of his life. Jonathan put his cigar down in the ashtray and walked deliberately to the wall to gain a closer look. There stood Jonathan Blake. He was a tall, good-looking man. At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, he was still in good shape, though in these later years in life, he had lost a little weight as some of his muscle mass had disappeared. In his younger years, he had weighed close to 190, a picture of good health. Now, his hair was dark, with just a touch of gray, the symbolic mist of wisdom framing his temples. His eyes were steel blue. All in all, he had leading-man good looks.

Set among the pictures were his 12 favorites. He buried both hands deep in his pockets and, moving from left to right along “The Wall,” he considered each picture and the time of life it represented. There was the picture of Jonathan and Betsy, aged 10 and 12, along with their parents, out in the back of the house next to the original gazebo, still full of vim and vigor, ready for life. He remembered the day well. It was warm and sunny, and he was a typical boy. His mother and father had asked him repeatedly to settle down and leave his sister alone so that they could get on with the picture taking. It was an amateur family portrait, but it captured this family, and that was what was significant. It showed them on the land that they loved, together for a moment in time. Jonathan thought of what a beautiful woman Betsy would have been had she lived. She had a broad, white smile that was infectious. Jonathan wished that his family could still be together. Now, as the other three were gone, this was an important picture, an important memory, for Jonathan. It was a connection to his past, his original family, his blood. His eyes turned to the picture of him and Edgar fishing in Pennsylvania. Charlotte had captured this on film when Jonathan was 14 on one of the family’s vacations. Edgar loved to fish and hunt, a passion that he eagerly and successfully instilled in his only son. In this photograph, Jonathan, not Edgar, was reeling in the big one, something that didn’t happen very often. Jonathan’s boyish grin was the center of the picture, his father’s smile of pride in his only son a close second. Jonathan looked just like Edgar, simply younger.

Just below that was a picture of Jonathan’s lacrosse team at the Delbarton Catholic Boys High School outside of Morristown. The Blakes were Presbyterian, but Jonathan, and then Jonathan’s two boys, Michael and Thomas, all attended Delbarton because it provided the finest education money could buy in that area of New Jersey. Thomas, the youngest of Jonathan and Gloria’s four children, would graduate that spring from Delbarton and then go on to Princeton University, another family tradition.

Delbarton had taught Jonathan to love a classical education and given him an outlet for his love of the written word. It also taught him to place God in the center of his life and to remember that he had a responsibility to his Maker and his fellow man. Delbarton was also where Jonathan pursued his passion for sports. He always played team sports, and he was elected the captain of the lacrosse team in both his junior and senior years. Many of his fellow students came from wealthy families, so it was always a source of inner satisfaction for Jonathan, knowing that it was his leadership abilities and athletic skill, not his father’s money, that got him voted captain by his teammates. His senior year, the lacrosse team went to the state finals but lost, despite Jonathan’s valiant effort of three goals.

The team picture brought that game to mind, and Jonathan studied each member of the team. He saw young men about to graduate from high school, go on to college, and then into the real world. He had kept up with most of his teammates and knew at least where most of them were and where their lives were taking them. As with all senior classes, some went on to do great things, others to more mundane and ordinary lives. Some, like Jonathan, attained great fame and wealth. Others lived simply, content with an average existence.

Jonathan thought about each of these teammates, so childlike then, so energetic, so full of dreams. Life had taken them in many directions. He wondered how many of them were truly happy now as they neared the twilight of their lives. He wondered how much longer they would live and what legacy they would leave for others. He wondered if any were truly making a difference in the lives of those around them or if they were just waiting life out, distracted by a plethora of activities.

In the middle of “The Wall” was a large picture of Jonathan and his precious mate, Gloria. He was a sophomore at Princeton, she a freshman at Drew University in Madison, about an hour away. Gloria had come to know Jonathan through her brother Martin, a classmate of Jonathan’s who now lived in Germany and taught at a university there. The picture was taken in front of one of the restaurants on Palmer Square. Jonathan noticed how young they looked. Their faces were so… taut. Age takes its toll on your skin first, he thought. There they were. Gloria was beautiful. Not striking, but naturally good-looking. Her light-brown hair caught the sunlight just so in the picture. At the time of the picture, they had been dating only two months, but they were in love and about to realize they would spend the rest of their lives together. He reminisced about Gloria. She was a spunky but brilliant young woman from South Jersey. Jonathan was bright, to be sure, but his family’s network of relationships definitely played a part in helping the Princeton admission process go smoothly. After college, Gloria taught school until Jennifer was born four years into her teaching career. How he respected and adored Gloria. He still caught himself looking lovingly at her across the room when she was not aware of him. Occasionally, she would catch him looking, and he would just smile a smile of love and appreciation.

Beside the picture of Gloria and Jonathan was a picture taken at a restaurant in Paris while on their 10th-anniversary trip. Jonathan had been to Europe many times before, but Gloria had only dreamed about it. Jonathan arranged to surprise her with this trip. It was the only time they went to France, and it was memorable for the setting as well as the occasion. Around that photo were four others, each one with Jonathan and one of the four children. There was Jonathan and Jennifer, the oldest of the Blake children, eating cotton candy at the zoo when she was 9. She was a small version of her current self with her brown hair, blue eyes, and a wide smile. How he loved Jennifer. He remembered when she was born, how he had cradled her in his arms so tenderly that first time. He had gazed into her eyes, amazed at the gift of life that God had bestowed upon him. How would he care for her? How would he be able to provide all that another human being, his child, needed? He had felt deeply the awesome privilege and responsibility of another life under his care.

Jennifer had grown up to be a strong woman, a lawyer. She was beautiful, proud, and self-confident. Yet Jonathan knew that her life was not perfect. Jennifer and her husband Scott, who was also a lawyer, were obviously not happily married. This caused Jonathan and Gloria much pain; they had many discussions on how they might possibly be helped. Jonathan pondered what might happen to them in the future. He didn’t know. And now, more than ever, he felt completely unable to provide any help. He wanted to do something, anything, to steer them in the right direction. He made a mental note to work on that soon.

There was also a picture of Jonathan with Michael, his second child, wrestling on the living room floor, both of their faces beaded with sweat and looking directly into the camera as if they had stopped and posed. How does a father describe his love for his first son? Jonathan breathed deeply, letting the air out in a heavy sigh. Jonathan had dreamed of a life of partnership with Michael, and his son had not disappointed him. Michael had also graduated from Princeton and was becoming a young man who would, in a few years, be ready to partner with his father in life and work. Jonathan had for years vividly pictured in his mind late nights plotting the next adventure with Michael, alternating between bestowing fatherly wisdom and eagerly embracing the vigor of a young man pursuing a higher goal. Michael was now married to Patty, a charming young woman whom Jonathan and Gloria considered the greatest find Michael could have made. Grandchildren would come from these two first, he figured. The thought of grandchildren was important to Jonathan—even more so now.

A picture of Samantha, Jonathan and Gloria’s third child, and her dad dressed exquisitely for a high school, father-daughter dinner was next to the picture of Michael and Jonathan. Jonathan wore a dark-blue, double-breasted suit. He had looked dapper, he thought. Samantha wore a dark-blue dress to match. Samantha. Now she was a pleasant enigma to Jonathan. She was the tenderest of the Blake children. A typical middle child, she was quiet and deferred to the strength of the older children and the attention shown to her younger brother. She usually played the role of the quiet helper in the Blake family. Jonathan admired Samantha for her calm spirit. He appreciated her servant’s heart immensely. He thought the world of her. The problem was simply that he didn’t know her very well. Yes, this picture placed him at a certain time and date in her life, but the reality was that if any of the Blake children had been lost in the shuffle of Jonathan’s busy life, it was Samantha. Jonathan hadn’t spent much time getting to know her while she was growing up, and now he regretted that. Soon she would be marrying William Moore, a young Presbyterian minister, and begin to develop her own life and family. He had thought ever since the engagement that the chances of delving into his daughter’s heart and life were growing increasingly slim. He had often pondered recently how he might find time to make a place for himself in Samantha’s life. This, too, he would make a priority now.

A picture of the youngest, Thomas, about age 14 and looking a lot like Jonathan did in the picture with Edgar, and Jonathan holding a shotgun in one hand and a duck in the other, completed the collection of pictures of Jonathan and his children. Thomas had brought a sense of completeness to Jonathan. He had always wanted four children. His slightly morbid reason being that he wanted to make sure he had more than two children in case anything happened to one of them. While Michael had been groomed to be a businessman, Thomas had been groomed to take up Jonathan’s leisurely pursuits such as hunting and fishing. He was smart and did well in school, but his passion was in sport. Michael could obviously handle a rod and reel or a shotgun, given the scores of trips he had taken with his father to pursue fish, elk, and deer, but Thomas was a young master in Jonathan’s eyes.

Yes, Jonathan pondered, each of the children had their strengths and weaknesses, as do all people, but all in all, they were good kids, leading good lives. Jonathan was very proud of them all and loved them as only a father could. Finishing off “The Wall” were pictures of the family on the beach in Florida, a picture of the combined staffs of Jonathan’s newspapers taken at one of their annual Christmas parties, and, next to the picture of Gloria and Jonathan, was a family portrait. Here was the Jonathan Blake family, attired in suits and dresses, standing on the newly renovated gazebo in the backyard. It was a beautiful summer day, and there was a lot to be happy about. The family was all together, they had attained wealth and status that only a few ever achieve, and above all, they were healthy.

All of the pictures on Jonathan’s wall boldly declared one thing: Family man. Jonathan Blake had remained married and faithful to his one true love for his whole life, had succeeded in business beyond anyone’s expectations, including his own, provided jobs for literally hundreds of people, and had raised four fine, upstanding, God-fearing children who would most likely repeat the pattern in their own lives. His life appeared to be a success.

As he stood there staring at the family portrait, thinking more of the trouble he was now facing and the dread with which he faced it, knowing the impact it would have on his family, he heard the mudroom door swing open and then close again. Gloria was home. Jonathan’s heart began to race. He stood there, hands still deep in his pockets. He didn’t move. He didn’t need to. Gloria would surely look for him in his office first. She would be there soon enough, asking questions Jonathan didn’t want to answer. He didn’t want to have to do what he would be required to do in the next few minutes. In fact, he loathed the pain he was about to cause his love.

You can purchase Four Seasons right here.

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Faith

You Aren’t a Conservative Christian if You Refuse to Do This One Thing

Do you do this one thing?

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Call yourself a conservative Christian? Do you do this one thing? Check out PolitiCrossing Founders Chris Widener’s take in the short video below:

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: What If You Only Had One Year to Live?

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