It’s a Wonder-Filled Life

Blog PicThis past weekend marked one year since my first post on this blog.  At first I was writing every few days, now it seems I’m good if I get something every couple of weeks.  It’s not that I don’t have stuff to write about, it’s just about finding the time – actually being disciplined to make the time to write.  I think most bloggers would tell you the same thing, but my wife is actually pretty disciplined with her site – and she covers some pretty deep stuff, too.

If you’ve read my first post (or can tell by the name of my site), the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” means a lot to me.  The lesson it carries is a powerful one, and even though I’ve seen it probably 50 times, I still get choked up watching as George Bailey’s eyes are opened in the end to what truly makes his life so wonderful.  And since the movie does a lot of looking back over his life, I’ve been thinking back over all of the things that have happened in our lives since I started blogging last year.  And of course, if George learned a lesson – I’ve got to see if I’ve learned some, too.

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Ascend.

I have this crazy dream.  It’s not the normal thing that a guy who has lived most of his life in Florida would probably want to do, but I want to do it anyway.  I want to go on a cattle drive.  You know – riding like a cowboy on a horse, yelping and making noises as I try to get cattle moving in the right direction.  Boots, the hat, the whole thing.  Now, I did the “City Slickers” thing and told myself I would have it done before my 40th birthday – well I’m 41 now and I haven’t done it yet.  Funny thing how money is always involved.  But it’s still inside of me rumbling around wanting to be done – and I just KNOW that someday I am going to do it.  I guess this probably leaves you wondering why any sane person would want to do something so unusual, right?  That’s an easy-enough answer… It’s God’s fault.

If you’ve been reading these posts, by now you know I love history… and maybe you’ve also picked up a bit on that part of me that yearns for the big, sweeping, and epic moments of life.  I love movies like “Dances With Wolves”, “Glory” and “The Patriot” – anything full of big, wide, panoramic shots of the openness of America, all packed in with historical moments and zipped up in an overwhelming sound score.  Something in me craves to know that there is more out there than the laid out streets of our neighborhoods.  When I was a child, I had a subscription to Arizona Highways magazine – just so I could look at the pictures of the Grand Canyon and life “out West”.  I would also play for hours alone in the woods near where we lived with an old WWII-era training rifle, letting the hills and streams of Delmar, NY and Walpole, MA become the battlefields of Bunker Hill and Normandy.  Fallen logs would turn into the walls and ramparts at the Alamo or the fences surrounding Gettysburg.  I don’t think that there was a major battle in our nation’s history that I didn’t fight in.  I covered a lot of ground for a kid in the 4th grade. Continue reading

Go home or keep going…

In the last six years or so, I have had the opportunity to take part twice in a winter retreat of pastors from all over the greater New York City area.  This retreat, organized by Concerts of Prayer Greater New York, brings together pastors from every denomination and is held in a quaint retreat center in the country located on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.  I remember more than once sitting on a simple bench looking out over that cold, icy, winter river and, being a history-buff, thinking about what it was like for George Washington and his men to cross this same river near Trenton some 65 miles or so away.  We are all taught in school of that famous crossing that Washington made on Christmas night, 1776, and how important the capturing of the city was for the war effort.  What most never learn is, just a week later most of Washington’s troops were ready to give up and go home.  As a matter of fact, up until that famous midnight crossing and defeating of the Hessian troops, that’s what a lot of the Continental soldiers had already done.  Continue reading

Jesus, George Bailey and me…

I have always been drawn to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the story of George Bailey.  I think like with most anyone, there are certain things that take place around Christmas time that stir my heart and cause pangs of nostalgia.  The songs, the classic TV specials, the change in seasons – well, maybe if I lived anywhere else besides Florida, that is.  The moment that Santa shows up at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it’s like a switch is flipped inside of me and I am ready for the Christmas season.

The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” does that for me, too… Continue reading