Life’s Playlist…. A House Is Not a Home performed by Luther Vandross

Tomorrow the final chapter of my life in Florida comes to a close.

Good Lord willing, I am scheduled to close on the sale of my condo there.  I hope the new owners will be as happy in that little space as I was.

The Florida condo was my first major purchase, the biggest by far at the time I bought it about 15 years ago.

Two bedrooms, two baths, set on the fourth floor of a four-story building.  The condo is in a complex of 20 matching buildings with 24 units in each building.

I paid $54,000 for the unit.  I used an inheritance my grand-father left me for the $5,000 down-payment.

During the years I was in the condo I enjoyed it very much.  I got my first taste of political life there when I ran for the Board of Directors and was elected six years in a row.

When I decided to buy my home in Lake Park, I kept the condo as a rental, those were interesting days to say the least.

A year before I moved back to Georgia, I renovated the condo and moved back in.  When I moved back to Georgia, I rented it out again.

For the last two years I’ve had another renter in the space.

I recently decided I just wanted the condo off my books.  I put it up for sale and the tenant moved out.

I had an offer, we agreed on price and the purchaser couldn’t get funding.

Second offer came through and eventually fell through, it was below asking price but I accepted because I was starting to get nervous about the sale.

Last week I got a full ask offer, all cash closing in ten days.  JACKPOT, I took it.

Yesterday I signed the contract and sent it in….. LORD PLEASE LET THIS BE FINAL!

So todmorrow ends a portion of my life that served me well and blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.  A piece of my heart will always be in Florida, but for me home is where I am today.

Life’s Playlist….. Glass House by Jaci Velasquez

One of the things I like most about social media is staying in contact with friends and family.  It is a good way to know what is going on with those I love and what is going on in the world.

When I wake up in the mornings, I turn on the news and I open my Facebook.  For the next 30 – 40 minutes I study them both.

I guess I am nosey, but I really enjoy knowing what is going on in the lives of my friends.  Social Media has allowed me to reconnect with people from my childhood, I like that.

Something I hate about social media is how divisive it can be.  Sometimes simple comments can be misunderstood and blown out of proportion.

Sometimes our own inner prejudices come out and hypocrisies go on full display.

I made a decision a couple of years ago that I no longer discuss politics on social media, it is simply too much of a powder keg to hang your hat on a meme or put your feelings out in 280 characters.

Additionally, I decided I wouldn’t be discussing religion, I have my faith, you have yours, I don’t judge yours and expect you not to judge mine…. that is what Jesus would do after all, right?

One of the things I hate most about social media is when we put out a persona that simply isn’t true, or when we try to create a judgement on others when the windows of our own glass house has major cracks.

In my humble opinion, there is nothing worse than a religious bigot.  People who speak for a religion instead of a relationship with God are destructive, it took me a long time to realize that, but I did and have no apologies for that statement.

This weekend one of those situations arose on Facebook and to put it bluntly, it really pissed me off.  Someone I have known since childhood, someone I consider a friend today and forever, put a completely bigoted meme on their Facebook feed that slapped me in the face.

I don’t know if it was meant for me or not, I don’t care.  It was spiteful, it was rude, it was bigoted and it was NOT something that Christ would teach.

Without going into much detail, the meme reported that some people could not be Christians.  REALLY?  The Christ I serve teaches that all who come to him are forgiven, loved and saved.  It doesn’t say, everyone but a certain group of people can be saved.

I wish I could laugh about these types of posts, but I can’t, because, I know you.  I know your life, I know your past and I know your heart, when you try to lessen the faith of others because you may have an issue with a segment of their lives, it weakens your argument and just makes you look like a fool.

And the people who “like” the memes, yes I check those out too…. you are in the same boat.

Faith is something that is personal, it is for the individual and their walk with Christ, it is NOT for you to judge!

And now, I step off my soap-box, and you may return to your regularly scheduled programming.




Life’s Playlist….. Fly by Celine Dion

Today’s assignment for the Jeff Goins, 500 Words for 31 Days Challenge is to write a confession.

I don’t feel like writing a confession.  I don’t fee like writing 500 words.  I feel helpless, confused and angry that once again, kids went to school yesterday and they didn’t come home to their parents at the end of the day.

What is wrong with our society?

Life’s Playlist…. Stand Tall by Burton Cummings

Day 20 of the Jeff Goins – 500 Words, 31 Days Writing Challenge…. Write about Justice.

Dr. Seuss put it succinctly, Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

I often ponder on how we as a society have gotten to the point we are.  It seems as though our compassion for our fellow-man often falls behind political debate and the party lines that used to help us find compromise, today only hardens our convictions.

At what point did we get to the strident beliefs that our fellow-man is not of value, when did we get to the point where we believed that our convictions are move important than that of our neighbor and at what point did we decided it is going to be “my way, or no way?”

Day after day we see the debates that confront us all, divide us.  I once heard a pastor say, if we would concentrate on the 90% that we agree on, the other 10% could fall into place.

I’m not Pollyanna enough to believe that we will ever come to a point where we all agree on everything, our differences are what has made us great as a nation.  But those differences used to be celebrated, today the division that is created threatens our society in ways that outside threats cannot.

As American’s we are good at coming together when life’s challenges threaten us.  We help our fellow-man when floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tragedy strikes, but within days we let our differences harden our actions and go back to the win at all costs mentality that has gotten us to where we are.

Here are a few truths that I stand by with conviction and resolve:

  • We are stronger together than we are separately.
  • America is the greatest nation ever to grace the planet.
  • Only America can destroy America.
  • We are all Americans, there is no place in America for hyphenated Americans.
  • I am not guilty for the sins of my forefathers, nor is your life affected by those same sins.
  • We have all had leaders we didn’t vote for, however those same leaders were elected and the OFFICE they represent always deserves respect.
  • If my leaders lie to me once, they will lie again and again.
  • America is a guiding light, we have our problems, but together there is nothing we cannot overcome.
  • Leaders must hold a higher standard morally and ethically and their actions must always represent that higher calling.

I believe in the melting pot of America that has served us well for over 200 years, we have our problems, but we are a resilient nation.  The only way to cure the ills that affect us today and into our future is to start acting like Americans.

I fear, for many of us, the standards we were built upon have been forgotten.  You are entitled to help when you need it, you aren’t entitled to anything if you don’t give 100% towards the betterment of our society.

Unless your report says you are 100% native American, you and your ancestors were immigrants.  Immigrants built this nation and walls, fences and waters should never keep them out.  However, immigrants must assimilate to our nation’s ideals and cultures, and you must follow the rules to be here.

No one is entitled to be an American and if you don’t like the way our nation is headed, then change it, lawfully with ideals that can help make us stronger, not tear us apart.

I pray for our nation and hope that we will once again start acting like Americans, the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Whether you are black, white, straight, gay, old, young or any other subset of the American dream, it is your responsibility to help move us forward in ways that honor the forefathers who built this shining city on a hill.

Life’s Playlist… One Voice performed by The Georgia Boys Choir

When my pen touches the paper, the magic that happens is beyond my wildest dreams.

The figures that I have created for over fifty years have made me famous beyond my imagination and allowed me to bring the simplistic voice of a child to the world’s forefront.

It is hard for me to believe that a simple idea so many years ago would become something that the world identifies with.  From a simple newspaper feature, my cartoons have become television shows, movies, stuffed animals, books, characters in theme parks, on every street Halloween night and even traveling ice shows.  These characters that formed in my mind and came to life on paper have allowed me to express a viewpoint to the world.

I’m no great artist, I know that, but what I am is a man who is able to express an opinion through the eyes of a clumsy young boy who relates more to his dog than he does his friends.

This boy, his dog and group of misfit friends have given me wealth and fame, but more than that, they have taught me the joys of a simple message, a message that is quoted and shared by parents with their children and children with their children; they have allowed me to share my views with a world that more often than not just needs a little joy with their morning paper.

When my characters were given a voice and color was added to their world, they came to life and now just the sound of a childlike voice takes my fans to a place where everything is made possible in just a few frames of newsprint.

I started sharing my drawn family with the world in 1950, it was a much simpler time then and as the world has changed, my kids have stayed the same.

Although they are now fifty years old, they haven’t aged a day, they are still the same rotund group of feitsy, nerdy, hard to understand, shy, lyrical, gullible characters they were the day they debuted to the world.

If I had known the world was going to fall in love with them, I may have changed some things, but as I look back on it now, I know they are perfect in all their imperfections.

I love these kids like they are my own family, because if I am truthful, they have become members of my family.  Like those who take time to visit with them every day, you can find members of your own family and situations from your own life in the lives of these kids who visit you.

Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Pig-Pen, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Woodstock, Snoopy and Charlie Brown have become cultural icons because of their single focus of bringing good to the world.

On this date in 2000, the last original “Peanuts” comic appeared in your newspapers bringing to an end the stories of these kids who made my life so special.  That last original comic, was brought to you the day after I passed away at the age of 77.

I am Charles M. Schulz and I am the cartoonist who brought you Peanuts.  I am also the “voice” of today’s Jeff Goins, 500 Word Challenge your author chose to use in his assignment “write in someone else’s voice.”