Life’s Playlist…. Carolina In My Mind by James Taylor

Happy Birthday, James Taylor!


Life’s Playlist… Moulin Rouge skated by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

I am a figure skating fan, have been since I was a child.  I used to do some skating myself.

Watching skaters glide across the ice, throw their bodies into the air and spin multiple times in the air and land back down on an 1/8″ blade is pretty remarkable.

Some people say skating isn’t a sport….. I say BS.

Watch this performance by the Olympic Ice Dance Champions from Canada and tell me how this isn’t a sport… and INCREDIBLE art!

Life’s Playlist…. Just As I Am performed by George Beverly Shea

I saw Billy Graham once.  It was in the 90’s at the Georgia Dome.  I don’t remember the exact year.

Mr. Graham was conducting a Crusade in Atlanta and I attended on one of the nights her was there.  By the time I arrived there were already tens of thousands of people in the stadium.

I don’t remember the sermon, I’m sure it included a message of God’s Love, Forgiveness and Redemption.

What I remember most about the day was the sea of humanity that had gathered.  Black, white, straight, gay, saved, lost, sinners all, the stadium was filled with those who were there looking for something in their life to help them.  Billy Graham provide that.

And when the altar call was issued, thousands upon thousands of people made their way to the front of the stage where Mr. Graham stood, inviting them to accept Jesus as their Savior.  It was a beautiful moment that lasted for what seemed like an eternity, that moment in that stadium was one of the most powerful I have ever witnessed.

The sounds of a thousand member choir and the rich baritone of George Beverly Shea singing “Just As I Am” remains with me today.

Billy Graham has now died.  He entered the gates of heaven and will now live in eternity at the hand of our Lord.

Without a doubt, when Mr. Graham passed, the first words he heard were “well done my good and faithful servant, well done.”

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.”