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Take a moment to reflect

Today, I led an activity that both honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and acknowledged the beginning of Black History Month. A part of that activity included 3 reflection questions. This post is simply to share those questions with you. Think about them. Write out your answers, and place them somewhere where you can see them every day as a reminder. How am I helping to make Dr. King’s dream a reality? How do I fall short when it comes to embracing people from other cultures? What are some ways I can improve in the area of Read More

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Stand still and know

I was watching “Men in Black” for the billioneth time today and noticed something I’d never paid attention to before. (Warning: I’m going to speak under the assumption that people reading this are familiar with the movie.) Toward the end of the movie, Agents J and K shoot a flying spaceship, to prevent the occupant from leaving Earth. We watch as this large ship comes crashing back down to the ground and skids to a stop. J and K are close enough to the action for the wind to blow K’s hair back. Yet, neither of them flinches or runs Read More

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What about your friends?

I had every intention of writing about a totally different topic. But while I was out running an errand, my mind got to wandering (as it often does). Somehow I ended up on the topic of what a “real” friend is (vs. the people we refer to as “friends” on social networks). I’ll admit that I have “friends” on Facebook I’ve never met in person. Those numbers are pretty small, but I met these people through mutual friends. I enjoy the conversations we have, and some of them have become sources of encouragement and laughter. However, I’d classify them as Read More

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Charlie

I used to have a plant named Charlie. Out of all the plants I had, Charlie was sort of my favorite because he was different than the others. Charlie had been growing wonderfully since I’d gotten him. Then one day, when I came home, he was completely drooped over. I didn’t know what the problem was, and I got worried about Charlie. The next day, as I checked on him and watered him, I started to sing “Cheer Up, Charlie” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” That’s how Charlie got his name. After a few days, Charlie seemed to Read More

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Don’t stand so close

This evening, I was coloring. (Long story.) I got the idea of drawing a sun, and I saw the picture in my mind. So I started putting it on paper. But I quickly realized that the color of the paper wasn’t really working with the design I’d had in mind. I kept coloring, anyway. When I finished, I moved on to do something else. A few minutes later, while standing across the room, I looked at my sun and realized that it had come out just the way I’d imagined! Sometimes, you have to take a step back and see Read More

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The Wisdom of the Gambler – Pt. 3

 This is the last post in the unexpected series about The Gambler. This is the part I’m sure you’ve been waiting for because we finally get to the catchy refrain! You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Simply put, you have to pick your battles. Though you may really want to get your point across, sometimes it’s better to just save your breath. This line also reminds us that sometimes, you don’t reveal everything that you know. (I’d use more card references, but I’m not much of a card player – unless you count Read More

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The Wisdom of The Gambler – Pt. 2

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the nuggets of wisdom hidden in the song, “The Gambler.” Here are a few more nuggets that I’d like to share: Wisdom can come when you least expect it…and when you need it the most. The first line of the song says that the singer and the gambler were “on a train bound for nowhere.” After they stop avoiding each other and have grown bored of just staring out of the window, the gambler looks at the singer and can tell that he’s at the end of his rope. That’s when he offers the singer Read More

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The Wisdom of The Gambler

Most people are probably familiar with the Kenny Rogers version of the song “The Gambler” and may even remember his TV series of the same name. For the past few weeks, the refrain to this song has been popping in and out of my head. I’ve even used it as my Facebook status a few times. Today, when the words popped into my head again, I decided to look up all of the lyrics and figure out what message I was supposed to be hearing. After reading through the lyrics, I picked up a few nuggets of wisdom that I Read More

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The Trinity River Plays

This afternoon, I went to see a play. Though I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, I really enjoy seeing stories unfold in live theater. I went to my first play sometime around the 5th or 6th grade. It’s been a while, so my memory’s fuzzy. The show I saw was either August Wilson’s Fences or Shakespeare’s MacBeth. I think it was Fences. Our school did a large field trip to see this show at the Court Theater (in Chicago) because one of the younger students was in the play. The thing I remember the most Read More

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History repeats itself

Today, I caught the tail end of a History Channel special about the Freedom Summer. The portion I watched dealt with the funeral of James Chaney, one of the three civil rights workers who was beaten and murdered in Mississippi in 1964. A clip from the funeral showed activist, David Dennis, speaking to the audience. A snippet of his words jumped out at me, “…I’m tired of going to funerals…” Hearing these words gave me a sudden feeling of de ja vu. I’ve heard that same phrase spoken time and time again over the years by parents of innocent victims of gang Read More