Words of Wisdom from Andy Rooney

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Credit: Wikipedia

At the beginning of this New Year, I thought it appropriate to share with you some wisdom from Andy Rooney (1919-2011), who had the gift of saying so much with so few words.

I’ve learned….That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned….That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned….That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.

I’ve learned….That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned….That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned….That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned….That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him or her in some other way.

I’ve learned….That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned….That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned….That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned….That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned….That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve learned….That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned….That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve learned….That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

So, my dear friends, I pray that such wisdom, seasoned with the amazing grace of the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the world, the Comforter of mankind, will penetrate your heart and guide your footsteps in the year of our Lord 2019!

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Christmas Cards and Greetings

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It’s that time of year when our mailbox is the recipient of scores of Christmas cards and greetings. Terry and I enjoy reading every one of them and place them in a special receptacle on the hearth of our fireplace. They are warm reminders of friends we’ve made throughout the years.

Your mailbox probably also receives Christmas cards and letters. Those of you who know us may be wondering why one of the greetings you receive does not come from us.

The reason is quite simple. Over the nearly 53 years we’ve been married, Terry and I have been blessed with a formidable number of friends. The question is who should be included on our Christmas card list and who should be omitted. We have found no easy answer.

To include everyone we consider our friends, the printing, signing, addressing, stuffing, sealing, stamping, and mailing of Christmas cards would be a huge task. And Terry would find it difficult to resist the inclination to add a personal note to each one. Sending electronic greeting cards is an option but we have not yet been persuaded to go in that direction.

Instead, over the years we’ve discovered great joy in redirecting to our favorite charitable causes the money we would otherwise spend on Christmas cards and letters.  Accordingly, please consider this article our way of saying we love you and thank God for you.

Terry and I are well, enjoying the special blessings of good health and happiness. Our daughter Angie, her husband Todd, our grandson Kolby, our granddaughter Kayla, and our son Andrew are all doing fine and bring us great joy. We love them dearly and thank God for each of them.

My mother Elda is still here at the tender age of 102 years, 8 months, and 10 days. She prays every day to go to heaven to be with Jesus and her dear husband Martin, my Dad, who has a 36 year head start. We tell her that Jesus is not yet ready for her but that she gets closer each day.

We’ve been in our “new” home in Georgetown, Tex. 3 ½ years. It’s a new residential area in the country but still close to town. Our neighbors are wonderful people who love to socialize and genuinely care for one another. We are some of the most senior citizens in our subdivision, yet Terry and I find great joy in sharing Christian love and concern. We’re not alone in doing so.

So please accept this sincere and heartfelt greeting, with its mercifully brief personal and family update, along with our prayers for a blessed Christmas celebration of the birth of baby Jesus!

Correction

Oops!

Thursday’s Perspectives article was discovered to have a faulty link to:

  • Life, Love, Faith, Family by Jerry Kieschnick (CPH) — Perspectives from a veteran church leader

Try this link:

https://www.cph.org/p-32843-life-love-faith-family-perspectives-from-a-veteran-church-leader.aspx

Please accept my apology for any inconvenience. Many blessings!

Special Events

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Today’s article could be titled something like: “Reformation, Halloween, All Saints, Mission of Christ Network, Mid-term National Elections, Zion Lutheran Church Walburg Wurstbraten, Legacy Deo Board of Directors, and Legacy Deo Sunday.” There are undoubtedly other special events this week but this list will suffice. I’ll simply call all those listed above “Special Events.”

Much could be said about each of these events and activities. They mean many things to many people. Some are related to Christian mission and ministry organizational operations. Others are fund raisers for charitable causes. Still others are related to civic or governmental entities and offices. Terry and/or I are involved in all of them. I imagine you have your own list as well.

At times I’m inclined to think that if I were to decide not to participate in any or all of these and the numerous other events and activities on my calendar, no one would miss my presence or involvement. Then I realize that if everyone felt that way, no one would show up or participate. Then the worthy causes would not be supported and their objectives would not be accomplished.

Would that be eternally consequential? Perhaps not on the surface. But digging a little deeper produces a reminder that all charitable or governmental causes should be designed to benefit the lives of people. The people who participate feel a sense of fulfillment at having done something meaningful for someone else. The people who benefit from the events in question are blessed in numerous ways, including physically, spiritually, emotionally, and eternally.

So during these days of significant festivals and endeavors, I hope you join me in thanking God for the opportunity to be involved in special events and worthy causes. And join me also in thanking God that those who benefit from these organizations and endeavors will be blessed by such special events and the people whose time and effort make them happen.

Genuine Refugees or Illegal Immigrants?

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News reports the past several days have shown an estimated 7,000 people, mostly from the Central American countries of Honduras and Guatemala, traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States. Are they to be considered genuine refugees or illegal immigrants?

Internet stories abound, replete with photos of men, women, and children carrying small bags of clothing or other personal possessions. Their facial expressions range from tearful fright to aggressive anger. Many are young men, seemingly traveling with buddies but no identifiable family. Some are young children with mothers or fathers or grandparents or aunts or uncles.

Most are walking. Some are riding on flat bed trailers or in the back of pickup trucks. Some are floating on makeshift rafts or inner tubes on the Suchiate River, the border between Guatemala and Mexico, trying to bypass border officials. Others have torn down barricades at the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Still others wait in line at the border to enter Mexico legally.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. the debate rages on, fueled by approaching mid-term elections and the broad chasm between those who would welcome anyone to our country and those who take a more restrictive approach. Again, are those who seek entry genuine refugees or illegal immigrants? Either way, they are human beings, children of our heavenly Father. There’s no simple solution.

In the mid-19th century my forefathers and foremothers, and very likely yours as well, left their home country and came to America. They traveled on ships, enduring dire conditions throughout the three month voyage. Upon arrival in New York or New Orleans or Galveston, they made their way to what became their new home and eked out a living from the land.

There was little if any public assistance available to our ancestors. They made their own way and became law abiding, tax paying citizens of this country. They pledged their allegiance to the flag and to the values of the United States of America. That was then. This is now. Some in the current immigration caravan surely seek to do the same. What about the others?

What should be our proper response to this humanitarian dilemma? We have laws that govern immigration to our shores. Those laws need to be followed or amended. Not all the immigrants in question are evil people, just folks who seek safety and opportunity to provide basic needs for themselves and their families. We need to do what we can to help them reestablish their lives in our country. That assistance must be provided responsibly.

The Bible is full of encouragement, even commands, for people of God to welcome strangers. It’s much easier to do so when those strangers are genuine refugees, not illegal immigrants.

Driving Hope

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Credit: Wikipedia

In my life I’ve known many people suffering from cancer. It took my father’s life 35 years ago. This debilitating disease affects both patient and family.

One of the greatest challenges faced by cancer patients and their loved ones is the necessity of traveling from home to a major medical center for treatment. Often such facilities are hundreds of miles away in major metropolitan areas with dangerous traffic volume and congestion.

The levels of anxiety, worry, and fear escalate in situations like this. The family member doing the driving is gravely concerned about and fearful for the wellbeing and life of the patient. Add to that the tension brought on by the trip and the result is a predictably high level of stress.

Last year Michael Hohle, truck-driving brother of my longtime friend Dr. Philip Hohle, came up with the excellent idea of what is now called Driving Hope of Texas. The plan is to secure at least one customized van that would be used to transport patients to treatment centers.

The comfortable van will include reclining seats, entertainment system, and on-board restroom. An atmosphere of Christian support, prayer, meditation, and encouragement will bless the ride.

The Mission of Driving Hope is to provide safe, timely, comfortable, affordable, long distance transportation to cancer patients (and their caregiver) by making a round trip from rural communities in Texas to distant treatment centers. Initial service will include the counties of Brown, Mills, Bell, Milam, Comanche, Hamilton, and Coryell, with more routes to be added.

Driving Hope provides neither medical nor counseling services. It is essentially a taxi service, set apart from other transportation options by the difference it will make for clients. The environment of care, comfort, and hope will make the trip as bearable as possible.

Because this is a startup organization, initial funding is needed. To assist in this endeavor, make plans now to attend the Friday, Nov 23 Glimmer of Hope BBQ, Dance, and Auction at Dale’s Essenhaus in Walburg. BBQ plates with sides are $15 and are also available to go.

The evening will include Country and Western music. Wear your boots! Shoppers will be able to pick up Christmas gifts at the live and silent auctions, which will feature many unique items. Few Black Friday deals are as satisfying as simply helping another human being in need.

Normally I do not advertise ministries or organizations in my Perspectives articles. Today I’m making an exception and encourage you to join Terry and me in supporting this worthy cause. Go to https://www.drivinghopetexas.org/ for tickets, online giving, and additional information.

Estate Planning Stories

 

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Here’s a non-serious and perhaps non-factual story about creative estate planning:

Joe was a single guy. He lived at home with his widowed father and worked in the family business. After he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with whom to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. “I may look like just an ordinary man,” he said to her. “But in only a few years my father will die and I’ll inherit 20 million dollars.”

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card. Three days later she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.

Now here’s a true story on the serious side. Over 30 years ago during my first term of duty with what was then known as Lutheran Foundation of Texas, I assisted a married couple with their estate plan. For a number of reasons they asked LFOT, now Legacy Deo, to serve as executor of their respective estates. He died several years ago. She passed away earlier this year.

In accord with directives in their last will and testament, the Executive Director of LFOT, now known as the Chief Executive Officer of Legacy Deo, is serving as executor. That’s me.

This couple’s estate included a double crypt at a funeral home in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Recently in that state for another reason, I was able to look at this very valuable estate asset. Because the family chose to be buried in Texas, they no longer need the crypt, now for sale.

The funeral home is the most beautiful I have ever seen. The main building is surrounded by well-manicured grounds and acres of bronze grave markers. The interior includes pristine, dignified crypt halls with burial spaces on each side, from floor to ceiling. I was impressed!

It’s my duty to liquidate all assets of this estate, which will then be distributed to the Lutheran congregation of which these two dear folks were members. If you’re interested in more information about crypt location and price, let me know. I’ll be happy to provide the details.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, I strongly encourage you to do what these fine folks did. Take care of the very important matter of estate planning, which is not accomplished simply by marrying a wealthy senior citizen. Planning your estate is a critically significant responsibility that, when accomplished, will bring peace of mind to you and to your family. Legacy Deo can help.