Tuesday, March 24, 2015

For Love of Country

"For Love of Country" by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

I am so grateful that I live in America and I know that my freedoms came at a high price.  My heart is indebted to those who have served and their families.  This book contains stories of those that have served and their sacrifices.  It also has stories about how our veterans are helping out communities and what they are doing when they come back and rejoin the workforce.  Our veterans have so much to offer and teach us, they just need to be given the opportunities.  "We let them protect us, yet we go on with life as usual."  I believe this shows a disrespect to those that deserve our utmost respect.  How can we ignore those that have given so much for us?  "They need to return to a nation that feels connected to them."  We need to give back and have faith in our veterans.  "There can be no greater act of love by a father for his fallen son than to take his place in the ranks in the midst of war."  Powerful and inspiring.  "What we do with our failures makes us the person that we are.  When we fail, we have two choices: we can quit, and that becomes a habit, or we can learn and grow from those failures.  If you choose to grow, you can become a great leader."  Learning from our failures is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and those around us.  "After everything you have been through in the wars, you still want to help people.  All of you make us proud to be Americans."  Our veterans have given so much and when they come home they continue to give.  They are used to service and helping others and this is what they want to continue to do.  "In an era when the work ethic and collective spirit of young adults have been called into question, we cannot ignore how many of them stepped up in a moment of need; how professionally, selflessly, and honorably they preformed their duties; and how often they risked their lives to save their comrades.  Their character deserves to be celebrated with the same pride the nation shows for the World War II veterans."  "It is unhealthy for a nation to become detached from those who secure it.  Our volunteers have given the rest of us a remarkable freedom, but that freedom comes with the responsibility to understand their sacrifice, to honor them, to appreciate what they can offer when they return home, to care for those who are wounded, and to mourn those who have given us their last full measure of devotion."  I think that says it all.  What will you do to show your appreciation?

The Mistletoe Promise

"The Mistletoe Promise" by Richard Paul Evans

I really like this author for his short and sweet books.  He always has a great message in them and they are quick reads.  This story is about Elise whose marraige has ended in divorce.  Elise has kept to herself and is not looking forward to another lonely holiday season.  She is eating lunch and is approached by a stranger that offers her a propostion.  His propostion is that until Christmas they pretend that they are a couple so that neither of them have to endure a lonely holiday.  There are stipulations, like no drama and no deep questions.  Elise surprises herself by saying yes.  Her heart begins to open and she finds herself loving this man but she has a secret that might ruin it all.  "I once read that the secret to happiness is having something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love."  And I believe that "something to do" involves serving others.  "The thing is, when you grow up with crazy, you don't know what sane is.  You might suspect that there's something better, but until you see reality, it's impossible to comprehend."  I belive a number of our foster kids feel this way, they don't know what family is supposed to look like.  It takes getting out of crazy to know you were even in crazy.  I really enjoyed this book for its simplicity and its message of redemption.  Secrets have less power when they are shared.