The ten commandments of me

I've been busy the past couple of days coming up with the Ten Commandments of Brian. Best selling author and blogger Gretchen Rubin suggests that readers of her book, “The Happiness Project,” establish a list of personal commandments to be used as overarching principles and guiderails to help lead a happy life. Other philosophers, self help …

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Taking advantage of second chances

There are certain things that are wasted on the young. I remember being a teenager, sitting in various English classes every year, trying my best to get the meaning behind some poem and having neither the time nor the patience to understand it. The words and their meaning went over my head. They failed to connect. …

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Through Mary’s eyes: The day Christ died

In my December 2015 blog, Taking a walk in Mary's footsteps, I posted some thoughts on what Mary might have been thinking about as she gave birth to Jesus. I continue the story by offering a glimpse of how I imagine Mary suffered, seeing her now-grown son crucified on the cross, and how she came to her faith in …

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In times of need, what do you say?

I stuttered and stammered and, later when I was alone, I shook my head in disgust for making a fool of myself. I barely had a chance to take a sip from my coffee several weeks ago when I ran into a former coworker who recently lost his wife. She was involved in a serious …

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The simple skills we fail to learn in high school

My day had not started well. I forgot that I needed to drop my son at school and I was running late to work. I still needed to make a few tweaks to a presentation I was giving later that morning and I desperately needed my morning coffee. Despite the time, I stopped at a coffee shop …

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Speaking up for what’s right

How do you judge what’s in another person's heart? My son and I were talking with a college representative about my son’s chances of earning a scholarship or grant money for college. The man talked about how tough the fight for scholarship dollars can be. In a nonchalant fashion, he continued, asking if we had an “ounce …

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My neighbors think I’m a vampire and other strange personality traits

I feel the bile first. There’s dread too. The sweaty palms come next. Our daughter works in her college admissions office and one of the admissions counselors asked us recently to attend a local event for accepted students. The counselors and current students would talk about the college. My wife and I were asked to talk about …

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Giving up control of the steering wheel . . . and life

I’m holding onto the shoulder harness above my head with my right hand like my life depended on it. I’m fretting over every slight move of the car; how close we are to the middle of the road; how close we are to the edge of the road; every start and stop. My head is …

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Writing short

You would never know it by reading my writing, but I love short, tight sentences. I’m not a particularly big fan of Stephen King, but I love his often quoted writing advice: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” A writer’s site that I follow posted this week “six word stories that tell an …

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Finding my faith

I remember the day clearly in my mind. It was a brisk, sunny day. The wind whipped through the light jacket I wore as I walked across the parking lot. I opened my car door and made a mental note to pick up a heavier jacket when I left later that evening for Washington, D.C. Despite the …

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