Building a house

A man’s character is his fate. Heraclitus c. 540 – c. 480 B.C. Many years ago, I worked for a home building company, and I observed very interesting behavior among people purchasing custom-built homes prior to construction. Because of the soil conditions in the area, it was necessary to drive pilings to support the concrete slab. After the slab was poured, the frame was erected. New homeowners rarely visited the house prior to the framing, but once the house was framed and sheetrock was hung, the new owners generally stopped by every two or three days. The closer it got to completion, the …
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Merry Christmas… or Happy Holidays?

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Roy L. Smith 1887–1963 Last week, one of my neighbors put up a yard sign saying “Christmas is all about JESUS.” I couldn’t help but think that their message presented a very narrow interpretation of the Christmas season, and one that largely misses the point. I agree that Christmas shouldn’t be a consumer-driven, consumption-focused holiday. But if we go too far in the other direction — defining the holiday with a Christian perspective that excludes other beliefs — then we’re still forgetting the spirit of the season. Jesus …
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Getting or giving

Real life is being things on the inside, not getting things on the outside. Ralph Parlette 1870 – 1930 This little incident took place a few years back, at a gathering for some of our extended family. We’d finished lunch and the children had settled into play mode. The weather was nice, so most of the children were playing outside, but there was one toddler sitting in the middle of a pile of toys. He had picked out one toy and was deeply engaged in it. Then another child about the same age wandered into the room. The newcomer fixed …
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