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Guitar Lessons

I just bought a guitar. The decision wasn’t totally out of the blue, although it wasn’t exactly on my bucket list, either. I’ve always enjoyed music. I took piano lessons when I was in grade school, and I played French horn in the band from sixth grade through high school. I bought a guitar during my freshman year in college – inspired by a girl in my dorm who played the guitar and offered to teach me a few chords, and the fact that there [...]

By |April 12th, 2019|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Music/Singing|0 Comments

The Power of the Pod

I was surprised – honored, but surprised – when a friend and former coaching client contacted me recently and asked if she could interview me for her podcast. I felt honored, because my friend is amazingly accomplished. She has a PhD and is an ordained minister. She is certified in several areas of healing arts, and has a thriving business helping and teaching others to live an authentic, happy, purposeful life. She has published a book, developed a spiritual growth app, and produced dozens of [...]

Giving and Going

“Some people give by going,” our pastor told the congregation recently, “and some people go by giving.” He was talking about an upcoming mission trip, and about the different ways people help and support such efforts. Although I had never heard that quote before, I certainly agreed with it. In fact, it made me think of one of my trips to Uganda a few years ago. While we were there, we distributed some items that had been donated by people back in the States – [...]

A visit to the hospital

We were sitting in the office of the Executive Director of St. Luke’s Hospital in the Nebbe District of northern Uganda, along with the Medical Director and several other department heads. Our main reason for being there was that our organization, Pathways to Hope Africa, is working with a medical equipment company in the States that is donating medical supplies and equipment to the hospital, where it is desperately needed. St. Luke’s is in one of the poorest districts in the northwest Nile region of [...]

A great day

I had the pleasure and privilege yesterday of working with a young woman to help her prepare for an upcoming speech contest. Her story is an inspiring one of some of the issues and obstacles she had to deal with while growing up, and of how she overcame them – as well as the insecurity and self-consciousness she felt because of them. She expressed gratitude for the people and organizations that helped her along the way, and described how they inspired and motivated her. She [...]

No erasing!

I attended a writing class last weekend at the Georgia Writers Museum. The class was taught by a prolific and best-selling author. I learned a number of things I wish I had known years ago, and that I will certainly make use of going forward. I was impressed with the class even before it started. When I arrived, the room was set up with a table tent for each attendee, already filled out and on the table, along with a colorful notebook, a pencil, and [...]

By |September 21st, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Writing|4 Comments

Learning other languages is no joke

What do you call a person who speaks two languages? (Answer: Bilingual.) What do you call a person who speaks three languages? (Answer: Trilingual.) What do you call a person who speaks one language? (Answer: American.) It’s an old joke, but there’s probably as much truth as jest in it. I was thinking about that when I was in Uganda, where I am always amazed at the number of different languages that are spoken in a relatively small country, and the number of people who [...]

By |June 15th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Uganda|0 Comments

Enjoying a day of music, mangoes, and memories

This post is about one of my favorite days, and favorite memories, out of all my trips to Uganda. I wrote it after my second trip, and the column was originally published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/27/12. Although it was close to midnight when we got home the night before, we were on the road again at 6:30 in the morning, traveling from Kampala to Iganga for my 9:00 program. I would be speaking to teachers at Buckley High School, which is actually a highly acclaimed [...]

A tribute to Sheri

I didn’t know Sheri very long or very well. But it was long and well enough to know she was a very special lady. We first met when I joined our neighborhood book club. At the first meeting I attended, we chatted quite a bit before the book discussion got going, and talked as much about writing as we did about reading. Sheri was an active member of the Georgia Writers Museum, which I was interested in but hadn’t been to yet. Our book club [...]

Oprah for President?

Like many people, I watched the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday night, and was blown away by Oprah Winfrey’s speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement. It was inspiring, empowering, and it made me feel as though, yes, a new day is dawning, and the world is about to change for the better. At no point did it occur to me, however, that this was a political speech, or the launch of a political career for Oprah. That changed the [...]

By |January 12th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Respect, Values|0 Comments