It’s going to be “Alright”. (Tree 63)

Family & Friends,
The 2nd half of 2012, is going to be MORE than Alright! It’s going to be phenomenal.



I believe a change is going to come
That yesterday is over
I do yeah I do yeah

The clouds have silver linings after all
I’ve seen them with my own eyes
It’s true yeah – it’s true yeah

Though darkness overcomes you now
Morning will break through somehow

It’s all gonna be alright – it’s all gonna be alright
Even this will pass – tomorrow comes at last
It’s all gonna be alright – it’s all gonna be alright
It’s all gonna be alright

The grass is greener on the other side
No matter what they tell you
It’s beautiful – so beautiful

Sow in tears and reap with songs of joy
No sorrow lasts forever
It’s true yeah – it’s true yeah

There never was a darkest night
Without the promise of the morning light

It’s all gonna be…

Love Unmatched – 143 Million Orphans

Friends, This is love unmatched, when we love others not for what we can get in return.

My dear friend, Jason (Executive Director of…in his own words said this – “I recently had the opportunity to  speak at First Christian Church in Champaign, IL Chosen for Life Adoption Conference . . . Their purpose and passion is to walk alongside God’s people and seek to fulfill God‘s mandate to care for the orphan.

Watch the clip here: Click Here

Find out more about Jason and the work at ‘’, here.

Love finds a way – A Desperate Army Wife Started A Movement…

Independence Day is almost here and this story caught my attention.

Love Matters.
Relationships Do Matter.

Make a difference today!

When Rob Wise left the Marine Corps to join the Army a decade ago he may have looked forward to a better life, starting a family and receiving support from the people he worked for. The Marines have been known to be less than accepting of new wives and fledgling families. I’ve met more than one soldier who left the Corps for the Army after hearing that if the Marines had wanted him to have a wife, it’d have issued him one. After all, the hard charging, oft-deployed life of a junior Marine can take its toll on girlfriends, wives, and troops alike. That’s worth mentioning because Andy-Lee Fry at The Leaf Chronicle in Clarksville, Tn., where Wise and his wife Ashley are stationed, tells a story all too common in the military—and Ashley’s dedicated response.

Following Rob’s second Iraq combat tour he started having flashbacks. Vivid moments of surprising intensity that mentally flung him back to battle when hearing a loud noise, or catching a sudden movement from the corner of his eye.  Ashley told Fry the situation demanded professional attention when Rob took all the weapons he had in their home, some booze, went to a local hotel and after she called him, told her, “Life’s just really hard, I might do something stupid.”

She called the Army’s Family Advocacy program, an organization that supports families in crisis. After the counselor put her hand on Ashley’s arm, told her she was in a safe place and to trust her, Ashley opened up. “I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours,” she told me on the phone. “It’s the only reason she got me.” What she meant was that as soon as she outlined the difficulties she and Rob had been going through, the session stopped, the advocacy worker got up and Rob was promptly picked up by the Military Police.

Read the rest of the story here:

Checklist: 11 things a wife expects from her husband.

Eleven Things…

Hey you…love struck-ready to pop the question dude. Think you are ready ? Not sure yet, OK no worries.
There are some things that are just basic, alright not basic but these are ‘must-knows’ and it’s probably better you hear, prepare for it before you get into marriage. So before you claim someone flipped the script, changed, stopped being fun and are now cramping your style. Here are 11 salient expectations in marriage especially from your future wife.

So don’t hide behind your ignorance. Come out and see for yourself.
So what do you think? Agree or Disagree? It’s reasonable right? Now go ahead and propose.

  1. She wants you to listen when she talks.
  2. She wants you to value her opinions.
  3. She wants you to appreciate her publicly and often.
  4. She wants you to tell her the truth.
  5. She wants to be the ‘only’ one.
  6. She wants you to spend enough time with her.
  7. She doesn’t want you trivializing her weaknesses.
  8. She wants you to show you care about her.
  9. She doesn’t want you shouting, screaming and hitting her.
  10. She doesn’t want you to compare her to other people in your life, especially your past.
  11. She doesn’t want you to take her for granted.

Don’t forget Relationships Do Matter


The Wisdom of Geese – Anon

The Wisdom of Geese: 5 key lessons on teamwork from watching geese fly.

When a goose flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the birds that follow. By flying in a "v" formation, the flock adds more than 70%greater flying range.
– Learning: The power of team synergy.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly experiences drag and quickly moves back into formation to take advantage g the lifting power of the bird in front of it.
-Learning: The power of team support.

When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies into the lead position.
– Learning: The power of shared leadership and interdependence – skills, talents, capabilities, resources.

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
– Learning: The power of team encouragement.

When a goose is ill, wounded or shot down, tow geese drop out of formation and fly down to protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they catch up with the flock or join another "V".
– Learning: The power of sticking together in good and bad times.

Crumbling Cookies: A Response!

It was a simple post on Relationships Do Matter page, it seemed at first but upon reading it- Unfortunate, avoidable and painful are some of the words that only remotely describe this story. Before you read my response below, read the story here:

‘Tade’, there is no doubt that you are in a confused state and sincerely you are going to need a spiritually sound, culturally aware and honest relationship counsellor/pastor to help you navigate this marriage/relationship maze. While we wait for you to engage a pastor, I would encourage you to prepare to face the truth, embrace and start living in the truth. It’s a very popular truth that the power of sin lies in it’s secrecy and yes, it’s very hard to confront the truth but it is the only way forward. The scriptures (John 8:32) says, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It is true, only the truth shall set you free. Your story is one of a weak marital foundation. It is weakened, damaged and the couple’s involvement as well as commitment can reverse the natural progression of decay. I have seen and heard of miracles, I believe in them.

Rewind: If I could undo the past, I wish you had stood your ground (respectfully) before your parents and expressed your viewpoint. This is a stance that would have been under guarded with prayers as your affection for Ejiro might be misconstrued especially if there are cultural or religious dimensions to your love choice. Do understand that parents, OK some parents insist on ‘arranged marriages’ because that’s what some of them were exposed to and for them it worked. There are also others who make these marital arrangements (aka deals) to preserve their societal influence and position. Indeed some maintain this outlook as a means of demonstrating their affection and ensuring their precious daughters are adequately provided for and protected in life. Honestly, I wish we had this conversation (even if via the Relationships Do Matter Group Page)…anyway, that’s the past now.

Marriage is unique, it has a way of testing our convictions and exposing our deepest intents. Over time, hidden emotions do bubble to the surface with their unannounced arrival at your most vulnerable moments. See ‘the past’ shouldn’t be frivolously dismissed, such events and ‘open doors’ should have been shut prayerfully and consciously.

We’ve got enough blame to go around; forceful parents, societal and cultural pressures, judgment lapse, betrayal, available and beautiful assistants or PAs, the stress of a career, emotional distance etc but I won’t focus on those now but on your questions.

Your questions are confusing because we don’t know the ‘full’ story but before we answer any of those questions, I must ask you mine, are you married? Your response is the vital key on this journey.




I recently came across a 20-year-old photo of Phil and me when we were dating. I started thinking about how very little I knew about relationships, men, and marriage then.

Formulating a list of what I would tell myself back then, my advice began with a stern warning to stay away from any man with a mullet . . . but then again, it was the ’90s—every man had a mullet!

On a more serious note, these are eight principles that would have taken much confusion and heartbreak out of those tumultuous dating years. I hope they help you:







7. DRESS TO KILL . . .

. . . your evil desires and his.  


Read the entire article here: 


My favorite “Father’s Day” Quotes.

Happy Father’s Day!

  1. I can’t think of any need in childhood as STRONG as the need for a FATHER’S protection. – Sigmund Freud.
  2. Fatherhood is our most important role and responsibility, regardless of our other successes if we fail in the home, we have really failed. – Flo
  3. It is easier to become a father, than to be one. – Kent Nerburn
  4. When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. – Mark Twain
  5. By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong. – Charles Wadsworth
  6. "Father! – To God himself we cannot give a holier name. – William Wordsworth.
  7. My Father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give to another person, he believed in me. – Jim Valvano
  8. The greatest thing a FATHER can do to his children, is to love their mother. – Anjaneth Garcia Untalan
  9. It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father. – Pope John XXIII
  10. Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development.~ David Gottesman
  11. Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.~ Anonymous

Image: pinterest

7 Lessons in Manliness (Father’s Day)

7 Lessons in Manliness (Father’s Day)

7 Lessons in Manliness From the Greatest Generation

by BRETT & KATE MCKAY on APRIL 30, 2009 ·


Every generation has its share of men who fully live the art of manliness. But there may never have been a generation when the ratio of honorable men to slackers was higher than the one born between 1914 and 1929. These were the men that grew up during the Great Depression. They’re the men who went off to fight in the Big One. And they’re the men who came home from that war and built the nations of the Western world into economic powerhouses. They knew the meaning of sacrifice, both in terms of material possessions and of real blood, sweat, and tears. They were humble men who never bragged about what they had done or been through. They were loyal, patriotic, and level-headed. They were our Greatest Generation.

Tom Brokaw gave them that name, and while it’s a bold claim, I wholly support it. They weren’t perfect by any means, of course, but as a whole they were a cut above the rest. One of the inspirations for Kate and I starting the Art of Manliness was our grandfathers. When I looked at them, and then at the men of today, the chasm of manliness seemed jarring. These are men cut from a different cloth of manliness; they simply don’t build them like that anymore. Their extraordinary manliness is not something you can scientifically measure. But you can sure feel it. And you can see it in old pictures. It seems every man back then was dashingly handsome; their manliness practically leaps off the page.

When I was taking a tour of the USS Slater in Albany last summer, Uncle Buzz and I were looking at the tiny, closet-sized kitchen where a couple of men prepared meals for hundreds of sailors as the ship rocked to and fro, and at the giant guns the men used to blast the enemy and knock planes from the sky. One tends to picture 30 year old guys doing that stuff; Tom Hanks and Co. always leap to mind. But a lot of them were just 18, fresh from the prom and varsity football.

In Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, he remembers his mother telling him the story of the day Gordon Larsen came into the post office where she worked. Larsen was typically a cheerful and popular member of their community, but that day he had stopped in to complain about the rowdiness of the teenagers the night before, which had been Halloween. Brokaw’s mother was surprised at his tone and asked him good naturedly, “Oh Gordon, what were you doing when you were seventeen?” Gordon looked at her squarely in the eye and said, “I was landing at Guadalcanal.” He then turned and left the post office. These were men who were surely mature beyond their years.

There’s a saying that each generation is most like their grandparent’s. And while we’re not there yet, I do see a lot of people these days who are dusting off the values of the Greatest Generation and embracing them once again. What were those values? Today I’d like to take an opportunity to enumerate a few of the Greatest Generation’s lessons in manliness, using some of my personal observations along with various stories and quotes taken from Brokaw’s book.

Lesson # 1: Take Personal Responsibility for Your Life

While today’s generation often shirks responsibility as too much work, the Greatest Generation relished the chance to step up to the plate and test their mettle. One son of a WWII Medal of Honor winner remembers of his dad and his peers, “For them, responsibility was their juice. They loved responsibility. They took it head-on, and anytime they could get a task and be responsible, that was what really got em’ going.”

And when the Greatest Generation accepted responsibility for something, they also accepted all the consequences of that decision, whether good or bad. They were not a generation of whiners or excuse makers. They took pride in personal accountability. In a time where individuals and businesses reach for a bailout or the easy fix of bankruptcy to make things right, stories like that of Wesley Ko inspire. Soon after the war, Ko started a printing business. After 35 years of working hard to transform it into a successful company, he decided to relocate his business from Philadelphia to upstate New York. Ko personally guaranteed the 1.3 million dollar loan needed to make the move. The transition did not go as expected, and Ko’s company faced several setbacks; after only a year, he was forced to go out of business. Ko said, “It was a big decision making time. I couldn’t retire. I hadn’t taken out Social Security. So at the age of seventy I had to go get a job and start paying back that million-dollar loan. I just didn’t feel comfortable with declaring bankruptcy. I just didn’t think it was the honorable thing to do, even though it would have been easier.”

Lesson #2: Be Frugal

If your grandparents are anything like mine, then their house is stuffed with doodads and boxes of stuff. They have a sort of pack rat mentality because they grew up in the Great Depression where the next canister of oats or pair of pants was not guaranteed. They learned to live on less and be grateful for the things they had, no matter how humble. It didn’t take a new Wii to brighten their Christmas morning; an orange at the bottom of a stocking was enough to knock their socks off.

This was not the generation that purchased Corvettes to soothe their mid-life crisis, nor the generation that equated success with the purchase of a McMansion. This was the generation that was thrilled to move into the small houses of Levittown, which at 750 square feet were as big as some people’s garages are today.

One of the mottos of the Greatest Generation was “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Of course, it’s hard to “make it do” if you don’t know how to fix it, and thus handiness was also central to this generation’s frugality.

Tom Brokaw remembers this about his own dad:

“My father, Red Brokaw, was a blue-ribbon member of that fix-it generation. My mother learned not to say aloud what she needed, say a new ironing board, because my father would immediately build her one. She liked to buy something from the store occasionally. When I was a young man in need of spending money I mentioned that I could mow many more lawns if I had a power mower. I had a snazzy new model from Sears Roebuck in mind. My father went to his workshop and built a mower using an old washing machine motor, welded pipes for handles, a hand-tooled blade, and discarded toy wagon wheels mounted on plywood platform. He painted it all black and it was a formidable machine. At first I was embarrassed, but then as it drew admirers I was proud of its homespun place in a store-bought world.”


Lesson #3: Be Humble

Typical of the Greatest Generation is the story of a son or daughter who finds a war medal stashed in the attic after their father passes, he having never told them about it. Even if their exploits had been brave and heroic, the Greatest Generation rarely talked about the war, both because of the difficulty in remembering such carnage, but also from the sense that they had simply been fulfilling their duty, and thus had no reason to brag.

Brokaw observes: “The World War II generation did what was expected of them. But they never talked about it. It was part of the Code. There’s no more telling metaphor than a guy in a football game who does what’s expected of him-makes an open-field tackle-then gets up and dances around. When Jerry Kramer threw the block that won the Ice Bowl in ’67, he just got up and walked off the field.”


Lesson #4: Love Loyally

The men of the Greatest Generation took their marriage vows seriously. Brokaw wrote, “It was the last generation in which, broadly speaking, marriage was a commitment and divorce was not an option. I can’t remember one of my parents’ friends who was divorced. In the communities where we lived it was treated as a minor scandal.” The numbers bear Brokaw’s anecdotal evidence out: of all the new marriages in 1940, 1 in 6 ended in divorce. By the late 1990′s, that number was 1 in 2.

This was a time where there was no hanging out or “hooking up.” Men asked women on real dates, and had serious intentions in doing so. When a particular gal caught a man’s heart, he proposed, and they got hitched. And they were married for the next 60 years.

Peggy and John Assenzio had the kind of commitment to marriage typical of the Greatest Generation. They were married right before John headed off to basic training. Peggy kept her husband constantly in her thoughts while he was away. “I never went to sleep until I wrote John a letter. I wrote every single day. I wouldn’t break the routine because I thought it would keep him safe.” When John got home, he and Peggy picked up right where they left off. John would sometimes have nightmares about the war, and Peggy was always there to comfort him. John said, “The war helped me to love Peggy more, if that’s possible. To appreciate her more.” Their commitment to each other was unshakeable. Peggy believed that young couples today, “don’t fight enough. It’s too easy to get a divorce. We’ve have our arguments, but we don’t give up. When my friends ask whether I ever considered divorce, I remind them of the old saying, ‘We’ve thought about killing each other, but divorce? Never.”

The cynical among us are apt to think that while the divorce rate was low, that simply means that more men were stuck in unhappy marriages. These days we’re quick to think that anyone who gets married in their early 20′s and is married for decades after that, is bound to be living a life of quiet desperation. Yet I’ve met a lot of Greatest Generation couples and almost all of them are and were quite happy together. They’re companions and best friends. What’s their secret? The answer can really be found in changing expectations. As Brokaw observes, “When they got married and began families it was not a matter of thinking, “Well, let’s see how this works out.” Some would argue that marriages were less happy because divorce wasn’t an option. But could it be that the opposite was true? That with the divorce option off the table the whole tenor of your marriage would change? Maybe things wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t think there was an escape hatch, and you knew that whatever bumps in the road you hit, you had to work through them together.

Lesson #5: Work Hard

In war, these men had learned to focus on the objective at hand and not give up until that objective and the mission as a whole was accomplished. When they got home, they carried that focus over to the world of work. They didn’t fall into the fallacy that Mike Rowe has been busy denouncing, that you have to find “your passion” to be happy. They could find happiness in any job they did, because they weren’t just working for personal, self-fulfillment; they labored for a bigger purpose: to give their families the financial security they hadn’t enjoyed growing up.

As soon as they graduate college, many men today want the things it took our parents and grandparents 30 years to acquire. But the Greatest Generation knew that going into the debt was not the way to get the things you want. They understood that the good things in life must beearned by honest toil.

Lesson #6: Embrace Challenge

The Greatest Generation wasn’t the greatest despite the challenges they faced, but because of them. Today many men shirk challenge and difficult pursuits, believing that the easier life is, the happier they’ll be. But our grandfathers knew better. They knew that one cannot have the bitter without the sweet, and that true happiness comes from overcoming the kind of challenges that build character and refine the soul. The challenges they experienced made their joy all the more sweet because it was tinged with the gratitude of knowing how easily it could all have been taken away.


Image by iamthelorax

Lesson #7: Don’t Make Life So Damn Complicated

If there’s a common thread in these lessons, it’s having a common sense and a level-headed approach to life. In our day, when men are obsessing about finding themselves, their holy grail of a woman, and their “passion,” the Greatest Generation’s uncomplicated approach to life is refreshing. They didn’t go on a diet, they simply ate whole food; they didn’t exercise, they worked around the house; they didn’t obsess about their relationships, they just found a gal they loved and married her. They always looked sharp, but never fussed with fashion trends. They didn’t mull over which appliance better suited their personality and image, they just bought the machine that worked the best. They didn’t think about how to get things done, they just got em’ done. When Joe Foss, a celebrated and daring WWII pilot and then governor of South Dakota was asked if he missed his younger days, he said, “Oh no. I’m not a guy who missed anything from anywhere. I’ve always been a guy who just gets up and goes.” Instead of spending you time navel gazing your life away, just get up and go!

7 Lessons in Manliness (Father’s Day)