Category: friends

Who’s Your Friend?

picture of US and Israel flags hanging side by side
Symbol of Friendship

We attended a high school sports event between a Christian high school and a Jewish high school. Both are upper scale, suburban schools and the event was held at the Jewish school’s gymnasium. The facility is fairly new, and was built on land located in one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the Atlanta area.

After we entered the gym, I noticed right away the American flag and the Israeli flag hanging side-by-side from the ceiling. At this point in time, especially this year when Israel is under attack by Palestinian terrorists it seemed an appropriate gesture.

At first, I took it as a symbol of solidarity between two allied and friendly nations. I felt good about that.

Prior to the game, The Star Spangled Banner was played. We all stood at attention with our hands over our hearts.

Then the Israeli national anthem was played, and I felt a bit uncomfortable. Many in the crowd were apparently there supporting the home team, and stood at attention with their hands over their hearts. I simply stood  respectfully and wondered what was going on.

Were the Jewish home crowd putting their religion and race ahead of being citizens of the United States of America? Were they showing their support for their Jewish brethren in Israel and all they were going through?

I noted the equal height of the national flags with the USA flag was on the left. That seemed OK, and it turns out that this is within the protocol of flag placement according to several organizations that are concerned with things like this. However, the timing of the national anthems was not. It is traditional that the American national anthem be the last played at events where multiple nations are recognized with their anthems.

My final decision is that any breach of protocol was not intended. The event was a friendly sporting exercise pitting Christian kids against presumably Jewish kids. It was a girls volley ball game, and I assure you the kids were not thinking about religion, but it was all about spiking the ball

The parents and spectators cheered for their kids, and applauded respectfully for the other team. It was a genuine American event.

Happy New Year, Bloggers!

I can’t think of any past time more rewarding than writing about things I care about, and commenting to others of like mind on things of common interest. This is the way we create communities on the internet, and the way we meet and make friends in this new cyber universe.

The last year was not a lot of fun, politically, but we all learned a lot. We also made some new friends on line. These are the kind of people you would invite to your New Year’s party, or to dinner on any evening of the year. You can spot many of these friends in my blog roll in the right hand column of this blog. These are the people I read every day.

So, to all you bloggers and readers of blogs out there, I have a little advice.

1, Even though you might have had a rough time, there is almost always another chance.

2. There is never a reason to give up, even after all the votes have been counted. Never, ever give up.

3. Remember that God has made us, and we all have a purpose in this life.

4. Be thankful for what you have, and never hesitate to work and pray for victory.

We have all been blessed, some more than others. Some have special problems to handle, and others are tasked to help. I thank God for our blessings for they are many.

May all be blessed in the New Year, and I pray that we call can be winners in our individual situations.

Best Friends

It depends on what stage of life you are talking about. You can only have one best friend at a time, like in high school, college, graduate school, church, or even from childhood. If we are fortunate we can go through life having lots of best friends, each at a different time in our lives.

There is a line of thought that God sends you special people when you need them. These friends help you through the tough times of growing up, maturing, learning to live in the world, worshiping, and having someone to talk to when in need. I have been favored by God to have had many of those special people in my life who are there when I need them. God blesses us in ways we cannot imagine with friends.

Tonight while watching college football scores on ESPN, I noticed that the old alma mater was having a really sucky year. Now, alma mater is not tow-mater’s wife (from the Disney movie, Cars). It is the college where I spent so many wonderful, and trying years learning to drink beer and become an engineer. That’s where I met Pete, my best friend in college, and probably for life.

Pete and I have nothing in common. He is the prototype sportsman with his hunting and fishing and softball teams. I am the consumate nere-do-well, techie nerd who goes to sleep in the car while my buddies are out early in the morning fishing, or hunting squirrels. I could never muster the money for a deer hunting rifle, or I would have slept through that experience, too.

Pete and I trust each other, and have pretty much the same set of values. We were there for each other at a critical time in our lives. We met in freshman English class, the bane for freshmen as it was designed to flunk as many of us baby boomer kids as possible. It is downright scary what they would do to you in freshman English, like tell you that Robert Frost’s character in his poem, “Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening”, was having unnatural relations with his horse. “He gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there’s been some mistake…” Oh, those dirty minded English teachers.

We were each others best man, and have kept in touch, pretty much, in the forty plus years since those college days. Our wives are friends, and we know, and love their children. I was thinking about asking Pete to be my lead pall bearer, but he is getting too old for strenuous duty, not that he would be needed anytime, soon. I suppose we could get a life-sized cardboard cut-out with Pete’s picture in place at the critical time, and that might suffice.

So, I called my best friend tonight to find out what the hell has been going on with the football team. They have been downright embarrassing, lately.

Pete, being Pete, responded with his soothing words of, “Now, Bob, you know we never had a decent football team. But, the basketball team will be awesome!” Now, there’s a friend for you. He always tells the truth, and fakes it enough to make you feel good.

It’s nice to have a friend like Pete. He’s always the best!