Thursday, March 6, 2014

Another Book Recommendation

In a recent post I recommended “Sealed with a Kiss.” I now recommend another book, also written by a friend of mine. Below is the summary of the book from

Dr. Ken Ardrey was a hardworking and enthusiastic pastor and family man when his life was suddenly shaken up by a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. He battled, and continues to battle, the physical and emotional aftershocks of his illness. However, rather than letting this sickness permanently sow seeds of bitterness and despair, he has developed a faith based plan for dealing with all that life can, and will, throw at you. This book chronicles Ken’s personal journey, and provides the reader with a practical blueprint for living their faith and having courage in the times of need. How will you respond when life shakes you up?

The book is encouraging and inspirational, and also very practical. I highly recommend it whether or not you are dealing with a crisis.

“When Life Shakes You Up” by Ken Ardrey
Paperback, available at Amazon
ISBN-10: 1937602222
ISBN-13: 978-1937602222

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Recommendation

I’d like to recommend a book to you, especially if you are a baby boomer. Read the description below from and then I’ll tell you about my role in the book.

Drawn from an extraordinary collection of over four hundred perfectly preserved personal letters, “Sealed with a Kiss” is a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a glimpse of an America poised on the brink of change. Anyone who remembers having a pen pal, scribbling envelopes with codes like S.W.A.K, or even just falling in love will recognize themselves in its story--and savor its vision of not just a unique moment in time, but also a timeless love.

In 1957, Bob Zielsdorf is thirteen and living an ordinary middle-class suburban existence in York, Pennsylvania. On a trip to Massachusetts to visit a friend, he meets fourteen-year-old Fran Jordan. Though they spend less than an hour together (admittedly, an hour that includes some kissing, thanks to a local variation on Spin the Bottle), they agree to write. Remarkably, they do, beginning a correspondence that will last for eight years, encompass hundreds of letters, and end with an enduring marriage.

As Bob and Fran move from middle school into high school and college, they never live in the same town or even the same state. Long distance calls are still too expensive to be a relationship staple. Instead, the teenagers' bond, which begins as friendship and only later deepens into love, is forged through writing. Describing high school and college, family and friends, home and travel, frustrations and dreams, practical jokes and serious car accidents, companionship and “chemistry,” the letters paint a vivid and unselfconscious picture of two lives in transition from childhood innocence to adult choice.

The “friend” Bob was visiting in Massachusetts was me, and I appear in several places in the first third of the book. If you grew up in the 1950s and 1960s you’ll appreciate the descriptions of life back in the day. The book is an easy read, and it’ll take you down memory lane, especially if you were a teen-ager during that time.

“Sealed with a Kiss” by Bob Zielsdorf, ISBN-10: 0991317408, Publisher is Two Shores Books, Vero Beach, Florida. Available through Amazon. Paperback

Muddled Thinking

There was a news item recently concerning a new, more powerful, pain killing drug that is about to be introduced to the market. However, this new drug has produced some controversy because there are some who fear it will be abused and more people will die as a result. Those opposed to the drug would rather have people in severe pain suffer so that drug abusers may live. What’s wrong with this picture?

Should we get rid of all cars because some people drive recklessly and kill themselves and others? That’s the kind of muddled thinking we are seeing. I believe it is better to provide as much relief as possible to those who are suffering excruciating pain, such as burn victims and cancer patients. I know the human toll resulting from substance abuse, and I include alcohol, is staggering, but we as a society should be working to eliminate the causes of abuse, not denying beneficial drugs to those who need them.

Another example of muddled thinking is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to remove three charter schools from public school buildings. Again we have mixed up priorities, penalizing those kids fortunate enough to get into a charter school for a dubious purpose. Moreover, he reneged on commitments made by former Mayor Bloomberg, and these schools have already begun hiring teachers and administrators. I think New York is going to regret electing de Blasio if he continues this way.

This is a reminder that we should pray for our leaders, that they do the right thing for the people. We should include in our prayers our representatives in Washington and Albany plus the President, Governor and Supreme Court.