A Group of People

Play – Thoughts from Indonesia

In children, play, soccer on August 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm

By Gunnar Simonsen

Wonderland Park was the site of many epic battles back in the day where neighborhood friends would gather for day long mud bowls of football games. Back in the day, we would go outside and doing something many now have forgotten how to do…


It seems over time, we have simply replaced the art of playing with the art of hustling as we try to keep up with our friends and counterparts. It’s almost as if we are afraid to play, lest we miss out on something due to us being so wired up to the rest of the world.

In this, I believe we have lost something only now found in the place reserved for memories.

Remember what it felt like to play when no one was looking? For the love of friends and the innocent games we would play?

In the midst of the busyness of the city with its non stop traffic filled with motor bikes and small cars, dwelt a field. A field where the children would gather unbeknown to the world around them to do one thing…


I don’t know about you, but that looks fun.

Don’t you just want to… Play?

Take a moment today to give yourself permission to play today. If only for a moment, play. It will do your heart good.

Pondering Transformation

In life, transformation on July 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

By Gunnar Simonsen

What does transformation look like anyway? I mean, has any one of us ever even seen it when it occurs? You know, that very moment, the very second it happens.

It’s kind of like the old question that if a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it?

Several months ago, I began hiking. It was a really nice nature park near my home that offered a brief respite while also being a challenging series of trails certain to bring shortness of breath to anyone in the kind of shape I was in.

That first day was an incredible experience. I had no idea at all of this beauty which existed so close to my home and yet, I had not even known it. That is until I arrived at the foot of this one hill. Of course, what did I know? I had never been there before.

I remember after maybe 10 yards into this hill thinking… how many heart attacks did I just have?

That being said, I kept moving forward all the while wondering if I could make this a habit. The scenery itself had me hooked and already motivated me to return the next day. I also remember wondering if I would ever be able to make it up this hill without the occasional stroke or heart attack.

I was halfway up the hill at this point and let me tell you… I was a mess. Where was the oxygen tank?

I look back at that day now and can sum up my experience since then with a statement my daughter made not too long ago when she joined me on the hike.

“I bet you have this entire park memorized by now.”

I don’t know when it happened, but my motivation continued as I returned to the park each day for my daily hike of 3 miles of up and down hills, snakes, deer, rabbit, eagles, and everything in between.

For me, it became not only a great opportunity to get back in shape, but also an opportunity to unhook myself from technology. This included turning the ringer off of my phone, not checking messages, email, Facebook, or Twitter. It also included no iPod with my favorite mix of music.

It included just me and that trail. I suppose you could call this a tech fast of sorts.

Not too long ago, I recall a moment on the trail where I had scaled that hill I spoke of earlier. As I reached the top this particular time, I was amazed…

“When did this happen?” I asked myself.

What Do Your Pages Say?

In life, story on July 12, 2011 at 3:09 am

By Collin Peterson

The patient and I found ourselves immersed in a conversation about life, the days that have passed, and the days still ahead.  I learned that the patient was a professor at a well-known regional university.  About 10 minutes into the conversation it dawned on me that this patient is, in reality, in a hospital bed.  One wouldn’t guess that this lively and upbeat man was suffering.

The conversation came to a pause and I shifted my weight to the other foot and said, “Ya know, for being in the hospital, you sure are lively.”

The patient grinned.

“While it is only an observation, it seems to me that the recovery time for patients is far less for those patients who maintain a positive attitude throughout their recovery versus those that don’t feel as upbeat,” I remarked.

The patient replied by saying, “While it is only an adage, ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover.’”

“Well said.” I grinned.

“I will tell you one more thing,” the patient announced while shifting to sit upright, “A friend of mine once said that life is like a book.  Every page should be something that you can go back and touch.”

What is written in your proverbial book?  The best laugh you shared with your family, your child’s graduation, the return of a loved one.  What is not written?  Are there any missing or blank pages?  If so, why?  This man had a good point and I believe his proverb goes something like this:

“Books will never be obsolete, neither will your life.  Never include pages that do not have anything on them, they just weigh the book down.  Always be thankful for what you’re writing, as you never know how many times your story will be read.”

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 Timothy 4:16 The Message