Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lord Over Drugs

It was an "Mighty" Evening with the M5 - Mighty Methodist Men's Movie Ministry.  A last minute organization by leader T.C. resulted in 15 of us watching 15:17 to Paris.   My favorite line (for obvious reasons) - "My GOD is bigger than your statistics".

Naturally, I agree with this statement by the Mom refusing to jump to drugs as any solution to parenting.   The Teacher jumped to the conclusion that the son had Attention Deficit Disorder and suggested medication. A "fix it" with medicine problem solving mentality.  While I understand (especially with my own back pain at times) the real need for drugs and medication, I also believe we are an overdrugged culture and jump to that solution as the easiest way out.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that more than one quarter of all American children and teens now take prescription drugs on a regular basis, too -- and this percentage is on the rise as well. Many of these children are taking dangerous psychiatric medications like Ritalin and Risperdal for so-called behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Could it be that the early history of drug acceptance for all ailments (and especially to our children) was the seed of our hard drug problems today? 

Now the big news (although it is old news) is about the Opioid and epidemic overdose crisis that is infecting the USA (over 130 deaths per day).   Check out this interactive map from 2009 to 2014 to see it's spread and geographical dispersion at  A Deadly Crisis

One of the SVP Cincinnati Fastpitch finalists is Drug Free Club of America  and is trying to change the landscape of this picture by proactively incenting youth to say no to drugs.  

Can Government help with these statistics?   How long has the war on drugs been publically proclaimed?  Nixon used those words in 1971.  Looks like Government is losing the war.

Time for something bigger than statistics.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Highway to Heaven

Last night I got to help a friend (M.I.) who is on a rehabilitation journey from an unfortunate accident back in July.  We talked about the challenges of life when the road suddenly turns a different way than we envisioned.  Add to that new bumps, roadblocks, mandatory detours, and even broken bridges preventing progress. We think we are in control, and can build the road we want - the superhighway that we can speedily rush to our destination.  But no - each of our journeys - the roads we take -  are not built by us and are complicated by intersections;  and others who are journeying on the same road (racing us at times); on ramps and off ramps; even choices that we freely take when there is a fork in the road.

Yet we all travel together, some on the same path, others beside us, and yes, even traffic moving the opposite way.  We wish there was a world of autonomous cars, all perfectly coordinated, symbiotic in unison and cooperation where we can securely and leisurely sit as we are carried comfortably to our destination.  Just tell the car where to go and relax.  Everyone will be happy.

Yet this vision of "Travel Heaven" is doomed to fail here on earth.  The roads here are always under construction, filled with selfish drivers who think of themselves first.

I think this was (and is) the plan - the very purpose we are placed here to experience.  The hard work of navigating the very curves in the road that we are faced with.  Asking for help from others for directions (when we are lost) and creatively overcoming the obstacles along the way.

Beep Beep -  For those stuck in the road and not moving forward  -  there is always a way.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Belated Christmas Post

Here is the Belated December 2017 Christmas e-Letter:

    Wisner Family   December 2017

C'est a year to be born again, and the Wisner's had many milestones to celebrate - newly weds blessed, a nuptial nest, graduation and new college test, a couple publicly profess, even a semi-empty nest  -  this year vows to be the best.
Ellen (College Test)  - A K-12 Brave graduate, U.C. it was either an Escape, break, or fate that she stayed in town.  No more bakery - babysitting is now serious business - maybe even a degree to pursue.  Leaving Rock was a Bear, no Cat was happy about that choice - a bow wow pair also.  Rowing has a ring to the idea of exercise, but 4am alarms and weekend excursions can bug you (and "sit up" can too).

Jenna and Paul Robinson (Nuptial Nest) - May made marriage more memorable this year with a merger of Robinson with Wisner.  The Wedding consultant (SDW), kept it low cost and a home was MADE. I RAte it a 10.  YOU Can sLIDe over anytime to see the new gas fireplace.  With busy careers in Nursing and Health Insurance, they will greet you with Hello Fresh and use their time for handyman (and handywomen) projects.

Susan and Garen (Publicly Profess) - Now Semi Empty Nesters, they are experiencing new life together.  A big step for Garen turned into #100 Emmaus Walk (17 years late).  Sounds like Susan could relax now but instead she presses on - the new Lay Director for Greater Cincinnati Emmaus in 2018. They continue to focus energy Outback with spiritual power of a backup generator.  New members in two clubs - books and paddles will create activities together.  There was a ginger moment on the cruise that filled the empty nest home sickness with the Mediterranean Sea.  Other options like the trip to Salt Lake City may be future common stock for them both - with bountiful returns.  Susan's avalanche of cards now allows her to talk like the rest of us about the 60's.

Some Very Philanthropic dinners preceded the Social Venture Partner Cincinnati 10 year anniversary celebration.  Even declaring "I'm In" multiple ways, reflects the joy of giving - every bit of coin.   Changing Gears from a Freestyle was a gift in two ways.  Exploring the landscape of servanthood with and through others is our return on life.

However, renewals come with setbacks and attacks in many ways - oneself, friends, family and on the world.  There is safety in only one place and one way.  Christmas lights that way.  Our hope is you follow the star, shine in glory, and rely on God - this day and the next.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

"Don't shine so others can see you ......
              Shine so that through you, others can see HIM."
                                       C.S. Lewis

Monday, September 18, 2017

Stunned Silence Saturday

It felt like a full eclipse - total darkness as Miami University lost to University of Cincinnati for the 12th time in a row. How memories fad so quickly.  The years I attended Miami the football team ran up a string of 23 undefeated games.  Last year Miami had entered the record books as being the only team to go 0 and 6 and win 6 straight games to end the season and get a Bowl Bid.  So naturally, the alumni like me felt the recent losing streak years (21 straight defeats) were behind us. 

But this game - the 5th oldest rivalry in US history - was time to show UC that Miami was back.  Unfortunately, of the 28 years as a season ticket holder this game will be etched into my memory.  The final two minutes will forever be remembered as the worst luck and judgment in my Miami Football memory.

The Victory Bell is once again missing from Miami's campus.  Sounds of Silence!

59-56-7  Miami             
With Jenna (3/8 of a Redhawk and 5/8 BearCat), Paul and Ellen Bearcats, it was a tough evening for Susan and I  (old Redskins).    

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Miami University Partial Eclipse

Forty Five years ago, I was preparing for the life event of starting college at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).  The first day on campus was actually Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1972.  If you looked at my office today you would think that I had created a shrine to Miami. 

My memories of Miami are again flooding in (no pun intended given Harvey and Irma disasters) because of continuing the tradition of writing weekly letters (yes snail mail technology) to Ellen who is now enrolled at University of Cincinnati - the DARK SIDE :)

I started this letter tradition (Monday Miami Memories) with Jenna, when she initially enrolled and began attending Miami University eight years ago. Jenna also was tempted to the DARK SIDE and graduated from U.C. in 2013. 

These letters are full of Miami University trivia, nostalgic memories of the good, the bad and the ugly, but most importantly it described the relationships that I developed that were life long with college friends. Coincidentally, I got to reconnect with two of those friends, Brian M. and Andy C. this summer (should have been my July 21, 2017 blog entry) when they both happened to appear in Cincinnati at the same moment (call that an early Miami  {Partial Eclipse). 

Source:  Andy C's Phone and Facebook Post
With Rich missing - there was no chance for a Bridge rivalry, however I think there will be a future reunion in the making.  Now all of us retired - there should be no excuse.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Trivia-l Eclipsing/Intersecting Goals

It took a Crossroads sermon on Sunday to tickle my trivia nerve to research the total Eclipse path  of 2017 and 2024 across the United States.  I watched the total eclipse on CNBC Monday August 21 as it traveled across the U.S. and when it was near Ohio, I did glance out the window but had no interest enough to even step outside (at about 2:40pm). 

But when Brian Tome showed the next path of the April 8, 2024 total eclipse and said it would be even closer to Cincinnati, I took notice.  Why not find the perfect blackout location and (if convenient and weather permitting) travel to that location. 

In fact, I can't believe I didn't take the opportunity to blog about this since there was almost constant media and I assume other bloggers creating list after list of statistics and facts on frequency, elapsed time, GPS coordinates etc. 

So belatedly, I will add my trivia to the masses.   First an interesting global map of the 21 century eclipse path - with North America as the 'center of the world" and most important :)

 More fun is wondering where the exact intersection of the 2017 and 2024 perfect viewing location somewhere near the village of Makanda, IN somewhere in the wilds of the Shawnee National Forest. For the real trivia buffs - for the 2017 Eclipse, the pink pin labeled  GD is key for Greatest Duration (2 minutes 40 seconds) and the Green pin labeled GE is Greatest Eclipse (when the axis of the moon's shadow cone passes closest to the earth's center) which was 12 miles northwest of Hopkinsville KY.  We were fortunate that the GD and GE occurred over the mainland USA. Many times it is over the ocean - but this GD and GE was significantly less than the maximum possible (7 1/2 minutes).

Well since I missed going there in 2017 why bother for 2024 when I can chose anyplace along the vertical diagonal red line.  Naturally the research in me found a site to determine where to go - a NASA specific Eclipse Web Site Map.
So Road Trip planned for April 08, 2024 to just east of Indianapolis near Richmond IN. If I wanted either the GD or GE for 2024, I would have to travel to Mexico.
But if I read the chart right I would need near Richmond  at 7:07pm and the total eclipse would last only 2 minutes - quite an investment for the "Bucket List" experience.  On second thought - I'll just enjoy the thought of going and hope to last to August 12, 2045 (age 91).  It's always good to have long term goals.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Today is Day 14 for my good friend M.I. who is fighting like a warrior after a serious bicycle accident and reconstructive surgery from C-3 to C-7 - still at U.C. Medical Center.  Only now do I really begin to know what those letters and numbers stand for.  There are other people in my life that have coped with accidents (falling from ladders, roofs) or have undergone back surgery, but none have shocked me quite like this one.

My own coping mechanism for shock is to search for information, statistics, numbers - in a Spock like logical fashion - and dampen any emotional surge.  Try to avoid the infinite loop of "WHY" that attempts to let the emotional valley of despair be visible.

I saw M.I. and D.I on Saturday - Day 7 and everything from the neck up was normal.  Just like the 17 years of gathering together discussing life, the future, and ..... well some of the insignificant current events (when compared to this event).  My conversation that Saturday afternoon was primarily just that - just insignificant stuff -  in an attempt to avoid any emotional rollercoaster intimacy that grief or uncertainty might uncover around some fear of a future dark corner of relationship unknowns.  Avoid asking about the accident; avoid probing into their emotional privacy; avoid the obvious yearning to tell them both my own feelings of sympathy and compassion.  My thoughts - just be there for them - that should be enough.

Yes - I've reached out to my network asking for information, advice and prayer. I've researched foundations, medical facilities, checked out medical books on SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) Rehabilitation, re-read the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, watched the movie, the list goes on and on.  Each day I read the CaringBridge blog that D.I. so bravely posts and I compose encouraging words of support.  Even prayer dominates my day - specifically for the M.I, D.I. and family. 

When you don't understand ..... with no amount of data available to explain ....only three words remain - Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 13:13).