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Turn these pages, and you will find yourself surprisingly inspired by a murderer locked up in prison, a drug-using football player who dreamed of the pros, and a selfish, womanizing dare-devil who died and met God. You will root for a husband and father whose marriage was a battleground, a homosexual man searching desperately to belong, and an innocent lamb who lost, in a single moment, everyone he cared about most. And you will rejoice that their sins and their pasts were no obstacle for heaven. All of these men became living beacons of hope, walking proof of the triumph of the human spirit over darkness. In the heat of the fiercest of spiritual battles, when all seemed lost and these men were left with nothing to stand on but stormy seas, they were given a lifeboat, a new path in life-one that they never dreamed of, not for an instant. They were pulled in a different direction that, at first, they didn't want, and then at last, they loved. In the boat of safety, they sailed with sure victory into breathtaking, unknown vistas. This book exposes the inner lives of six remarkable men: their private guilt, masked pain, secret hopes and loves-things they normally do not share, but perhaps with one human being. Yet, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, they have openly revealed to us what most men never do, their souls. While this book may be about six males, it is for everyone, because it is also a book about a woman. That woman is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the boat of safety for all of us, the surest and safest passage to the heart of her Son. She is our victory and sweet reassurance that God's plan is infinitely better than our own; and she is our challenge to follow her Son, no matter the cost, no matter how fierce the battle. Read the stories of these brave men, and you will inevitably come away with a desire to climb in the boat with them and sail safely home.
The Great Plains are as rich and integral a part of American literature as they are of the North American landscape. In this volume the stories, poems, and essays that have described, celebrated, and defined the region evoke the world of the American prairie from the first recorded days of Native history to the realities of life on a present-day reservation, from the arrival of European explorers to the experience of early settlers, from the splendor of the vast and rolling grasslands to the devastation of the Dust Bowl. Several essays look to the future and explore changes that would embolden the people of the Plains to continue to call home this place they have learned to value in spite of its persistent challenges. ø The infinite variety of the Great Plains landscape and its people unfolds in works by writers as diverse as Willa Cather, Loren Eiseley, Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe), Diane Glancy (Cherokee), Langston Hughes, Wes Jackson, Garrison Keillor, William Least Heat-Moon, Kathleen Norris, Wright Morris, Francis Parkman, O. E. R”lvaag, Mari Sandoz, William Stafford, Mark Twain, Douglas Unger, James Welch (Blackfeet), and Canadians Sharon Butala and Sinclair Ross. From tribal histories to the impressions of travelers today, from tales of isolation and nature?s furious storms to accounts of efforts to build communities, from flights of fancy to nuanced observations of the ecology of the grasslands, this comprehensive volume provides a history of the intricate relationships of land and people in the Great Plains.
We as a people of a proud and historic nation have watched as our economy was fractured badly during the 2001 period through 2009. The lust for big power and wealth has caused some leaders of government, business, and religion to have more ambition to achieve their own personal success than to care about those persons they are responsible in leading and protecting. Our political system has lost the ability or desire to have bi-partisan teamwork to make the quality of life better for our children and grandchildren. My goal is to get us to seek and find solutions to problems and not just whine and gripe among ourselves for self gain. I am a small town boy from Kentucky who was fortunate to get to go to college on a basketball scholarship. My college education may not have been possible without athletics. Three years as a young Marine Corps Officer gave me an opportunity to see life from another vantage point. Forty years as an Executive in the Auto Industry and an opportunity to live in eleven different states and one territory and raise a family of five gave me another good perspective on life. This book has been born from the memories and actual experiences I have enjoyed from relationships and friendships with many interesting personalities from Baseball Great Roberto Clemente to former Governor George Nigh of Oklahoma to many top executives in industry. I have seen the "Good, the Bad" and even the Ugly" of life. Fortunately I have seen so many good and kind people that the bad and the ugly have been overcome.

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