Wow! A New Post

How don’t know how long it has been since my last post but I do know I need to get back to writing.   I have been reading some new books. I’ve been fighting the good fight of losing weight and gaining a little control over what goes into my body. Or should I say I am taking back some of the control I though was not under my control. Either way I hope that I am on a roll. I completed the Veteran’s Administration MOVE Intensive program which is a 12 day program of classes, weigh-ins, exercise and eating an 800 calorie diet all under the guidance of the best medical personnel in the VA. Since June 22, 2017 I have lost over 30 pounds and I continue to walk around 10,000 steps a day. Many days I do this with Gus, our new rescue dog. I’d like to thank the people at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, Michigan for their tenacity and love in providing this program. So that is one very positive aspect that is happening in my life these days.

As I sit down to write this post, I know there are many negative things happening in our world, most of which I have little control over, but I also know the blessings which are even closer to home. I have an awesome wife of 46 years, who has been with me and did a fantastic job guiding our children into adulthood. She continues to play her violin, viola and sing to praise the Lord and uplift those she touches everyday. I am very remiss in communicating to her the very special blessing she is in my life. In fact, right now, she is sharing a “tea time” with her granddaughter and friends (It was her idea and she provided the necessary utensils for this to happen for our 5 year-old Pepper Sue).  So my life is full of blessings and it is my desire to share the practices which will help to raise your level of “positivity resonance” as Barbara Fredrickson says, in Love 2.0.  (This is a very good book to hep you get started in finding ways to bring positivity into your life and family.

Until next time, Seek your Positivity,

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John

While I Walk

Today, as on many days, I walk along the Saginaw River as I listened to a book on tape. I finished the newest book byby Glennon Doyle Melton titled  “Love Warrior”. I cannot begin to tell you how powerful a message she shared . She gives us an understanding of what love is. It is a very profound  reality as she opens up about the “rules of the world” she  believed and the way those beliefs or should I say “lies” she used to guide her choices and the choices of those she trusted. These “lies” lead to some very grave problems and separations that have destroyed many people and families. This was the very first thing I have read by the author. As she shared things about her life and journey, I knew such things really do happen in this world but she shared her behaviors. What they did and eventually the meaning these insights opened on her journey of healing. The honesty and tragedy of some of the events broke my heart and I found myself, as a male, waiting to see if the broken bits of her life would ever find a positive resolution. If I hadn’t had things to do when I first began to read, I most likely would have read this book straight through.

Along the River

Along the River

As I finished listening, today,  a ship taking cargo downriver passed by. It happened about the same time the author recognized or shared that she saw herself as a ship bringing gifts to “her people” as she called them throughout her book. The gifts she gave them and us included love, courage, vulnerability, true beauty and wisdom. As I list these few gifts, I know in my heart this list of blessings she bring or gives is very incomplete. I wish I could share all the unique ways this book’s message touched me, I struggle to remember it all at this time, but please know this if more people had the courage to make such a journey our communities would be much better off. Check it out.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Wisdom, Courage & Vulnerability of Others, Jolly John

Positivity, Life & The Wholehearted

Viking Ship

Viking Ship

Sometimes, no all the time, it is tough to be positive in a society that is constantly belittling, criticizing what is wrong ( and there are things which are wrong) and just looking at all the mistakes. The sad thing is that most of us regret hurting others, choosing the wrong path and then finding out later how wrong it really was, but by then it is too late. Remember, hindsight is clear and 20/20. Yet, the damage has been done.

So making different choices and seeking to live with honesty and wholeheartedness will be difficult. You will be swimming upstream and going against the tide. However, the life we create for ourselves and others will be worth it.The more smiles we can give to others, the more smiles we will get in return. The more smiles going on in our world means there is more of the positive, fell good hormones or chemicals coursing through the blood streams in the folks around us as well as our own.

BC Street Art

Street Art in Bay City, Michigan

Taking time to write this, putting words to page and thoughts out in the open, has already made a difference in my life. I’ve said in the past that I’d really like to write more often. So I’m going to make another great attempt to share my thoughts with my readers. I really pray that you have an opportunity to smile today and share some hope and positivity with someone in your life.

The pictures are of some positive things in my life this summer. The top one is of the Draken Harald Hårfagre which is the largest Viking ship which was sailed to Bay City, Michigan from Norway. They have had some challenges as they made the trip. You can read about the journey by clicking on the name above.

The second picture is the Bay City Street Art that was a project completed through a “Leadership Bay County class, a giant, colorful compass featuring a sailboat has been stamped in the middle of the intersection of Center Avenue and Water Street, just outside the entrance to Wenonah Park.” The cool part for me is that they asked my son, Adam to design the piece of art for the project. Again you can check the link for more details.  I am going to try and continue to share the pictures of my journey.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Sharing a Smile :-), Jolly John


Building a Wholehearted Community

The project has begun. I am embarking on Building a Wholehearted Community. In her book Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection, Dr Barbara Fredericton talks about the  “broaden and build” principle that happens as people connect in positive ways with one another and experience positive emotions, like live, hope joy, generosity and many others. I believe that when people are happier and more positive everyone in the community benefits. My project aims to broaden and build this hope within our community using the principles and skills of positivity. I believe we live in a culture that is marinated in “negativity”. The culture’s negative message surrounds us in the advertisements which tell us we are not beautiful enough, smart enough, loving enough and good enough.  Daily the news and other media highlight the things which are bad, gruesome, wrong and hurtful, even sensationalizing it. And unless we recognize how these messages are influencing our thinking, the confusion, distraction and frustrating “dis-stress” they bring will continue to slowly erode our courage, compassion and connection to one another. My passion is to help people in my community see how they might more fully realize a “wholehearted life” by learning to use the skills of “shame residence”, “positivity” and “happiness” to overcome the culture’s negative influence. The Apostle Paul said,”Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” My project seeks to spread the benefits of “thinking on these things”. We will show others the benefits of using very easy, very simple, small, daily or regular positive skills.  We will communicate how these skills can make a positive impact on one person, one family and whole communities.  If I tell one person or two people, and they each tell someone, we can spread this message. We can help others gain the practices they can use to bless their own lives as well as the lives of others. I will be sharing more about this project right here at

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Learning, Jolly John