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James R. Stout

My Final Commision?

            I know some people who believe that you should never look back on your life and that you should only look forward. While that sounds like a positive thing, the truth is that if you’re lucky you’ll get to an age where the majority of your life has been lived. I’m 65-years-old (well, I will be in 5 days). We’re not promised another day and we should be prepared for life to end. That’s not being negative. It’s just realistic. My grandfather died when he was 67. So, when he turned 65, he had lived 97% of his life. He didn’t know that at the time, but it is nonetheless true. I know that he had to look forward to some things at 65, but he was also a realist. He knew he had a heart condition and that he likely didn’t have much life left.

            So here I am at 65. I am certainly looking forward to what time that I have left in life. I am looking forward to a new chapter in which I will get to spend a great deal of time with 4 of my grandchildren. I still have things that I would like to accomplish including writing a second book, photography jaunts, and musical endeavors. I’m also a realist in that I understand that I may not get to complete all of the things that I want to complete. That’s life. The thing is that in quiet moments when I’m alone and just “thinking” I often think back on my life. The things that I accomplished. The things that were joys and the things that were sorrows. The people that I loved who have gone ahead of me to be with God. The places that no longer exist except very vividly in my memories. The places that still exist but have changed incredibly. The friends that I have known for decades and the friends that I have only known for a short time. Perhaps what I reflect upon the most is the way things were at a given point in my life. From my earliest memories as a young child to memories from the recent past.

            I have been blessed to have experienced some of my early life before things got nuts. Here we are in 2020. In the music business of old if a record failed to chart or sell, then it was considered a flop. Well, 2020 has been a flop. I try really hard to be positive and mostly I am, but for crying out loud 2020 has been a complete mess. It’s hard to understand a lot of what has been going on. I don’t care what age you are, if you have any decency at all, then you can’t understand what has been going on either.

            I could go on and on about all the bad stuff we’ve seen come to pass, but I won’t. What I want to do is point out that a person needs to cling to God and to his family during this unstable time in America. We also need to stand up against tyranny, propaganda, violence in the street, and the attack on what was once the American way of life. I will soon be living next to my grandchildren and my daughter. I want to be the influence on their lives that God would ask me to be. I want to show them the values that God would want them to have. In short, I believe that my main focus and goal for the remainder of my life is to be a positive influence on those precious children and to demonstrate to them the correct alternative for life versus the bombardment that they receive from ungodly and sinful entities on all sides. I ask for your prayers in this new chapter and if you’re my age and have grandchildren, then I’ll pray the same for you.

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