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Christmas Epistle 2016

 
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:23 PM
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Christmas Epistle 2016

An abundance of holiday cheer and merriment bestowed on all of you !! Enough of that @#%^. MERRY CHRISTMAS ! I’m so looking forward to being able to say that in our country again. Boy, what a year it has been…It’s almost overwhelming and my BS meter is pegged out. I wish there were a way to harness all the negativity, lies, fake news, hyperbole, trash talk, innuendo, and political crap and use it to power our homes… we would never have a light bill again.
I guess I’m ready for phase II… The inauguration….. but a little rest would sure be welcome. The way I figure, ‘they’ will start campaigning for 2020 before the fourth of July. It sure makes life tedious.

So… let’s put all that aside and think of positive things. We’ve all (well most) made progress on our trucks. Even if we only move it out of the garage and swept under it….That’s a good thing. And hopefully we are all in reasonably good health… although like me, some with adequate medication. The good Lord hasn’t seen fit to drop kick this planet into oblivion…yet. That’s a really good thing, because I bet UPS don’t deliver truck parts to oblivion.
I saw an item on facebook the other day that made me stop and think… the title was “10 signs you’re doing well in life” It said be thankful for the little things. For they are the most important. After I browsed the list I realized that these aren’t little things :

1. You have a roof over your head.
2. You ate today.
3. You have a good heart.
4. You have clean water.
5. You wish good for others.
6. Someone cares for you.
7. You strive to be better.
8. You have clean clothes.
9. You have a dream.
10. You’re breathing

I take some of these for granted…well, most of them and complain about trivial things… My Sunday paper was late… Publix didn’t have my favorite ice cream on sale.. (insert disappointed sigh).

But, as I read this list I thought about some folks that might not have all these things. Imagine for a minute… that you didn’t eat today.. not because you were busy and forgot but because there was no food. Or, when it came time to go to bed that it was in your car… or heaven forbid, out in the cold. Think about someone who doesn’t have a single person in their life that cares about them… how awful that would be. It makes my complaints embarrassing to me. I’m ashamed of myself.

The majority of us that live in this country and have a family and can enjoy hobbies are blessed beyond measure. Another article reminded me of this very bluntly…

it said “ If you made as much as $34000 last year, you are now part of the world's richest 1%”

When I read that… all I could say was WOW. That will put you in your place. So this year, I’m trying to regain my perspective and really appreciate everything I have been blessed with and all the wonderful people in my life. Family, friends, acquaintances and total strangers… all have an impact on my life.

For you oldtimers, you’ve all seen this before but for the newbies here’s my Christmas (and New Years ) wish for you…


This is the part I repeat each year… but I always mean every word….
I've thought about my goals for the coming year and they are much the same as last year with renewed enthusiasm.

First … take care… first is to take care of my family… both close and extended. They really are all you have you can claim …I need to treat them better. I hope you do the same.. if your relationships are broken or bent… Mend whatever fences are damaged.

Second….Help…I’ve had more blessings from others than I deserve. And I can never repay those so I'm always looking for opportunities to help friends (and strangers) when needed. Today more than ever there are far too many people really suffering and pride keeps them from asking for help. Illnesses and Job losses… financial problems and emotional stresses and it seems just a general depression have fallen on so many good people… I hope God shows them to me. We've all said ‘let me know if I can help” but never gave it another thought. But this year when I say it, I'll make sure they know my offer is sincere and follow through. One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is to accept help. Pride is my enemy here. I’ve learned your real friends want to help when you need it and it’s a blessing to them if you let them. This is something every one of us can do… even in small ways, help one another.

Third… Pray. (and that really should be #1 ) There are so many sad or tragic or insane things happening in this world and it seems those in a position to fix them are only adding to the problems and enabling the very ones that are trying to do us harm or bring down our country. I can’t make major changes in policy or protect our country like it should be. There aren’t many things on old dude can do… but I can pray. I'm trying to pray more and for more people… both friend and stranger. My pastor points out often that the need for prayer is greater than ever. I’ve seen what miracles come from prayer, both in my family and others. One of them calls me “Granddaddy”. Sadly today, hardship is a way of life for many people now. I know I can’t always help them physically or financially but I can pray like crazy for them. The oldtimers on FTE will tell you that prayers work… They did a heck of a job on my grandson !

Fourth… Be Positive… I watch the news every morning and sometimes try to count the good things that are reported… that number is smaller than ever. There is so much gloom and doom and depressing news that it is sometimes overwhelming. One of my biggest challenges is trying to keep a positive attitude… this is difficult sometimes. There is no way around it… sometimes life just dumps a bucket full of ..it on you… it happens to everyone and when that happens to me I tend to get in a negative state of mind and it reflects in what I’m doing (or not doing) poorly ! … But…I've tried to find something positive to concentrate on and pretty soon that bucket full doesn't smell unbearably and it truly makes me feel better physically and mentally.

Fifth… Be responsible for yourself…. In the last year there seems to be a lot of ‘victim’ mentality. Everyone is offended or the subject of discrimination. We’re afraid of offending someone or some thing !! We’re disrespecting the rights of shrimp when we eat at Red Lobster… My feelings are being hurt because someone said a word I didn’t like. People… stop whining !!! I do it too over some perceived wrong done to me or mine… Well…Pull up your big girl/boy pants, get a life and live it. Take some responsibility for yourself and stop depending on someone or some group to take care of you or to validate you. You are an individual who should be responsible for yourself. Think how great everything would be if everyone contributed to the common cause and lived by the Golden rule. Wow ! wouldn’t that be amazing. Your momma told you a hundred times … do right ! Start today! (I started a long time ago, but had to start over a few times ) I’m trying to do right to everyone and everything around me… although this one is sometimes a major challenge.

Sixth… Smile…This is an easy one. Hell, it ain’t hard and it helps. Oh you can say… I’ve got it hard and you just don’t know… Well, maybe you do and maybe I don’t but God created you so that it takes less effort to smile than to frown. And you can do that even if you do have it hard and I just don’t know…It will improve how you feel, even if it’s hard and it can help other people too when they see YOU smile on a crappy day. AND a extra benefit of it….. it will drive the people that are trying to get to you crazy. I’m smiling more.

Seventh… Take care of you. Those that love me and some that don't have convinced to I need to take better care of myself physically. My campaign against my addiction to junk food is ongoing and don’t give enough thought to diet and exercise. I need to change that if I plan on living long enough to finish my truck ! That’s my incentive ! I fuss at family and friends about smoking or drinking but don’t fuss at myself enough… time to change. I’ll bet there are things you could change that wouldn’t kill you… literally.

Last one… Love ‘em…..This is an important one Make those people that mean the most to me know they mean the most to me. Not by buying them big gifts but by loving them beyond measure and making sure that they know that you do…

That’s about it… but it’s really a lot and I need a lot of work on some areas… maybe you do too ?? Every year I end my epistle with the same thing… a request for my friends. I want each of you to do something for me this year.

Enjoy your Christmas completely. Gather together with family and friends and have an excellent time. YOUR TASK IS TO MAKE IT AN EXCELLENT TIME.

Do something foolish or funny, act like a kid… do you even remember how ???

Kiss an ugly cousin and tell them you love them and how great they are looking. Hug every child in your family and tell them you love them.

Walk up to a total stranger and say Merry Christmas.
Do everything you can possibly do to make this Christmas special…for your family and everyone around you.

BE the spirit of Christmas this year . You can never know the one person who really needed to hear you say those words or needed that hug. It happens… it happened to me more than once and I had no idea.

Hopefully, you’ll be totally exhausted from it. You won’t regret being tired.. it will give you the best Christmas ever. I promise.

I’ve said this in the past and it suits me to say it again…there are lots of new folks that haven’t been subjected to my blather yet.

My Christmas and New Years wish for all of my FTE family…

I hope that you and your families are in good health and spirits.
I hope that you are close to all of them and share good times often.
I hope if that isn’t the case and it's your fault that you fix it …. Soon. And even if it's not your fault… fix it…. SOON.
I hope that you can't begin to count all your friends. Not just your facebook friends… real people !
I hope that you have a God that you believe in and TALK TO.
I hope he listens to you and answers your questions and prayers.
I hope you thank your friends for being your friend and tell them how much it means to you just to have them in your life.
I hope you'll share these Christmas wishes and thoughts with every one you encounter, both friend and foe, loved one and stranger.
Be politically incorrect and wish EVERYONE Merry Christmas!!

Remember who’s birthday it is !!!!!

I hope you'll drop a dollar or two in the Salvation Army Bucket… make that bell ringer feel useful AND stick a couple of bucks in their pocket or a Starbucks gift card to get themselves a couple of hot chocolate on you.

Perform random acts of kindness to strangers… tip big occasionally… take a dozen donuts to the firehall…stop and shake a policeman’s hand and say thank you sincerely.

I hope you'll send a Christmas Card with a check in it to the local mission or to Toys for Tots, or pick up a gift for an Angel Tree child. My favorite charity is St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital… they do good things with your money.

I hope you’ll pray for our service men and women who won’t be home this Christmas.

I hope everyone here at FTE has a wonderful Christmas week. Be safe in your travels, be sincere in your expression of friendship and abundant in your love for those around you… especially the little ones. Show them the way to celebrate these special days. Teach them it ain't about the x-box or the I-phone…and prove it by how you act.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my friends and family at Ford Truck Enthusiasts.
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:36 PM
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Do you have any idea how long it would take me to type that ? My finger would be throbbing . P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all .
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:42 PM
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Well said, John and Merry Christmas to you!
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:50 PM
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Very well expressed, John
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:14 PM
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Merry Christmas, John, and God bless!
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 03:38 PM
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Great words to live by! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
w
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:08 PM
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Thank you and Merry Christmas, John. Your annual Christmas greeting has become a long standing FTE tradition. Its enthusiastic reception every year is an important indicator of the special type of people that gather here for mutual encouragement and support. We have a passion for a particular hobby to be sure, but we can also (like John) freely share our common values and principles. This is what makes our forum so special and helps hold the loyal following that it has.

Wishing everyone God's blessing on your celebration of Christmas!
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:19 PM
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couldn't agree more... lot's of guys here don't know what this group did for me back several years ago when my grandson was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They prayed, they sent money and cards, they raffled off stuff and the proceeds were sent to me for my daughter and s-i-l. But, the main thing was the prayers and good wishes and fellowship they showed me and my family.. This group is one of finest examples of family I've ever seen... No blood kin, but brothers one and all... A very unique and special group of individuals... and they drive such neat trucks !!
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:21 PM
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John,


Thank you. Once again you're words and wisdom have touched me and have been a comfort and a help.


Again, Thank you


Merry Christmas!


Bobby
 
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:25 PM
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Thank you John!

John.

I've only been a creeper on FTE the last year, more interested in driving my truck. Always look forwad to your posts, and viewpoint on many issues.

I always enjoy your Christmas epistle, if nothing else we all need to stop and reflect at this time of year. It would be nice if we could keep that going through the rest of the year too.

All the best to you and your family, Merry Christmas.

Tom
 
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:32 AM
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I very much enjoyed this years Epistle, well spoken indeed. Thank you John, God Bless, and merry Christmas.
 
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:58 AM
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I'll have to wait for that to come out in a movie.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Later!
Mr. Ed
 
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:29 AM
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Thanks so much John. You always are an inspiration. Have a Happy Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year.
 
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:29 PM
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John, you express yourself so well, thank you and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR my friend.
 
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:40 AM
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As always a high light of the year. Glad to be a part of the fte family. Happy holidays to everyone!
 

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