1984 Last Word Columns

Do Real Men Hug? (January 1984) – In one of his management newsletters, Harry Levinson says, “People benefit from sharing their pain. they find strength in the ability to ask for help, not because they can’t do without it, but because mutual support makes both parties stronger, both lives easier and both lives richer…”

Flowers with Faces (February 1984) – Roy Disney once told the story of an event that took place when his famous brother was in the fifth grade back in Ohio. The school teacher in that little classroom had given the children an art assignment. She waited as each child took out crayons and colored pencils and went to work with their drawings. After a while, she started down the aisle, looking over the children’s shoulders at their crude drawings…

Learning to Lean (March 1984) – I was a senior in college before I committed my life to Jesus Christ. But it wasn’t a full commitment. Even though I intended to trust God, I felt I needed to trust my own understanding also — and my ability to work things out. After all, I had never trusted anyone completely, and this was a big step…

Games Men Play (April 1984) – Last year I almost quit playing racquetball. Almost, but not quit. I’m glad I didn’t. Racquetball is a high priority in my life. By that I mean I play three times a week and often carry my racquet, shoes and shorts when I go out of town…

Mother’s Narrow Road (May 1984) – Earlier this year my mother moved into the Florida Baptist Retirement Center, across the road from the house where she had lived with my father until he died…

Expectations (June 1984) – The two stories were side by side on page one of the morning newspaper — both with glaring headlines. One said,”SLAIN PASTOR’S DOUBLE LIFE ALLEGED.” The other: “ACC– USED SHOPLIFTER WAS ‘GOOD MINISTER.'”…

Breaking Barriers (July 1984) – Although I never placed better than third in any track meet, I spent a lot of time in college practicing the shot put…

Officer and Gentleman (August 1984) – Old traditions never die — nor do they fade away easily. When I started my college ROTC training to become a U.S. Army officer, I was taught there were three things a uniformed officer never did in public…

Phony Christians (September 1984) – Aside from disobeying and failing God, the one thing I fear most is becoming phony. Our American world, in particular, has spawned far too many phony Christians. They are easy to spot, especially when it comes to money…

Endorsement Dilemmas (October 1984) – Several years ago after three candidates for sheriff all showed up at the same Sunday morning worship service, I determined I needed to be mighty careful when it came to endorsing folks for public office…

Growing Older (November 1984) – Everybody I know, when they consider the only alternative, wants to get older. Well, my daughter Sandy doesn’t want to get older. But she never accepted that we can’t halt time. She thought nine was the magic age. “Daddy, I want to stay nine for the rest of my life.” The same was true with 12, 16, 18 and now 21…

Know a Man’s Heart (December 1984) – In 1980 presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, realizing he was a controversial figure, won over the news media by opening his heart. Reporters traveling with him on the campaign tour aboard his chartered plane felt positive. On board the atmosphere was warm and upbeat…