At the risk of sounding a bit negative, I must say that I am very much aware of the tumultuous times and unrest that came to the forefront in 2008. It seems that everyone has in some way been affected by anxious moments and the stress of the unknown. Hopefully, you have health and strength for whatever comes your way in the new year.

Recently, a dear and esteemed friend called my number and spoke very meaningful words to me. He didn't speak very long, but his words were very insightful and encouraging. Something clicked in my emotional makeup when he said, “I need to tell you that you are to live in peace and not fear.” Additional words of encouragement reinforced that advice.

Since that eventful day, highlighted by a call from a friend, I have experienced emotional peace; fear has distanced itself from my thought processes.

It is indeed amazing how a simple, yet profound, word of encouragement from a caring friend or family member can affect how we approach each and every day. During this holiday season, my wife, Sue, joins me in wishing you the very best as you spend time with family and friends.

Happy Holidays 2008. I encourage you to share your “inner peace” with others, and together we will experience harmony and unity.

T.M. Jackson