Is It Too Much to Ask?

Listen to “Is It Too Much To Ask?”   It’s not just me but a growing number of people have made comments about a theme running through commencement speeches for the last several [...]

Paper Dolls

Listen to “Paper Dolls” by Fred Smith   There is no topic more widely discussed and fretted about in family philanthropy than that of donor intent. Horror stories (both true and [...]

The Hopeless Wanderer

Today we would likely label Jacob a sociopath: cunning, deceptive, detached, manipulative and ambitious. He was often cruel and incapable of being loyal. He lived by his wits - and was [...]

Gifts Of A Lifetime

Listen to “Gifts of a Lifetime” by Fred Smith   It’s a familiar scene made even more so by movies and novels: the reading of the last will and testament. The somber family [...]

The Measure Of A Man

Listen to “The Measure of a Man” by Fred Smith   When my father was five years old, he fell with a glass jar of peaches he was carrying and sliced open the wrist of his right [...]

The House Always Loses

Listen to “The House Always Loses” by Fred Smith   The final commentary on the lives of many of the kings of Israel is, “He did evil and walked in the ways of Jeroboam.” But even [...]

Plant and Wait

Listen to “Plant and Wait” by Fred Smith   Ten of us, all friends of Bob and Linda Buford, were sitting in the living room of their farmhouse waiting for the most important call [...]

Repaid by Love

Listen to “Repaid by Love” by Fred Smith   Stories come in all shapes, don’t they? Today, there is an industry devoted to people anxious to understand their personal [...]

Mama’s Boy

Listen to “Mama’s Boy” by Fred Smith   If you visit Elk Lake, Minnesota and the headwaters of the Mississippi, you will see a stream that is about 20 feet across and 2 feet [...]

The Museum of Me

Listen to “The Museum of Me” by Fred Smith   Two of our best friends are moving away so we had one last dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Among so much else, we talked [...]

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