This was posted on 2/15/09 on DQW’s Facebook:

So, as the 2009 Michigan Jaycee Chaplain, I get to write invocations/thoughts of the day for the 4 quarterly conventions. We just wrapped up our latest convention in Big Rapids, MI. Here’s what I came up with to open the Saturday business meeting.

“This weekend we celebrate the actual transition from one year to another in the Michigan Jaycees. We celebrate the growth and success of 2008 and the continued momentum behind our efforts to come in 2009. For both years, as it has always been in our organization, they begin with the same thing.

Hope.

I was recently reminded of this when re-watching an episode of The West Wing. In that episode, a fictional potential candidate for President of the United States said:

This is the place that matters. Because everyday, children come to this schoolhouse to glimpse their futures, to ask for hope. They may not know they need it yet, but they do.

And I’m here to tell you that hope is real.

In a life of trials, in the world of challenges, hope is real.

In a country where families go without health care, where some go without food, some don’t even have a home to speak of, hope is real.

In a time of global chaos and instability, where our faiths collide, as often as our weapons, hope is real.

Hope is what gives us the courage to take on our greatest challenges, to move forward together.

We live in cynical times. I know that. But hope is not up for debate.

There is such things as false science, there is such a thing a false promises, I am sure I will have my share of false starts.

But there is no such thing as false hope.

There is only hope.

And so my friends, here’s to celebrating what we have accomplished in 2008. And here’s to hoping to a continued successful and great 2009″

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