Seeking a Return to Goodness

During the Christmas season, does America’s infatuation with icons of the past, old Christmas movies, and cheesy Hallmark movies tell us something about ourselves? Maybe something positive? Does it reflect our yearning for a kinder, gentler country? I believe it does, and here’s why.

My attitude about Christmas movies is conflicted. On the one hand, I can’t get excited about the annual repeated parade of the same old classics, and I am repulsed by the tripe that passes for new Christmas releases. On the other hand, I often watch both screen categories during the holiday season. There is just something about those simple stories that gives me to a feeling of goodness and a respite from the real world. The high ratings these movies get indicate that many in our society are yearning for the values of small-town America and days gone by. Why else would millions sit for hours in front of a TV watching a poorly written, low-budget movie with amateur actors in totally predictable plots? It’s always about someone from the big city who goes to a small town and falls in love with someone who already has a love interest. The screen writers all use the same plot and just change the names and venues. Yet, people are driven to these movies because of the void in their hearts that longs for the authenticity, simplicity, and unconditional love characterized in the stories. They need to reconnect with the more peaceful, more civil, and simpler times when America was, well, just better.

Americans in general want to return to a time of goodness. Maybe it should be described as a time of godliness. We see our nation moving in a direction contrary to our ideology, yet we are caught up in the mainstream and can’t seem to escape. We find consolation in retreating temporarily to more meaningful times of the past. Realistically, those times were not as good as our memories of them, but they were heavenly compared to today’s social culture. So, how can we be influenced by these movies to become more like them–to reverse the present political and societal mess and return to better times? Cultures only change as individuals change, and we can only change one individual–ourself. To borrow a concept from Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker, we can draw a circle around ourself and change everyone in that circle.

I am very concerned about the lack of civility, disrespect, animosity toward others, and absence of personal sacrifice that characterize America today. There is little I can do about it other than pray and make sure I’m not contributing to it. So, with God’s help, I’m going to continue striving to be more like the people in those Christmas movies. I hope you will, too.

Will There Be a Third President Bush?

With the passing of one of America’s most loved presidents, George H. W. Bush, the question lingers: will there ever be another Bush in the White House? Since Jeb dropped out of the campaign for a potential trifecta in February, 2016, most pundits see no such Bush in the wings. However, in a recent interview, George H. W. said he would love to see one of his grandchildren become president. Take a quick look at his grandchildren and see whether you think one of them might someday sit in the Oval Office.

George W. Bush’s daughter, Barbara Pierce Bush, now 37, has pursued a career in the nonprofit sector. She co-founded the leadership development organization, Global Health Corps, in 2008, which operates in Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia, in addition to several cities stateside. In October 2018, Barbara wed screenwriter Craig Coyne.

George W. Bush’s daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, also 37, chose a career in journalism. She’s currently a co-host for The Today Show, a correspondent for NBC News, and an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine. Jenna married Henry Hager, who worked in the Department of Commerce (and was an assistant in George W. Bush’s White House before that) in 2008. The couple have two daughters together, Mila and Poppy.

Jeb Bush’s son, George Prescott Bush, 42, has officially entered the political arena. In 2014, he was elected Texas Land Commissioner, and was recently re-elected for his second term. With his wife, former law school classmate Amanda Williams, he has two young sons, Prescott and John.

Jeb Bush’s daughter, Noelle Bush, 41, has struggled to find her footing. Her father has been candid about her ongoing issues with drug abuse.

Jeb Bush’s son, John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, Jr., 34, currently runs a real estate firm, Bush Realty, LLC, and serves as a Managing Partner of Jeb Bush & Associates, LLC, which provides business consulting services. During his father’s 2015 presidential primary run, Jeb Jr. served as a surrogate for the candidate on the campaign trail. With his wife, Sandra, he’s currently raising two young children, Georgia and Vivian.

Neil Bush’s daughter, Lauren Bush Lauren, 34, founded the nonprofit FEED in 2007, an organization that raises money to fight hunger by selling socially and environmentally sustainable products. With her husband David Lauren, son of designer Ralph Lauren, she has two children, Max Walker and James.

Neil Bush’s son, Pierce Bush, 32, is the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, the organization’s Dallas outpost. He married Sarahbeth Melton in March of 2018.

Neil Bush’s daughter, Ashley Bush, 29, chose to pursue a career in the film industry. She’s produced, directed, and written numerous shorts. In December 2017, Ashley became engagement to fellow filmmaker Julian LeFevre.

Marvin Bush’s adopted daughter, Marshall Lloyd Bush, 32, worked on George W. Bush’s re-election campaign during school breaks in 2004. She married former Naval officer (and fellow University of Virginia alumni) Nick Rossi in 2015.

Marvin Bush’s adopted son, Charles Walker Bush, 28, has served in the Marine Corps.

Dorothy Bush’s son, Sam LeBlond, 34, has worked as a beer distributor in the D.C. area, among other jobs. He wed Lee Bobbitt, a legislative assistant in the Senate, in 2016.

Dorothy Bush’s daughter, Nancy Ellis “Ellie” LeBlond Sosa, 32, works for a Boston-based healthcare organization, and is a physical trainer in her spare time. She married Nick Sosa in 2014.

Dorothy Bush’s son, Robert Koch, 25, has kept a low profile. He is single.

Dorothy Bush’s daughter, Georgia Grace “Gigi” Koch, 22, is currently in college at the University of Southern California. She spent the summer of 2017 interning for the House Majority Whip—a clue that she might want to work in politics. She is single.

Of 14 grandchildren, none seems to be particularly interested in politics with the exception of George Prescott Bush, possibly Jeb Bush, Jr., and maybe Gigi Koch. George H. W. said in the aforementioned interview that his desire to have a grandchild as president wasn’t about the position, but rather about serving others. Several grandchildren are certainly doing that, but a Bush 46+ doesn’t appear to be on the horizon. Although anything can happen in presidential politics as we saw in 2016. Watch the Bushes!

Note: Some material from this post was sourced from

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