Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Living Happy: Introduction

When I hung up the phone late the other evening I got the idea to write this series.  I don't mean to brag, but I find myself in the role of life coach, counselor and adviser more often than you might think--I'm an accountant after all.  When my friends have a problem, I always get the call.  I always have, going back to high school and before.  Considering I've always been something of a clown, that's pretty remarkable that I'm the guy people go to when they have a serious problem or need help.

Part of the reason is that I've been through a good deal of turmoil in my life--I've weathered some very trying times.  People know I have experience in dealing with divorce, and dealing with loss, and rebuilding a life after losing it all.  I've made some monstrous mistakes in life, but lots of people do.  Everyone at one point or another deals with relationship issues, loss of a loved one, pain, disappointment, failure . . . but perhaps the reason my phone rings is that I've gone through all those things (so far) and never lost my sense of humor or my passion for life.

I learned how to be happy a long time ago, so I thought perhaps it was time to share my secrets--and I know they work, because through it all I've been a very happy man for pushing five decades now!  These little tips aren't complicated--over the next few weeks, I'm going to spell it all out for you. These are some of the things I find myself repeating a lot when I'm helping somebody through a tough time.  I think if you try a few of these you'll discover, as some of those individuals that have called me over the years have, that I actually know what I'm talking about. 

Be happy!

~Todd E. Creason

Friday, January 8, 2016

Homer Lodge No. 199: Ready For Another Generation

The story of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) is a common story.  It's an old Lodge with few members left.  The building itself was in need of repairs, and the Lodge had been neglected over the years as many have been.  The conventional wisdom would have said it would be better to close the Lodge and merge what few members were left in with another stronger Lodge.  It happens all the time.  After all, these old buildings are nothing but an expense, right?
Hours and hours of work have gone into bringing the Lodge back . . .
But that's not what this Lodge did.  The members were unwilling to let it go. Chartered in 1855 it was too much a part of the community.  The building itself, built in 1893, was worth saving.  So thanks to a number of dual members from nearby Ogden Lodge No. 754 and St. Joseph Lodge No. 970, Homer Lodge went about the task of making a comeback.
That's me during one of many work days at Homer Lodge
It has been a long process, and they haven't succeeded yet--but you can bet the farm they will.  The building has a new roof.  They created a museum room to share the Lodge's rich heritage with the community.  A new chapter of the Royal Arch, Admiration Chapter, has been formed and is operating under dispensation.  The Lodge has been scrubbed, the furniture has been cleaned, repaired and restored.  The walls have been patched and painted.  It has been restored to its former glory, and it is ready to be occupied by another generation of Freemasons.  The local newspapers have even picked up on this challenge, and featured it in their newspapers.  It is such a beautiful Lodge it was even used as the backdrop for an interview I did in a Scottish Rite video called "Seeking Further Light."
All the old York Rite stuff had to be pulled out, cleaned and restored for the new Admiration Chapter.  That's Midnight Freemason Greg Knott, who's been instrumental in the restoration of the Lodge.
Every time a Lodge like this closes, the community it serves loses something.  It loses a part of its history, and it loses an important resource--a place where good men become better men.  Once a Lodge closes, it's gone forever.  The world has never been more in need of men of good character, and these Lodges are a vital part of continuing to do that.  Some things are worth fighting for.

Todd E. Creason

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spring 2016: A New Book!

The midnight shift is in full production mode again . . .
The problem with writing both fiction and non-fiction, is that when I write a book on Freemasonry, the Levi Garvey fans get ticked off, and when I write a novel, the Freemasons get annoyed.  Well Levi Garvey fans, prepare to get ticked off.  There is a new Freemasonry book in the works--my first since 2010!

One of the things I'm interested in is improving the quality of Lodge education--or as I call it, "improving the member experience."  I'm working on several projects that involve creating resources for Lodge education with a number of different people, but this book is my contribution towards that goal.  I hear is over and over again from all over--we're not doing a very good job educating our new members (or the old ones for that matter) about our Fraternity, about our history, and about those principles we value. 

I'm not going to say much about the book yet, other than it's very different from what I've done in the past and is full of great humor.  At its core it's a collection of short pieces, many of which would make excellent presentations for Lodge education. But there's a personal aspect to it as well . . .

More later . . . enjoy your holidays!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Taking A Writing Break

It's that time again!  Time for me to take a long break and work on a project--I'll be back in the spring.  I'm pretty excited about this project, and I'm working on it with another Midnight Freemason--it's like nothing we've done before.  There will be an announcement about what we're doing soon on the Midnight Freemasons

Even during this little hiatus, as usual, I'll still be contributing articles regularly on the Midnight Freemasons blog, so I hope to see you there!

~Todd E. Creason
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