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2021 Ho!

Whew!  The year 2020 is in the books, and we’re all glad it’s over.  Right?  Right?!?

Well, don’t look now, but here comes 2021.  And while we may be in for another wild ride, I also believe the future is whatever we make it.  With that sentiment in mind, here are my personal goals for 2021 – because I figure if you have goals, write them down.  Better yet, publish them to the internet:

Intellectual Goal

This is the year I will finish a complete draft of my sci-fi action-adventure novel titled Space Corps Academy, which might just be my longest, most ambitious project to date.  It’s been a while since I touched the thing, but I’m ready to go back.  For me, the writing process takes a lot of effort and a lot more time.  In fact, the thought recently occurred to me that if I do ever make it as a published author, I’ll probably be bringing in a whopping thirty cents an hour, but what the heck.

Physical Goal

I’m out to shed the COVID fifteen.  We’ve all become more sedentary this past year.  That, and we’ve needed comfort food.  Lots of it.  Even though I’ve tried to watch my steps and take at least one walk around the neighborhood every day, I admit I’ve packed on a few.  I’ve never been big on diets or exercise, but this year I’ll eat less and burn more.

Spiritual Goal

My plan is to find a quiet place to be alone every night and then pray out loud.  There are things I need to say to my Father in Heaven.  There are petitions to make, and I have come to realize that my prayers are more effective if I force the words across my lips as opposed to rolling them haphazardly through my mind.  I will pray for specific individuals by name.  There is power in that, and there are so many people who need the prayers.  More than a few of them are people I don’t know how to help but wish I did.  Others don’t want my help, but they can’t stop me from praying for them.  And I will.

Social Goal

I lack many skills.  I’m not handy with a tool belt.  I’m not mechanically inclined.  I’m not blessed with the gift of gab.  I do hope, however, that I can put the talents I have been given to good use.  In 2021, I will write a minimum of one letter of appreciation per month.  That letter could go to a long-distance friend.  I might send something to a favorite author or artist.  Perhaps a family member or neighbor will receive a note.  Words can absolutely uplift and edify.

So, no matter what 2021 throws at us, let’s do everything we can to make this the best year we’ve had since the last best year we had.  You in?


Chris lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Sara, and their six children.  He has a B.A. in communications (print journalism) from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Chris enjoys music by The Piano Guys, flying kites, and pumpkin pie.  Chris is the author of Red: A Football Novel.

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Great-Full

“Now have we not reason to rejoice?”  (Alma 26:35)


Last Friday, Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and beloved prophet, challenged those listening to counteract the world’s present turmoil with a simple remedy:  Gratitude.  President Nelson then invited us to make social media our personal gratitude journal over the course of one week, and I’ve done just that.  What a wonderful opportunity it’s been to count my blessings and watch others do the same.

There’s just one problem.  Seven days aren’t nearly enough to document all the things I’m grateful for. My life is full of so many great people, places, and things worthy of recognition I feel compelled to add this addendum to my social media gratitude journal, and even then I realize I’m barely scratching the surface:

I’m grateful for a challenging and rewarding career that allows me to comfortably support my family.  I’m grateful for a good boss who cares about his employees and fights hard for justice in our community.

I’m grateful for autumn.  That means colors, falling leaves, cool breezes, family, football, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie – not necessarily in that order.

I’m grateful for rockets and airplanes and kites and clouds and sunsets and barn swallows.

I’m grateful for stories and for the gift of imagination.  Watching a good movie on the big screen is one of the best things in the world.  Plays and musicals are amazing too.  I love science fiction.  I’m grateful for late-night poetry jam sessions with my kids.  I’m grateful for Barnes & Noble and the Lincoln City Libraries.

I’m grateful for talented people – especially talented people who are good.  I’m grateful for authors who inspire me.  I’m grateful for my personal writing partner who motivates me to keep pressing forward with my goals.

I’m grateful for music.  I’m grateful for trumpets and French horns and for Christmas tuba concerts at the rotunda of the State Capitol Building, although my dear wife has taught me there’s more to life than the brass section.  I’m grateful for violins and cellos and pianos too.

I’m grateful for warm blankets and Oreo cookies and Godfather’s Pizza and cherry limeade.  I’m grateful for fresh-baked bread.

I’m grateful for my siblings – two stylish sisters and a brother who is nothing less than Super Uncle to our children.  I’m grateful for an abundance of brothers- and sisters-in-law.  I’m grateful for too many nieces and nephews to count – or to remember all of their names.

I’m grateful for teachers and medical professionals and law enforcement officers.  I’m grateful for handy people who, unlike me, have actual skills and know how to fix things.

I’m grateful for my church family.  I’m grateful for my quorum.  I love and appreciate all the people I’ve ministered to over the years.  I love and appreciate all the people who’ve ministered to me – and especially to my children.  I’m grateful for everyone I’ve served alongside.  I’m grateful for people who are trying to live what they believe.

I’m grateful for full-time missionaries, priesthood authority and keys, saving ordinances, temples, modern revelation, scripture, a living prophet, and the comfort and guidance of the Holy Ghost.  Most of all, I’m grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has blessed me with all of these gifts and more and who withheld nothing in sending His Only Begotten Son to atone for me and for all mankind.

Let’s just say I’m grateful.


Chris lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Sara, and their six children.  He has a B.A. in communications (print journalism) from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Chris enjoys music by The Piano Guys, flying kites, and pumpkin pie.  Chris is the author of Red: A Football Novel.

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Holy Kapow!, Batman!

Slam!  Blast!  Rip!

I’m a bit of a news junkie.  I can’t help it.  The newsroom is in my blood such that I spend more time scanning headlines than a healthy person rightfully should.  I have a problem, yes, but that problem led me to a recent observation:  Have you ever noticed how many headlines these days contain one of the aforementioned combat words?

Road Runner slams Wile E. Coyote!  Harry Potter blasts Draco Malfoy!  Pooh rips Piglet!  You get the idea.  This is what passes for news these days.

It’s like the old-time Batman TV show.  You know the one I’m talking about.  Burt Ward.  Adam West.  Enough cheese to shame Wisconsin.  Bam!  Pow!  Thwack!  Take that, Penguin!

That show was hardly a thing of beauty.  Neither are today’s headlines.

Blame it on the internet.  This is the click-bait culture, I guess.  Conflict creates interest.  Fighting words signal conflict.  What outrageous thing did so-and-so say about so-and-so today?  And down the rabbit hole we go.

Blame it on us.  This is increasingly who we are, I’m afraid.  Who can get in the sly dig?  Who can “destroy” an enemy with quick wit and a superior intellect or maybe just the brute force of belittling an opponent?

Never mind that somewhere out there the other guy has a mother who loves him too.  Never mind that the other guy puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like you do.  (I mean, you do, don’t you?)  Never mind that the other guy has a life experience and a viewpoint just as valid as yours and mine.  No, apparently, it’s more fun to duke it out.  It’s more satisfying to demean and demonize.  Sort of like picking a scab.

Call me a spoilsport, but when did we become such an insufferable bunch of know-it-alls, so convinced we’re right but so insecure in our position as to feel compelled to beat everyone else into submission?  Whatever happened to turning the other cheek?  Why must we dignify every slight, perceived or otherwise, with a response?  Move on and think happy thoughts.  Better yet, just listen.

No question something has to change, so I’m starting with me.  I hereby vow not to take the bait.   I won’t go down that rabbit hole.  I want to build up, not tear down.  Maybe if we all work together on this, work on ourselves, our own little positive contributions to the ocean of humanity will add up enough to make a difference.  At least that’s what I’m hoping.

Kerplop!


Chris lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Sara, and their six young children.  He has a B.A. in communications (print journalism) from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Chris enjoys music by The Piano Guys, flying kites, and pumpkin pie.  Chris is the author of Red: A Football Novel.  He also spent two years in the Dominican Republic without a pillow, but that’s a story for a different day.

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Husker Classics

If you need something to fill the Nebraska football-sized void in your life this fall, check out the schedule below for an entire season’s worth of Husker classics. There’s a game for each football Saturday of 2020. All of the games except the season finale are “no huddle” editions, so you can watch an entire contest in just forty-five minutes. Enjoy, and Go Big Red!

Husker Football Classics 2020 Season Schedule

Sept. 5th: vs. LSU (1971 Orange Bowl)

Sept. 12th: at Oklahoma (1971)

Sept. 19th: vs. Oklahoma (1978)

Sept. 26th: vs. Miami (1984 Orange Bowl)

Oct. 3rd: vs. Oklahoma State (1988)

Oct. 10th: vs. Miami (1995 Orange Bowl)

Oct. 17th: vs. Florida (1996 Fiesta Bowl)

Oct. 24th: at Missouri (1997)

Oct. 31st: vs. Tennessee (1998 Orange Bowl)

Nov. 7th: vs. Tennessee (2000 Fiesta Bowl)

Nov. 14th: vs. Oklahoma (2001)

Nov. 21st: vs. Michigan (2005 Alamo Bowl)

Nov. 27th: vs. Colorado (2008)

And when you’re done with all of that, you can relive the 1994 season through the eyes of teenage brothers Robert and Charlie Hall.

Two brothers, one team, and the greatest season ever told. Red: A Football Novel by Christopher D. Seifert.

Chris lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Sara, and their six young children. He earned a B.A. in print journalist from Brigham Young University in 2003 and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2006. Chris enjoys University of Nebraska football, drawing with crayons, and chocolate chip walnut cookies.

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Simple Pleasures

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times …

News flash:  The year 2020 has been a real bugaboo-boo.  Even an introvert like yours truly isn’t immune to the claustrophobia of social distancing.  I’m off-kilter, my senses are a tad dull, and if I have to attend one more dadgum Zoom meeting, I’m pretty sure my brain is going to explode.

Meanwhile, political and racial and societal strife rage.  We fight about masks.  We fight about privilege and prejudice, protests and pillaging.  We fight about everything.  People are getting sick or worse, and we shout at each other across the immensity of cyberspace.  Forgotten are empathy, compassion, and forgiveness.  Indeed, the love of many waxes cold.

Then, just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, football (for a favorite local team, at least) is – ahem! – postponed.  We’re staring down fires and hurricanes and murder hornets.  Beloved superheroes are dying.  Don’t even get me started on that election eve asteroid heading our way.

In a lot of ways, it feels like 2020 is just plain running up the score.  When will it end?  No one knows other than to say eventually, but believe it or not, there’s actually a silver lining or two woven into this mess.  Somehow amidst all the mayhem, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to slow down, simplify, smell the roses.  There are simple pleasures I’ve enjoyed more these last few months than I would’ve otherwise.

Music, for one.  And dancing.  I don’t even like dancing.  I have two left feet at least, but all-out, high-energy, take-no-prisoners family dance parties are the best.

My wife and I now indulge in nightly walks around the neighborhood.  There’s time to converse and connect.  (If only I could somehow keep my lovely bride from hauling home our neighbors’ curbside rejects.)

Stargazing sessions on the trampoline are more frequent.  Did you know I saw a shooting star the other night?

Books are never far away at our house, but right now they’re nearer than ever.  The kids hang on my every word during bedtime readings from The Lord of the Rings. Absolute heaven.

I wish I could say I’ve written more.  The inspiration has been there in spurts, if not gaudy word counts.  I’m tinkering with an old manuscript from a few years ago.  Slow and steady wins the race.

In the end, my favorite part of 2020 has been home church.  For months now, Sunday services have mostly been happening for us in our living room instead of at the chapel.  Our family prays together, sings together, takes Christ’s name upon us together.  Each of us, including the children, deliver sermons in turn, and the spirit of it has been oh-so sweet.

Yes, one day this will all be over, and we’ll come out on the other side better for it.  When that happens, I wonder if we might just be surprised at the fondness with which we look back.


Chris lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Sara, and their six young children.  He has a B.A. in print journalism from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Chris enjoys music by The Piano Guys, flying kites, and pumpkin pie.  He also spent two years in the Dominican Republic without a pillow, but that’s a story for a different day.

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