It’s Friday!…Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~ A Life for a Life, Dinah Craik

Who possesses this gift? I should be so lucky, I tell you. A Korean proverb says, “Words have no wings but they can travel a thousand miles.” – – I am aware of this, yet I’m guilty of often forgetting. Have a great weekend my friends. : )

 

Good Monday morning…and a great week to all.

“O you of little faith….” Friends, let’s not wait for the water to ice before stepping in. : ) cartoon

29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” ~ Matthew 14:29-31

God be with them…

Watch 5 minutes of news on any given day now and you’ll be left shaking your head for the next hour.  What a world we’re living in!  Most alarming of all are the segments covering those horrific and sad stories involving kids.  It’s scary.  It’s chills-down-the-back scary.  Too many teens wrapped up in something or other and making wrong choices.  I can tell you that we stand at our front door every morning to see both our teenagers off to school, and as they drive away, we let out a resigned sigh and mumble, “God be with them.”  I mean, what else can we do?  Once we think we’ve covered all the bases, what else is there to do other than to leave them in God’s hands?

We try to stay on top of things, you know.  Particularly who and what surrounds them.  It is hard sometimes though to keep track of my children’s friends, for example.  Who’s who in their wide circle of peers, know what I mean?  But it’s so important that we do exactly that — keep track.  Because peer pressure, both positive and negative, is ever so present in their lives.  We ourselves dealt with it as teens, and even now as well adjusted grownups, we still sometimes feel the desire to measure up to our peers.  Imagine what it’s like for our kids these days.  From experience, we know the lasting effects these influences can have.  That’s why I think it is crucial that we not only instill in them the basics of right and wrong, but that we help them build their self-confidence to better equip them to make wise choices in these situations of push-and-pull between the values we teach them and those from outside forces.  Because once they leave the protective shield of our homes, it seems they are fair game.  It is a mistake to see and understand what goes on in the world of teens nowadays and assume that our own children won’t be touched.  No family is immune. 

So I talk to my kids all the time about the importance of surrounding themselves with good people.  No matter the color, religion, gender, etc., just good people.  Getting involved with a good peer group can play a principal role in the shaping of their personality, and lead them to make the right choices in life.  We grownups already know that making the right choices is what it’s all about.  But helping our children understand that every choice they make today will create circumstances, and that these will affect the choices that will be available to them in the future, is by no means an easy task.  But
at their age most of them are far from being able to read people, and are just finding out what a tangled web us humans weave.  I have already seen both of mine struggle with friendships that have gone sour.  I’ve explained to them that people are “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”  That sometimes some of these events may leave them thinking that it ought to be illegal to practice friendship without a license.  But that these experiences, while introducing them to jealousy, envy, and judgment, for instance, can also teach them about compassion, trust, and loyalty.  And through these trial and error phases, they will undoubtedly, hopefully, connect with a lot of good souls.
Which reminds me of a scripture passage that talks about friendship.  Jesus is preaching in a very crowded place.  Four men bring their paralyzed friend to see Jesus, but they can’t get to Him because of the crowd, so they open a hole in the roof and lower their friend to Jesus.  Jesus is moved by their faith and forgives the man’s sins and heals him.  Okay, who wouldn’t want to have friends like those?  The type of friend who leads you to the Lord; the type of friend who recognizes your paralysis — your anxieties, regrets, fears, sorrows, mistakes — who, even when you’re content to stay in your own little rut, wants to help you and see you healed.  This is the kind of friend I try to persuade my kids to be, in the hopes that in leading by example, they can attract the positive I know this world does have to offer them.  May God be with them, and all your kids.
P.S.  I want to give thanks to those friends who have recognized my paralysis and have consistently led me to the Lord.  I am forever grateful.  And I pray that He grants me the opportunity to be that kind of friend for another.


Life is a theater…invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is holy
enough and healthy enough to have a FRONT ROW seat in our lives. There are
some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It’s
amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your
time with draining, negative, incompatible, “not going anywhere”
relationships/friendships/fellowships! Observe the relationships around
you. Pay attention to: which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones
encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones always have “drama” or
don’t really understand, know and appreciate you and the gift that lies
within you? The more you seek God and the things of God, the more you seek
quality; the more that you seek not just the hand of God but the face of
God, the more you seek things honorable; the more you seek growth, peace of
mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide
who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW and who should be moved to the balcony of
your life. You cannot change the people around you… but you can change
the people you are around! Ask God for wisdom and discernment and choose
wisely the people who sit in the FRONT ROW of your life!
~ Unknown

 “A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love and encourages you with hope.”
~ Unknown
“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.”
~ Proverbs 27:19“Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them.”
~ Michael W Smith 

Worth1000Words: Attitude is All

Afew minutes ago I received this image in an email my friend sent me. So powerful an image, I thought it necessary to share with as many people as possible.

Your attitude towards life defines who you are…

untitled1

untitled2

Have a good day my friends.   : )

Prayer Request

Please remember to keep our friend Cyndi’s family in your prayers. Tonight and tomorrow will be very tough days for them. May the Lord’s grace comfort them.                                        pair_of_hands_reach_out_toward_a_radiant_shining_cross_in_supplication1

 

I’M FREE

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free. I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard him call. I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way, I found that place at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much, good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all to brief; don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.

Source: www.donotgiveup.net


As effective as a mosquito…

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.
~ Unknown 

Folks, in times of disheartening instability, particularly these, we should ask ourselves how we can make a difference; each of us taking a step towards making that happen.  I think first though we have to start with setting our hearts right.  I pray and strive for that, whether acting individually or with a group of people; especially the latter.  Because I’m told even strength in numbers means nothing if the flock is headed in the wrong direction, as actions are worthless if our hearts are not right with God.  So my friends, let’s act, with clarity, so that we may make the right kind of difference, and with determination, believing we can be as effective as that mosquito in the dark.                                                                            

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.  I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.  When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.  I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.  Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
~Author Unknown

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
~ Mother Teresa

Have a great weekend everybody  : )

It’s Friday…have a great LONG weekend everyone!

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’  Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’
~ Charlie Brown                                untitledHave a great long weekend everybody!  Stay safe.    : )

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

If the title to this post bears any truth, as some of our founders contended, no wonder this nation is in shambles. What is going on? I never imagined in my wildest dreams our country would be so divided. This goes beyond red and blue states, beyond democrats and republicans. I mean, yes, our system of government is built on checks and balances, with different parties to keep their counterparts accountable, as designed rightfully so by our Constitution, and thank God for that, but come on, the state of our nation today is ridiculously sad. It has gotten to the point where we sound like we’re out to kill each other, and the rest of the world is having a field day on our account to boot! How unfortunate. But forget what other countries think of us. There is something more important at stake here than saving face.

We know division in this country is not a new thing. We have the Civil War as a permanent reminder. But even back then, the existence and authority of God and the moral values derived therefrom was something fundamentally agreed upon between both sides. This country was founded by men whose ideals and values for the most part were deeply religious. Abraham Lincoln, for example, when asked which side he thought God was on in the Civil War, responded, “I am not at all concerned about that, for I know that the Lord is always on the side of right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” Today, the frightening difference is that those beliefs and values which are very much at the core of this divide, are not common ground anymore. This makes our nation’s survival of this battle look very bleak if you ask me.

I am a republican. I became one by injection, if you will, and remained one by choice. Because some of my convictions are way too strong to be anything but. Yet I’m not blind to, nor do I conform, to my party’s extremist ideals. Both parties claim to be on the side of God, but don’t behave very godly. I think that regardless of what political ideology you subscribe to, we should work together toward the common good, something neither side seems committed to do. At least I don’t see it. I keep looking for it, but don’t see it. Seems responsibility towards the common good, which should be each party’s goal, is non-existent.

God has been taken out of the equation and our country is suffering because of it. I mean really extracted. He has been turned into something almost offensive. The Pledge of Allegiance seems but empty words. In God We Trust has become sort of an insult. Does God even have a place in America today? I don’t think He’s allowed out in public. This, I believe, is the culprit of many of our nation’s troubles. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to imply that individuals who don’t subscribe to the idea of following the Ten Commandments make inadequate or unproductive citizens. I know non-religious people who do more for their neighbor than some Catholics I know. For the most part, however, I honestly believe the more this country misalignes itself with our Lord and Savior, the more at peril it is.

Attempting to resolve the troubles we face today is the responsibility of all of us. Any man, religious or not, who possesses qualities such as decency, honesty, and integrity, can have a go at it. But I think “United” doesn’t mean we have to be of the same mind toward things; I think it means, as the Bible says, to be of the same mind toward one another.

Let’s continue to pray for this great nation of ours.

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” ~ Ronald Reagan

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
~ Matthew 12:25

“…be of the same mind toward one another.”
~ Romans 12:16

 

A Friend is Gone

A group of us received some shocking news earlier this week when we learned of the sudden and untimely death of a former co-worker with whom we had worked for a number of years. She was someone who always wore a smile on her face, was glad to help out, and who was always willing to lend an ear.

Our group, nicknamed “The Dinosaurs” because of the length of our tenure at the firm, has dismantled some in the past five years or so, as a lot of us have moved on. We have kept in touch throughout this time though, some of us in person, some via phone or email, and some still only in thought, but the unique connection we once shared has for the most part endured. Undoubtedly, that connection sparked this week upon hearing of our friend’s death. When I heard the news, I glanced at a photo I have of our Dinosaur group taken back on March 23, 2004, and was overwhelmed with good memories. Almost instantly though, I was sad-stricken at the fact that our friend was the first one of us to pass, and shaken by the realization that inevitably there will be a next. Perspective like that is powerful. Isn’t it?

Awareness of this type can be frightening, but it has the power to put us acutely in touch with every minute of our lives, and allow us to see things in a new and different light. Man what a difference that makes! You can be having one of those days, you know, when your insides are flowing with negative matter, but hear horrible unexpected news like that one that hits close to home, and suddenly you’re inundated with the urge to let go or hold on, to remember, foregive or forget, to connect, to love, to do. If only we held on to this awareness of mortality. But we don’t; we notice it fading away like a polaroid gone bad, and stand there holding the black image and saying “oh noooo, don’t disappeeeeeaaarrr,” and we just let our expertise in the taking for granted department resume. How foolish are we? I pray and pray oh Lord to help us change our way.

Anyhow, I believe our friend Cindy is on her way to a beautiful place, and that she will find much peace there. We’ll remember her, no doubt.

My best to all of you.

A reminder:

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come ’round again.
Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not always kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

~ Unknown

 

Good Monday afternoon…have a great week.

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not
packaged as we expected?
~ Author Unknown

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the
courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.
~ Author Unknown