August 25, 2010

Bitter or Better..A Re Post


I know I said that I didn't have the heart to continue with this blog, and in a way, I don't, but because of something that happened, recently, I thought that it would be a good time to re-post this. If for no other reason than to remind myself of my own philosophy of how I want to react to the negative things that happen in my life.

Reading this, again, reminds me that not all people are going to act as I expect them to...that people are not always the kind of persons that I believed them to be, nor as trustworthy as I would expect them to be. They will not always like me as I thought they did...but even so, I know that the opinions of others do not change the reality of the truth of myself. That truth being that I am a loving, understanding, forgiving individual, and my prayer is always that I never hold on to bitterness, resentment, nor unforgiveness...toward anyone, about anything.

My prayer for them is that they would come to know the peace that passes all understanding in their own hearts.

Bitter or Better

I've been writing quite a lot about some experiences in my life. Some of them have been funny. Some happy, and some downright tragic.

I think all of us have that in common. Life is not always "just a bowl of cherries" as the old song goes, so we've all had our share of good and bad, and have had the tragedy, too.

Some of us allow what's happened in the past to color every aspect of our lives. Some, more than others, because we are all different in our emotional makeup, and much of it is a result of our particular background, or upbringing.

I went to a therapist once, and he was amazed at the fact that I wasn't mad about anything. "Why aren't you mad?" he kept asking. "You should be mad. You have every right to be mad!"

But I wasn't. I'm not. I don't know why. Maybe, it is just because I am a forgiving person. Maybe, it is because I understand that people, for the most part, do the best they can. It may not always be the best, just the best that they can do. How they live their lives, and how they treat us, is a direct result of their own upbringing. It is a cycle that is sometimes broken, but sometimes it isn't.

Maybe, it is because I understand that we can't change our past. We can't change the fact that people don't always love us, or think well of us. Maybe, it is because, in spite of everything that happened to me in my past, I decided to become better, rather than bitter.

Much of what we feel, on a daily basis, is a direct result of how we react to the way others treat us. I read somewhere that life is ten percent of what happens to us, and ninety per cent, how we react to it. I have to admit, though, that sometimes my "reactor" just doesn't want to cooperate with me...so maybe I am angrier than I realize!

I'd hate to think that this is so.


Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. ~Ecclesiastes 7:9~

June 23, 2010

So Long For Now...



I don't quite know how to say this, so I will just say that, after much thought, I have decided to quit blogging. There are many reasons, and perhaps you aren't even interested in them, but I will try to explain, a little.

When I started this blog, nearly three years ago, I'm not sure that I had any particular kind of blog in mind. I began by writing a few little stories from my own life. Some of them were humorous, and some were of a more serious nature. Readers seemed to enjoy them. I liked sharing them. Others were written about people I have known, and relatives, and loved ones that I have lost, and even a pet, or two. I, also, wrote about particular social issues, or stories of interest, happening locally, or elsewhere.

Right after I started my blog, though, the political climate began to change in this country. I began to pay closer attention than I had ever done, before. Some things were happening that I felt needed to be brought to the attention of others, and I began to write about them...not in any erudite way, because I'm certainly no political scientist, but I wrote what I was observing, sometimes, even with a little twist of humor. After awhile, I couldn't find any humor in any of it. It had become frightening, and overwhelming, to the point that I didn't want to think about it, much less to write about it. So, I stopped writing about it.

I began to re-post several of my older pieces, and every now and then, I make an attempt at writing something, but it seems that my heart just isn't in it, anymore.

Unlike many who say that they blog only for themselves, I don't think that I do, and I feel that if you are taking the time to come to my blog, that you should find something worth your time. I appreciate, so much, everyone who has taken the time, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Perhaps, I will feel differently about things later on, but I don't know if I will. I will leave my blog up for awhile, so that if there is anything of interest in my archives that you would like to read, you may. Later, I plan to delete it.

Peace...from my house, to yours.
Jan

June 20, 2010

Live, Laugh, Love


I hope that all the fathers out there have had a wonderful day, today. I hope that your children told you how much you are loved, and appreciated. I hope that you, if you still have a father, said those things to him, too.

I'm sorry that anyone coming to my blog to see what I had posted, found nothing but an old post, and nothing uplifting. I, actually, spent quite some time, preparing, and searching for just the right graphic to go with it, but after it all, either my computer, my server, or Blogger, or the combination of them all, just wouldn't cooperate. It was one thing, after another, and so, no Happy Father's Day post.

My heart wasn't in it, really, anyway. My son's best friend's father was buried yesterday, having died only a short time after being diagnosed with an illness, and it was a shock to everyone. I kept thinking, all day, yesterday, and today, how very sad this day would be for his family...for my son's best friend.

Only a few days ago, another friend of his, was killed in a motorcycle accident, and another friend, underwent surgery for a brain tumor. I kept thinking of the fathers of these boys, thinking that instead of happiness on this day, there would be such sadness.

I think of the three boys--not so long ago, just playmates--and my heart aches for them, and for the families.

I said to my son, that life is unpredictable. None of us can know what tomorrow may bring, and no one is promised tomorrow, so today, and every day, tell the ones that you love, that they are loved, and appreciated.

I try to do that, on a daily basis, and I hope that all of you, if you don't, already, will, too.

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
~Henri Frederick Amiel

And to this, I add:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
~1 Peter 4:8-9

June 14, 2010

In Honor Of Flag Day 2010

God Bless America!
Long may our flag wave over a Free Country!
Amen.

May 31, 2010

Thank You To Our Fallen Warriors

Thank you, to our Fallen Warriors.

Thank you for your sacrifice.

It is because of you, that at this moment I have the freedom to write these words. I know that in other places, in other parts of the world, many do not have this privilege. I know, also, that there are many that have not the slightest bit of gratitude for what we have, nor any idea of the great cost to you, and to the ones you loved, and love you, still.

No matter that it's been said many times before, it needs to be said again, and again...freedom really is not free. May the price you have paid not be taken lightly, and may it never be taken for granted.

Most of all, may it never have been in vain.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
~ John 15:1~

May 29, 2010

A Word Is Such A Powerful Thing



Sometimes, it is very hard to express what one is thinking. Thoughts don't always translate into words, exactly what one wishes to convey, and words are very powerful. That's why it is so important to think before speaking, I suppose.

I am not a poet, but here are some words that came to me one day while feeling a little wounded by some words that were spoken:

A word is such a powerful thing
It can lift a heart, or break it.

Be very careful what you say
Once said, you can't retake it.

It could be the reason, too, that my very wise mother, and grandmother, said to me, "If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all."

What a wonderful world it would be, if we would remember to speak only that which is good, and uplifting, and encouraging, so that our words become a blessing, rather than a burden.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
~Philippians 4:8~
kjv

May 23, 2010

Native American Prayer

Oh Great Spirit,

Whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me!

I come to you as one of your many children.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

May I walk in beauty.
Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things that you have made,
And my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may know the things
That you have taught your children--
The lessons that you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

Make me strong, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy: myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes, so that
When life fades as the faded sunset
My spirit will come to you without shame.
~Native American prayer~

May 19, 2010

Keepers

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now. Dad in trousers, tee shirt, and a hat, and Mom in a housedress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing. I wanted, just once, to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. So, while we have it, it's best we love it And care for it. And fix it when it's broken. And heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage, and old cars, and children with bad report cards. Dogs and cats with bad hips. And aging parents, and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it --because we are worth it. Some things we keep -- like a best friend that moved away, or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important -- like people we know who are special --and so, we keep them close!

*This was sent to me today --I thought it was worth keeping --and sharing.

May 13, 2010

Building Your House



I've had some conversations, recently, concerning the choices we make in life, and the consequences of some of those choices. When things are going well, we don't think so much about that, but when adversity comes, it becomes easier to question, not only ourselves, but the wisdom of God. It is easier to do that, than to take responsibility for our own choices, I suppose, but in the end, we still have to live with the consequences.

I think the following story pretty much puts it into perspective.

Building Your House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer- contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house...my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked!

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day, you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall.

Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow.
Therefore, build wisely!

May 08, 2010

In Honor Of My Mother


I loved my precious little mother so much, and I've missed her every single day that she has been gone, but the feeling of loss is so much more pronounced when Mother's Day rolls around. I think of all the other Mother's Days, in days gone by, when she was still in my life, and I wonder if I always gave her the honor, of which she was so worthy.

I know how much I loved her, and there is no measure for that...no way to measure it, but did I always do everything that was within my power to show her how very much I loved her? I've thought of it, often, and there are only a couple of times, that I can remember, that I know I hurt her, however unintentional it was. Once, was when I asked her why she had stayed with my stepfather, considering all the times that he treated her cruelly, and many times, humiliated her. I just didn't understand, and so, one day when he had ridiculed her for some silly reason, had spoken so harshly to her, I asked her, "Why do you stay with him? Why don't you leave him, and come and live with me?" The look on her face, of shock, and, yes, pain, cut me to the very quick, as she answered, "Because I love him, Janice."

That night, while lying in bed, remembering our conversation, and her expression, and her answer to the insensitive, and thoughtless question that I had asked her, I told the Lord that if I lived to see tomorrow, I would tell my mother how very sorry I was that I had hurt her, and ask her forgiveness...and I did. And so typically of my mother, she answered, "Oh, Janice...there is nothing to forgive. You're my girl." How my heart yearns to feel the warmth, and the love of that hug that she gave me, then. Also, typically, she said, "Daddy never means to hurt my feelings by the things he says and he does. I know he loves me. He just doesn't know how to show it."

That was another wonderful quality that she had...she never blamed anyone for anything. She was always willing to forgive, and not only to forgive, but to forget. At least, if she did think about it, she never brought it up, again. Her life was not an easy one, and she suffered much mistreatment in a lot of ways, but she never felt sorry for herself, and rather than blaming others for their misdeeds, she chose to forgive them. She offered her heart to them, without guile.

What a wonderful world it would be if we could all be that forgiving of one another. I know that there are myriads of different families, circumstances, lifestyles, and personalities, and I know that there are such conflicts in some families, for many reasons, that it is often easier said than done, but still...wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could? And if we could, we would?

My prayer, always, is that I never hold onto resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness, toward anyone, for anything. Like my mother, I choose to let it go.

On this special day, in honor of my own precious, and beloved mother, Sarah, I offer this same prayer for you, and mothers everywhere.

May you forgive, and be forgiven. May you show honor,and receive it as you give it. May your hearts be filled with peace and love.

Mother, the memory of you is worth more than all the treasures of the earth.

May 07, 2010

God's Pharmacy


It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish. . . all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.

We're such slow learners.

God left us a some great clues as to what foods help what part of our body! A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

The above is an excerpt from an article which tells about other fruits and vegetables that help the different parts of our bodies.

To read the rest of it, go here.

This has been around for awhile, but it is truly amazing, and well worth reading several times!

May 04, 2010

About Friendship

This is another repost, but I have acquired a few new readers, recently, so decided to post it, once more.

My reason for doing so, is that I have been reminded, again, that not everyone that you like and admire, neccesarily feels the same about you. That's okay. Some people are more reticent, and are not comfortable when certain others reach out to them. And besides, the way that society is changing, one can never be too careful when choosing even a casual acquaintance.

Perhaps, you have already read this, but if so, I hope that you get something out of reading it, again.

If you have only recently started reading my blog, I want to tell you that I am pleased that you are here, and thank you that you have chosen to be here.


I have been thinking a lot about friendship, lately. Thinking of some friends that I've lost, in the past, and some that I've acquired, recently. I know that it is said that you should choose your friends carefully, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sometimes, they just happen along, and things either work out, or they don't. I've had a few that I thought were genuine, but found out that it was not so.

I have never been one to choose, or keep a friend based on looks, age, education, or wealth. I've never chosen a friend based on how sophisticated they happen to be, or how enlightened. Prestige, fame, and fortune, have never impressed me in the least. I've been poor--just about as poor as you can imagine--and I've been fairly well-off.

I've had--and still have some of them--friends who were doctors, lawyers, college professors, politicians, pharmacists, an engineer, a physicist, a theologian, and a celebrity or two. I've, also, had friends who were common laborers, who worked their fingers to the bone, so to speak. Each and every one of those friendships have been based on things held in common--the only things of any real importance in a friendship --honesty, integrity, respect, and genuine affection.

I've been treated badly when I was very poor--in my growing-up years--and I've been kow-towed to, a few times, just because of my particular strata of society at the time. I guess I should be thankful for each and every one of those friendships, because I'm sure that I learned something valuable from each one. One thing that I have learned for sure--people are just people. Some are users, and some are losers, and some are the cream of the crop. Treat each one with kindness and respect, as much as it is possible, and most of the time, they will do the same. If not, then it is time to move on.

The following was written by an unknown author, as much as I can determine. Many have claimed authorship, but it is disputed.

"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season."

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

I've made some wonderful friends on here, and some which turned out to be not so wonderful..but even so, I learned from it. There are some, though, that I hope to keep for a lifetime, even though I may never meet them in person, it seems as though we have. A genuine friendship is a gift to be treasured.

That's one of the most important lessons I've learned.

I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world. ~Thomas A. Edison ~

Me, too.

May 01, 2010

What Is It?

There is so much unrest, and uncertainty in our land right now. There are times when one wonders if the constant struggle to cope from day to day is really going to accomplish anything. Just when we think that, maybe, there is hope, something else comes along, and knocks the breath right out of us.

Even so, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get on with the business of living, of striving for the dream in all of our hearts, even though life is complicated, and reality is harsh.


But what is it that makes us go on dreaming, even in the stark daylight of reality?

Why does our heart tell us to keep going in the face of every opposition?

What is the force that drives us ever onward toward a goal that seems unobtainable?

What gives us the courage to carry on, even when it seems that we have gone the last mile?

What is the never ending force that travels through our being--the force that is our being?

Why do we struggle against it?

Why the resistance against the thing that is trying to work for our good?

We all must have a dream. A destiny to fulfill. A pattern that can be formed in it's entirety, by only specific pieces of life, much in the same way that a picture is formed only by each specific piece of a jigsaw puzzle. A piece which has been cut to perfection, and will only fit into that one particular part of the puzzle--its shape and size and color, made to be fitted into no other part--the picture, which without it, is incomplete.

If a piece is forced into a part of the puzzle, for which it was not made, the picture is misshapen and imperfect.

And such is life.

Our lives are like a jigsaw puzzle. We keep searching until we have found the piece of the puzzle which fits perfectly into the picture. Much searching, much trying, much forcing of pieces--trying to make a whole of perfection--our perfect picture. They have to be looked for carefully, and sometimes they are hard to find, yet, we keep searching.

Sometimes, the piece looks exactly as if it will fit, but it doesn't, and we try to force it into place. because it looks like it belongs there. Finally, after much effort we put that piece aside, and go on searching for the one that fits.

The important thing is that although we may search long and hard through the pieces that don't fit, eventually we find the ones which do, and we have that for which we have been striving.

Just as a puzzle is challenging at times, discouraging at others, but ultimately fulfilling when it all comes together, beautifully, as a result of our efforts--such is the putting together of each of our lives, and the pursuit of our dreams.

It's the challenges, the discouragements, the searching and the trying, and the determination to see the fulfillment of our endeavors culminate into the perfect picture.

But what is it really that drives us toward the ultimate dream, in spite of all of the adversity all around us?

It's faith, and hope.

In spite of those whom would turn our lives upside-down, by changing what we have always known, by trying to take away our freedoms, by causing chaos, and almost putting asunder all the pieces of the puzzle that we have worked so hard to fit together--it is faith in Someone bigger than we are, and hope in the knowledge that Good will always triumph over Evil in the grand scheme of things.

That's what it is.

April 26, 2010

It's Your Life

LIFE IS A THEATER

Invite Your Friends Carefully

Observe the relationships areound you. Pay close attention.

Which ones lift, and which ones lean?

Which ones encourage, and which ones discourage?

Which ones are on a path of growth uphill, and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people, do you feel better or worse?

Which ones have drama, or don't really know, understand, or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, 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, and who should be moved to the Balcony of Your Life.

If you cannot change the people around you, CHANGE the people you are around.

Remember that the people we hang with will have an impact on both our lives, and our incomes...so we must choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds.

We must not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our dreams with negative thoughts.

It's your choice, and your life...it is up to you, who and what you let in it.

~Author Unknown~

I have my own thoughts about this, having experienced some rather toxic relationships in my own life.

Sometimes, the people around us are not the ones that we have chosen, but are just part of the package of life, so to speak. We don't get to pick and choose our relatives, certainly, and then when we marry, we get the relatives that our spouses didn't get to choose, either, which makes for an even more complicated set of circumstances at times.

Sometimes, it seems that some of our worst enemies are our own relatives, and when that's not the case, it is an added blessing...however, it doesn't always work out that way, as I'm sure you are aware.

Yes, we can choose our friends, and when they don't work out, we are free to go our own separate ways, but what to do about our own relatives? Well, my husband and I have discussed this many times, and prayed about it, just as much...especially when we were having a very difficult time with one of my relatives, who was giving us a lot of grief over the care of my invalid mother....which resulted in banning her from our home, for awhile. He said that we should love our relatives, but we don't have to subject ourselves to their toxic behavior...and that's true.

One day as I was praying, I asked the Lord why my aunt seemed to hate me so much, and tried to find fault with everything that I tried to do in the care of my mother, and suddenly, it came like a bolt out of the blue. It wasn't that she hated me so much, but that she loved my mother, her sister, so much! After that, I began to view it in that light, and it seemed that a complete change came over my aunt, and our relationship was restored, and after a few years, she told me how very sorry she was that she had acted the way that she had, and asked my forgiveness.

Now, we are closer than ever, and she thinks there is no one else in the world who knows as much about taking care of an invalid, or anyone who needs any kind of care. She now calls me her daughter, and asks my advice about everything. LOL...yes, I have to laugh out loud, when I think of the goodness of God, and how He is able to work all things together for good, if we will only allow Him. If we ask, He will give us guidance and direction as to whom we should allow a front row seat in our lives!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
~Proverbs 3:5-6~

April 13, 2010

A Day In The Springtime

The following story is, actually, a re post of a re post. Obviously, it is not the first day of Spring, and a lot has transpired in our world since the last re post, and current events are still depressing, and distressing...but it is a beautiful Spring day, and days like this remind me of the day in my story, and of the fact, that in spite of all of the ugliness around us, there is still beauty in the world, and hope, which gives us a reason for rejoicing in what we still have. Where there is hope, there is the feeling that all will be well, whatever the circumstances.


This being the first day of spring, I thought it would be a good time to depart from the more depressing current events, and re post one of my more uplifting stories.

To this very day, I can recall the particular day mentioned here, in detail.

I opened my eyes, and stretched, kicking the sheets off my suntanned legs with quick, little scissor kicks. It was early in the morning, but already it was hot, and muggy, causing the sheet to feel clingy, and uncomfortable. I just lay there, savoring the smell of bacon and coffee, the aroma hanging thick in the humid air. I could hear Mama in the kitchen, taking the heavy, iron skillet filled with biscuits, out of the oven and setting it down with a dull thud on top of the stove. Outside of the open window, I could hear birds singing. I felt like singing, too. I was fifteen years old, and it was springtime. It felt good, just being alive!


After breakfast, and after dishes, I put on my black Capri pants, and pink turtleneck top. I wished I didn't stick out so far in front. Being so tiny in the waist made me look twice as big at the top--and I didn't like the way the boys stared at me. It seemed to me that they never did get around to looking at me at eye-level--but worse than that were the snide remarks some of the girls at school made. If I heard, "Where'd you get those--Sears Catalogue?" one more time, I thought I'd scream.

Oh well, there could be worse things wrong with me than that--like being too skinny, like my best friend, Jean. She envied me, my bustline, but I sure didn't envy her, her skinny legs. I giggled at the thought of her with my bustline and her skinny legs!

Speak of the devil, I thought, as I heard her calling me from her front porch, across the road and three houses up. I ran outside, slamming the flimsy screen door behind me. I ran down the steps, and up the unpaved road to her house.

She was sitting on the steps, combing her hair which she had just washed. Maybe her legs were too skinny, but she sure did have beautiful hair. It was down to her waist, and looked like fluffy gold.

"Gosh, Jean, your hair looks absolutely beautiful," I said. I felt good. She got into her best movie star pose, and said, "I know--I wish I could say the same about yours."

"Well, why don't you tell a lie--like I just did?" I said, feeling gorgeous as the morning!

Mama was calling me home to go to the store for washing powder. I got the money, and ran across the road to the trail that ran down the hill through the little patch of woods, and was a shortcut between our house and the store. Just at the top of the hill was a large, flat rock from which you could see far away over the tree tops.

I jumped up on the rock, taking deep breaths of fresh, clean air. The sweetness of spring flowers filled my nostrils. The beautiful profusion of color, and the potpourri of fragrance was intoxicating! I wanted to sprout wings, and soar through the air! I felt like crying. It felt so good just to be alive on a day like this!

I took some more deep breaths, and stretched my arms in embrace of the beauty all around me. I looked up at the sky, and said, "When I die, let it be exactly like now, and let it be on a day in the springtime!" Tears slid down my face for some strange reason that I didn't understand. I felt clean, and pure, and gorgeous--yes, gorgeous as the morning!

April 04, 2010

Because He Lives...


We associate Lent, Passion Week, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday, with the days leading up to the Celebration of Easter, but it is the event that occurred that we, as Christians, celebrate.

It is not about colored eggs, jelly beans, or Easter bunnies, but about the empty tomb, and what it represents to us.

Our Christian faith is anchored in the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified, resurrected, and glorified, and the belief that He is the Son of God.

His word can be trusted. His sacrifice for our sin allows us complete forgiveness, which assures us that when we believe in Him, we too, can conquer death, so we turn to Him for mercy, guidance, and direction.

Death could not hold Him!

The tomb was empty! He is risen! He is alive! And because He lives, we shall live, also!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 kjv

March 04, 2010

I Believe...

I Believe...

That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
It doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...

That we don't have to change friends if
We understand that friends change.

I Believe....

That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while
And you must forgive them for that.

I Believe....

That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...

That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.

I Believe....

That it's taking me a long time
To become the person I want to be.

I Believe....

That you should always leave loved ones with
Loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe....

That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe.....

That we are responsible for what
We do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...

That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...

That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe....

That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe....

That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...

That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe....

That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe....

That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...

That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe.....

That our background and circumstances
May have influenced who we are,
But, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...

That you shouldn't be so eager to find
Out a secret.
It could change your life
Forever.

I Believe....

Two people can look at the exact same
Thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...

That your life can be changed in a matter of
Hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...

That even when you think you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you -
You will find the strength to help.

I Believe...

That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...

That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe...

That the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything they have.

February 19, 2010

On Self Knowledge

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.

You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams. And it is well you should.The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea. And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.

But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure.And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth.

"Say not, "I have found the path of the soul."

Say rather, "I have found the soul walking upon my path."

For the soul walks upon all paths.The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.

(An excerpt from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran)

I dedicate this to my fellow bloggers, and to the readers of our blogs, because thoughts of you bring this to my mind.

And because we are all in this world together.

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
Proverbs 16:16 KJV

February 13, 2010

Sandy Dundee

My mind seems to have gone to the dogs, lately. I don't know why, but everywhere I go, I read something about a dog, or someone sends me something about one. I even went to the New York Times today (forty lashes: I deserve at least that many for going to TNYT for any reason) to read a dog story--well, a story about dog trainers. Anyway, it has conjured up the memories of some of the dogs I have known, at one time or another. They haven't all been nice ones, either, but mostly they have been.

I haven't always been that fond of them---in fact, for many years I was terrified of them, having had a nasty bite from one, requiring several stitches, and the subsequent rabies shots in my abdomen.

I was only thirteen years old, at a carnival, just strolling along, minding my own business, and the little critter came running from one of the tents and chomped down on my leg. It was a traveling carnival, and by the time that I had gotten treated at the local emergency room, the carny people who owned the dog, packed up and hightailed it out of town, taking the dog with them, of course, which was the reason I had to take all of those shots--no dog to test for rabies.

Daddy always owned a dog of one kind, or another, including a lot of hunting dogs, and a few others, but Daddy was lord and master, and only a look, or a word, and they obeyed any command, so I was never afraid of them. After that little carnival episode, all other dogs scared me, and I had no fondness for them, whatsoever, until I had my two sons, and all little boys have to have a dog. It was after that, that I began to see, that just like people, they are not all bad, not all good, not all pretty, and not all ugly, and it only takes a little "getting to know you" on both sides. And just like children, some are naughty, and some are little comedians.

One of our dogs, Sandy, was one of the funniest dogs in the world! We got her, and her sister, Buffy, when they were just old enough to wean from their mother. They were beautiful Golden Retrievers, and when they were about six months old, they both came down with Parvo, which is a deadly virus, and wreaks havoc on the poor animal. They both spent time at the veterinarian's hospital, but Buffy didn't make it. The doctor told us, finally, that there was nothing more to be done for Sandy, either, and the kindest thing would be to euthanize her. We refused, and brought her home, and my son, Mike, nursed her back to health.

She was a pathetic case, too. She would lie on her side, with her tongue hanging out, and that was about all she could do for several weeks. Then she began to grow stronger and stronger, until she was bounding around just as before. The only after-effects of the illness was that she stopped growing. Just like that, she grew no more, and stayed the size of a six month old pup! She adored Mike, and was his constant companion, and she kept us laughing at her antics all the time.

When we lived in Florida, she was almost caught by an alligator, and had a couple of tooth scratches on her haunch to prove it. After that, we would put a bandanna around her neck, strap a toy knife in a sheath around her middle, and when we would say, "Sandy! Alligator!" She would snap her head around, taking the toy knife into her mouth, and looking at us with what we called her Barney Fife look! While wearing her outfit, we called her Sandy Dundee, because old Crocodile Dundee had nothing on her!

One Labor Day, she got out of the yard, and we couldn't find her, anywhere. A short time later, we saw her running up the street with a whole bag of buns in her mouth. We had no idea where she had gotten them. Right after that, she took off again, and this time, she came back with a whole block of butter, dropped it, and took off again, disappearing completely. Next, here she came with a piece of meat of some kind, and ashes all around her nose and mouth! She took off again, and we tried following her, but there was no sign of her anywhere! This time, we met her coming up the street, with a deflated beach ball, soaking wet, from head to toe! We were horrified, because it seems that she had found some one's Labor Day cookout, and had made off with just about everything they had!

She had been cutting through yards, which was the reason she disappeared so quickly, and we were unable to find her. We figured that she actually went into the pool after the beach ball, or they finally caught her snitching all their stuff and squirted her with the hose. We asked around, trying to find out who was missing their Labor Day cookout stuff, but never found out where she had been!

And Sandy? Well, she was so proud of herself, and walked around all day with her Barney Fife look--you know the cocky, smug one that he always got when he thought he had outsmarted Sheriff Taylor, or the local bad guy, or had accomplished something which he considered to be very clever. We laughed so much, but I'll bet that poor family wasn't laughing at all!

When she was nearly four years old, she was hit by a car, which was flying up the rural road where we lived, at about sixty miles an hour. The driver didn't stop, or even slow down, and we lost our precious girl who had given us so much joy. And even as she faded away, lying there surrounded by the people who loved her, and were telling her how much, her eyes were full of fear and pain, but even so, they were filled with love for her humans--especially for her Mike. Her eyes never left his face.

Do you think that dogs really do feel all the emotions that humans feel, like love?

I do.


*A repost

February 01, 2010

It's Time To....

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
____________________________________
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables. __________________________________________
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
GLENN: K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong.
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
____________________________________________
TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
__________________________________
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
WINNIE: Me!
__________________________________________
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are. _______________________________________
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ' I. '
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.' ________________________________
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.... ______________________________________
TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook. ______________________________
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's.. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.
___________________________________
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher
__________________________________

January 31, 2010

Walk By Faith...


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105


January 28, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed, Blame, Blame, Blame

I was almost beginning to feel sorry for President Obama a few days ago, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt..again...but after last night, I am more disappointed in him, and his performance as leader of the nation, and I didn't think that was possible.

The reason I was beginning to feel a little sorry for him--and I know you will think this is strange--but it was a result of watching American Idol, over the years, and watching some of the contestants in their auditions.

Are your eyebrows furrowed, yet?

Anyway, I always think, when I see some of those poor people up there making fools of themselves, or looking just plain foolish and ignorant, and of course, getting ridiculed, and rejected, and some of them crying, some angry and defiant--I wonder why they, with absolutely no talent, or ability, or maybe a little talent, put themselves through that? Why do they audition in the first place? The more I thought about it, I realized that they, themselves, are convinced that they are super talented-- head and shoulders above the rest--not because they are, but because they have been convinced, by others...family members, friends, etc...that they are. They believe the lies that others tell them about themselves. Sometimes, though, they have a kind of mental derangement, and have grandiose ideas about themselves, and just can't accept that others can't see that.

So, that was why I was beginning to feel a little pity for Obama, thinking how he has always been told how great, how intelligent, how charismatic--and he does have some of those positive characteristics, and abilities. He has some expertise in some areas, but he is finding out that he is not the Superman that he has been led to believe, and that has to be a hurtful awakening. So, thinking in those terms, I was feeling a little sorry for him, considering that he must be feeling a bit of a failure, after all the promises he had made, but couldn't keep.

However, after the speech last night, I have to believe that not only has he been convinced by others that he is exceptional in every way, but that he, also, has the grandiose ideas about himself, and he came across as very angry that others could ever doubt his ability to accomplish all the things he promised, and if only everyone who doubts him, would stop fighting him, he could do it all. In other words, every single failure on his part, or his party's part, was the fault of Bush, and/or the mean old conservative Republicans.

The way he chastised the Supreme Court Justices, before the whole nation, was inexcusable. Not only that, but it pretty much showed his disdain toward the sanctity of that office, and just about everything else that has made this nation a beacon of light to all others.

I would have liked to have seen him succeed, as our leader, as long as it was for the good of the country, and for each of its citizens, but it looks like that is about as far-fetched as seeing me audition for American Idol!

January 25, 2010

The Bond Of Love

" Don't cry when you hear about what happened to me, Henderson, honey. I feel just fine. I feel better now than I ever felt in my life. Don't be sad about Dr. Chilton anymore, either. He's just fine. Bye, Henderson...don't you cry, you hear?"

I had worked the eleven to seven shift the night before. I had been working double shifts for awhile, due to personnel shortage, and although I had been working a single shift the past few days, I was still exhausted from sheer mental strain and lack of sleep, so I had been sleeping a few hours later than I would have, normally.

At the hospital where I worked as an admitting officer, we worked what was called a swing shift. So many days from seven a.m. to three p.m., so many from three to eleven, and then from eleven p.m. until seven in the morning. Since we were short of help, I had been working double shifts, on and off.

At ten p.m., the one working three to eleven in the evening, would close the main floor office, taking all necessary paperwork and money, down to the emergency room and admitted patients from there. Sometimes, especially weekends, it got pretty hectic.

Jewel Teal was the R.N. in charge of the emergency room. Miss Teal, I called her. She knew her job, and did it well, and the patient just couldn't help feeling secure when she took over. I'll never forget the first time I met her.I had been living in California, but had left, and was hiding from an abusive, alcoholic husband, who had come close to killing me many times. This time I had fled in the middle of the night. Literally, running for my life, from a machete. At the first opportune time, I had grabbed my son, who was not quite six years old. I started running through the darkness, not daring to stop, or even to look back. I had enough money for a motel room and a bus ticket to Georgia. Nothing else, other than the clothes on our backs.

I went to Georgia, because I thought that he would not think of looking for me there. I was almost seven months pregnant, and once there, I couldn't find work, had no money, no friends, and no family who were in a position to help...or wanted to be bothered.

My son, and I, were staying in a store-room filled with broken wheelchairs and bedpans, at a dilapidated nursing home for old people on welfare. I worked around there, doing odd jobs, and in return, we got two meals a day, and the use of the store-room. We got the same meals as served to the residents, and it was hardly enough for anyone with a normal appetite. Seeing the nearly inhumane treatment the old and sick people received saddened me very much, and I hated for my little boy to have to see it, but I had no choice. I was desperate

As the days passed, my son who was normally so active, became quiet and listless. After several days, he began having an extremely high temperature. By now, he complained of having a stiff neck, and sore throat, and was vomiting blood.

Being unable to obtain any help there, after trying tirelessly, and being turned away because of no money, and no insurance, I finally called a relative in the next state, and begged him to come and take us to the hospital there, in my hometown. He agreed.

It was about an hour and fifteen minutes driving time, and by the time he got there, my little boy was already sinking into a coma. I wrapped him in a blanket, and held him close to me on the drive back to the hospital in the next state. I kept talking to him, wanting him to know how much I loved him--knowing that he was near death. He could no longer hear me, nor respond.

This pregnancy had not been easy, and I had had no prenatal care. I was tired, and weak, and sick, but I knew that I had to keep holding onto him. If only I kept holding him, he wouldn't stop breathing.

"Let me hold him awhile, Hon, he's heavy, " my Aunt Polly said, reaching for him. "No!" I shouted angrily. How dare she? Didn't she know what would happen if I let him go?

When we pulled up to the hospital entrance, my uncle came around to carry him in. "No," I said, holding him closer to me, walking toward the door. An orderly walked out to take him. "No!" An aide. "No!" I was inside then, and they were still trying to take my baby. And then, "Here, honey, let Miss Teal take care of your baby."

Miss Teal. I looked up, and coming toward me was a tiny woman, only about four feet, eleven inches tall, and weighing not more than eighty-nine pounds. Her smile was kind, and her eyes were full of concern. She very gently took him from me, the blanket wrapped bundle almost as big as she. "Get Dr. Woodruff! Stat!" she snapped, as she disappeared into a treatment room with my child. Dr. Woodruff, as it turned out, was the best, and best known pediatrician in the area.

My son had spinal meningitis, and wasn't expected to live through the night. By the mercy of God, he did, and with no after effects, but he was hospitalised for over three weeks. We were both in isolation, because I wouldn't leave him, and as it turned out, I was in a deep state of shock.

After my child was born, I was in the hospital another three weeks because of complications. During that time, I made many friends there at the hospital, and they were instrumental in my getting a job at the hospital. I especially loved working with Miss Teal. Any mistakes I made, she covered with a smile, a pat, and a wink.

Now this strange dream that I'd just had. She was there--it was so plain--just seeming to hover over me, looking down at me from her position above my bed, with her gentle, assuring smile. "Don't cry when you hear what happened to me," she had said. The Dr. Chilton she had mentioned, was an obstetrician, and he had died only a couple of months before. He had come through the emergency room around two in the morning, after delivering a baby. He was going home to sleep, he said.

"Don't send me anymore babies, tonight, Henderson," he had said in parting, and went home to bed, where he died in his sleep.

I felt uneasy about what had just happened. Seeing and hearing Miss Teal had seemed so real. It was hours until time for work, but because of my uneasiness, I called the hospital. As soon as I called, I heard, "Oh, Henderson, did you know Miss Teal is dead?"

She had been on her way home that morning, having worked the same shift with me. She thought she saw a car coming toward her on the wrong side of the road, and swerved to avoid hitting it, and crashed into a tree.

She was still conscious when the ambulance came, and she told them what had happened. She also told them that she thought that she had a ruptured spleen. She had. She died in surgery that morning, surrounded by doctors and nurses, and others who had loved her.

Yes, I cried for my Miss Teal.

Post Script

Aunt Polly, mentioned here, is the same, beloved, aunt written about in some of my previous posts. She passed away one year ago, this past August, and i miss her, so much.

Ironically, as I write this, I am reminded of the very morning that she died. I had talked to her the day before, and she was her usual, sweet, uplifting self...laughing with me about things that we remembered, together.

I had told her about writing about when she was teaching me to make fudge, and how several readers on here had suggested I write the recipe in a post, since it sounded like it was so special. She laughed, and said, "Why, Baby..all they have to do is look on the Hershey's Cocoa box, and they'll see it." I had no idea, and we laughed so hard about that.

During that particular phone call, we were talking about how much we had loved each through the years, and what great times we had had, even in adverse times, being able to laugh at ourselves.

She had married my mother's youngest brother, the baby of the family, the same year that my mother married my stepfather. Uncle Bo, my mother's brother, had brought his new bride to meet Mama, and her 'little girl' and her new family. As Aunt Polly so eloquently put it, "It was love at first sight." Even now, I can see those sparkling eyes, always filled with laughter and goodness. "Yes, Aunt Polly, " I agreed. "It was love at first sight." And it was. I spent more time at their house, it seems while I was growing up, than I did anywhere else. There was nothing that we wouldn't do for each other. She was like a big sister/mother, and was as dear a friend as anyone could ever be blessed with.

We had planned to go down on the following Thursday, because she said, "I just have to see you one more time."

Now, this particular morning, after talking to her the previous day, I was waiting until I thought the aides would be finished with her bath and other things, before calling to tell her that we would be there in just a few days.

As I sat there, waiting to call, I don't know if I dozed off, or what; that's not something that I normally do, however, I thought I felt a hand on my shoulder, and my name being called. I looked up to see my Aunt Polly, standing there with that smile on her face. She said, "Baby, I'm getting ready to go home, and I wanted to tell you, "Bye."

I was totally bewildered. I, immediately, called down there, and I couldn't believe it when they told me that Aunt Polly was dying, and that it would only be a matter of a few minutes, according to what the Hospice nurse had just told them. It was so quick! It had only been yesterday that I talked to her, and we had had that wonderful conversation, and had been laughing about the Fudge recipe.

A few minutes later, she was gone.

Now, I'm sure that any who read this will be sceptical, but I know what I know, and I know that all that I have written here, happened.

What I don't know is how, or why, but what I, also, know, is that there are things that happen that we will never understand in this life.

It is said that there is no stronger bond than love, so perhaps that is the explanation, here.

I can only tell you what happened, and allow you to judge it for yourselves


January 23, 2010

Pray For Our Nation

Pray For Our Nation

I received this from a friend, today, and I thought it was well worth sharing.

Read the text, and listen to Andrea Bocelli sing "The Lord's Prayer."

Beautiful.

Today, when you pray, please remember to pray for Haiti, and for the safety of everyone there, including our troops, and all the volunteers.

Lord, please keep them in your perfect care, and please make a way for all the needed supplies to reach the people.

Amen.


January 21, 2010

Flabbergasted!

Adam Bouska’s NO H8 photos have become the symbol of ending discrimination against gays and lesbians ... and as of this morning, former would-be first lady Cindy McCain has become one of the campaign’s spokesmodels. Photographer Adam Bouska talks about shooting Cindy and her daughter Meghan, their efforts to change what it means to be a Republican, and why Cindy is speaking out for gay rights now.
Read about it, here.

I was surprised to find out about Senator John McCain's wife being in favor of gay marriage, and to see how far she has gone in supporting it, really surprises me!

Well, no, it deserves a much stronger word than that. Actually, I am flabbergasted! Who knew? Maybe, we should have, in light of the way their daughter, Meghan, has been really "out there" in voicing her opinions about what she thinks a Republican should be representative of, none of which line up with my own.

What is this woman thinking? I agree that what anyone does in the privacy of his or her own bedroom is their business, but to come out in support of something that her husband, obviously, is diametrically opposed to, is like a slap in the face, I would think.

I had heard that several on McCain's campaign were more liberal than conservative, and that they are the ones who tried to derail Governor Palin. I tried to think of it as nothing more than rumor, but now, after reading this, I am inclined to believe that it was all true.

Maybe, it's just my suspicious mind, but I always got the feeling, whenever I saw them all together, that Cindy McCain had no fondness for Sarah Palin, and I'm wondering now, just how much she had to do with things that happened...the little tid-bits that, somehow, just seemed to slip out, putting Palin in a bad light--but forgive me. This is not about Palin, but all about the way that certain individuals are trying to make the Right look like they are more liberal in their thinking than what they try to portray to the world. That we are not as "moral" as we would like others to think that we are.

I've been reading around, trying to find out what other people are thinking, and saying, and some of the things I've read would probably make her hair stand on end, as far as the symbolism of the things portrayed in the photo.

Sometimes, I think that certain individuals will sell their souls for just a little bit of the spotlight, and morals, and ethics, be hanged! Unfortunately, there are too many of those individuals kicking and scratching to obtain political power and persuasion.

This has nothing to do with civil rights, or protecting the rights of gays and lesbians, but goes much deeper than that.

It is all so sickening, because it shows how very low our country has sunken, and it looks like we continue to sink even lower.

So, Mrs. McCain, as far as this Conservative is concerned, what you are trying to do is wrong, and to that I say, "No, no, no!"


A thousand times, "No!"

January 16, 2010

Did God Create Evil?


I posted the following article a long time ago, but the recent tragedy of the earthquake hitting Haiti brought it to mind, again.I know that many are pondering this question, probably at this very moment. Perhaps, someone's faith has been shaken because of what has happened, and wonder if God really caused such a thing. Tragedy tends to do that, even to those whose faith is, in their minds, grounded.

Some have been unkind in their statements about why it happened, but can any of us know, or pass judgement, really?

I don't think so.

I do know that the Bible speaks of God's judgement, but it, also, says that time and chance happen to all men, and that it rains on the just and the unjust.

It is not for us to judge, but to love, and to forgive, and to pray for those in need.

DID GOD CREATE EVIL?

Did God create everything that exists? Does evil exist? Did God create evil?

A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question: "Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?"

"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil."

The student became quiet and did not answer the professor's hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "May I ask you a question, professor?"

"Of course," replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The other students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact, sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat; and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong, sir, darkness does not exist, either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wave lengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

The young man's name - - Albert Einstein....(1879-1955)

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Psalms 14:1 KJV

I'm no genius, but I can't remember a time when I didn't know in my heart that God exists.

Albert Einstein was no fool, either.

January 12, 2010

About Friendship


I have been thinking a lot about friendship, lately. Thinking of some friends that I've lost, in the past, and some that I've acquired, recently. I know that it is said that you should choose your friends carefully, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sometimes, they just happen along, and things either work out, or they don't. I've had a few that I thought were genuine, but found out that it was not so.

I have never been one to choose, or keep a friend based on looks, age, education, or wealth. I've never chosen a friend based on how sophisticated they happen to be, or how enlightened. Prestige, fame, and fortune, have never impressed me in the least. I've been poor--just about as poor as you can imagine--and I've been fairly well-off. I've had--and still have some of them--friends who were doctors, lawyers, college professors, politicians, pharmacists, an engineer, a physicist, a theologian, and a celebrity or two. I've, also, had friends who were common laborers, who worked their fingers to the bone, so to speak. Each and every one of those friendships have been based on things held in common--the only things of any real importance in a friendship --honesty, integrity, respect, and genuine affection.


I've been treated badly when I was very poor--in my growing-up years--and I've been kow-towed to, a few times, just because of my particular strata of society at the time. I guess I should be thankful for each and every one of those friendships, because I'm sure that I learned something valuable from each one. One thing that I have learned for sure--people are just people. Some are users, and some are losers, and some are the cream of the crop. Treat each one with kindness and respect, as much as it is possible, and most of the time, they will do the same. If not, then it is time to move on.

The following was written by an unknown author, as much as I can determine. Many have claimed authorship, but it is disputed.

"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season."

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

I've made some wonderful friends on here, and some which turned out to be not so wonderful..but even so, I learned from it. There are some, though, that I hope to keep for a lifetime, even though I may never meet them in person, it seems as though we have. A genuine friendship is a gift to be treasured.

That's one of the most important lessons I've learned.

I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.
~Thomas A. Edison

January 09, 2010

Alabama Alligator

These first two pictures were taken by a KTBS helicopter flying over Lake Wiess, which is about ninety miles north of Birmingham, Alabama.

The helicopter pilot, and the game wardens on the ground, were in communication via two-way radios.

Here is a transcript of their conversation:

Air1, have you a visual on the 'gator? Over.

Approaching inlet now. Over.

Roger Air1.

'Gator sighted. Looks like it has a small animal in its mouth...moving in. Over.

Roger Air1.

Oh, crap, it's a deer!

Confirm, Air1...did you say 'deer?' Over.

Roger...a deer in its mouth..lookds like a full-sized buck...that's a big 'gator, boys. We're gonna need more men. Over.

Roger, Air1...can you give me a idea on size of animal? Over.

It's a big one...twenty-five feet, at least; please advise 'gator is heading to inlet..do I pursue? Over.

The deer was later found to be a mature stag, measuring eleven feet!

This alligator was found between Centre, and Leesburg, Alabama, near a house! Game wardens were forced to shoot the alligator.

Anita and Charlie Rogers could hear the beast bellowing in the night. Their neighbors had been telling them that they had seen a mammoth alligator in the waterway that runs behind their house, but they dismissed the stories as exaggerations.

"I didn't believe it," Charles Rogers said, but after the alligator was killed, they realized the stories were, if anything, understated.

Alabama Parks and Wildlife game wardens had to shoot the beast.

Joe Goff, a 6'5" tall game warden, shown below, walks past the twenty-eight foot, one inch long alligator that he helped shoot and kill in the Rogers' back yard.



The above report was sent to me in an email. I'm assuming it's all true, having seen a man reel in a seventy-five pound catfish at Guntersville Dam, which isn't all that far from Centre, Alabama. It took two men to hold it in their arms, while I snapped a photo of it. That was a small one, considering reports of catfish as large as school buses, spotted lying on the bottom of the lake, next to the dam.

I guess Alabama is a lot like Texas, in that respect..everything seems to grow just a little bit bigger!

But what I'm wondering is, what was that alligator doing in that part of Alabama?

January 08, 2010

Another Time..

Photobucket

I know it is not Christmas, New Year's Eve, or even the Fourth of July..

but, I love this, and think it's just too pretty not to share!

There's just something about it..the setting, maybe..which reminds me of the era in which I grew up.

It reminds me of a place down home, which was called Oxford Lake, and it had a skating rink, and a midway, of sorts, and one could take a motor boat ride around the lake for about fifty cents.

Families would go there on their outings, guys took their dates there, and showed off, doing whatever guys did back then..mostly strolling along, holding hands, and bragging about stuff!

It's still there, but it is mostly just a place to have picnics, and there is some kind of Civic Center there, as well.

The lake which looked gigantic back then, is there to walk around now, for exercise, mostly. Two laps around equal about a mile.

The last time I walked around it, a few years ago, my friend, Lisa, and I headed out to Hardee's for a sausage biscuit, afterwards!

It's true, that you can't go home, again...but it sure is nice to dream of a happier, more peaceful, time.

Is it possible that it could ever be that way, again?

I wonder.

Graphic borrowed from Dudley's Diary

Thanks, Dudley!

January 03, 2010

Singing The Promises


Yes, it's true that the past year has been a hard one. It has been harsher for some, than for others, so we are all hoping for a better one. There have been times when we've all felt like giving up in despair, but we kept holding on.

We all have different ways of doing that, of finding strength for the moment. One of mine is to remember, and sing, the words of some of my favorite hymns and songs.

One of my favorite hymns is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" in which one of the verses is written, "Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."

Another, and one I have sung often, to myself, over the years, is "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." This one has a special meaning to me, and has gotten me through many, many, difficult, and painful moments in my life...especially this verse:

"Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

I have been singing that song for as long as I can remember, but one day, it literally gave me the hope that was close to dying within me.

I was on my way from a doctor's office, where I had been given a very bad report, and while driving along, nearly unable to see because of the tears pouring out of my eyes, I looked up, and on a bumper sticker on the car just ahead of me, were the words, "His eye is on the sparrow."

I can't begin to tell you what that did to me, and for me. It was like a promise that I could hold onto...and I did. And God was faithful, just as he had promised.

I hope we can all hold on to the promises, even when it seems that hope is dying within us.