Thursday, December 31, 2009
This is an inspiring story based on the Wright Brothers. Armed with nothing more than a high school education, they rose above all obstacles and achieved the impossible.
I've added several inspirational videos at Oldmanblurts YouTube.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
God specializes in things fresh and firsthand.
His plans for you this year may outshine
those of the past. He's prepared to fill your
days with reasons to give Him praise.
Joni Eareckson Tada
Moreover, I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit within you;
and I will remove the heart of stone
from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Monday, December 28, 2009
There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest ... perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The King chose the second picture.
Do you know why?
"Because," explained the King, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake, Amen!"
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
You who suffer take heart.
Christ is the answer to sorrow.
Then Jesus said to His disciples,
"If anyone wishes to come after Me,
he must deny himself,
and take up his cross and follow Me.
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it;
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Monday, December 21, 2009
1Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
4Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."
16So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
17When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
19But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
What Child Is This (Greensleeves)
Allison Crowe performs her jazz arrangement of What Child Is This (Greensleeves). This live performance is part of the annual Canadian television broadcast of Crowe's "Tidings" Christmas special of seasonal and all-season songs of spirituality, redemption, and release.
Joy and peace to all.
What Child Is This (Greensleeves)
Words: William C. Dix (1837-1898), The Manger Throne, 1865
Music: Greensleeves, 16th Century English melody
Arranged and performed by Allison Crowe
What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
At Christmas time there was a man who looked so out of place
as people rushed about him at a hurried sort of pace.
He stared at all the Christmas lights, the tinsel everywhere,
the shopping center Santa Claus with children gathered near.
The mall was packed with shoppers who were going to and fro,
some with smiles and some with frowns and some too tired to go.
They rested on the benches or they hurried on their way
to fight the crowd for purchases to carry home that day.
The music from a stereo was playing loud and clear
of Santa Claus and snowmen and a funny nosed reindeer.
He heard the people talk about the good times on the way
of parties, fun and good galore, and gifts exchanged that day.
I'd like to know what's going on, the man was heard to say.
There seems to be some sort of celebration on the way.
And would you tell me who this is, all dressed in red and white?
And why are children asking him about a special night?
The answer came in disbelief, "I can't believe my ear!
I can't believe you do not know that Christmas time is here.
The time when Santa comes around with gifts for girls and boys.
When they're asleep on Christmas Eve, he leaves them books and toys.
The man you see in red and white is Santa Claus, so sly.
The children love his joyful laugh and twinkle in his eye.
His gift-packed sleigh is pulled along by very small reindeer
as he flies quickly through the air, while darting there and here.
The children learn of Santa Claus while they are still quite small.
When Christmas comes he is the most important one of all.
The stranger hung His head in shame, He closed a nail-pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief, He did not understand.
A shadow crossed His stricken face, His voice was low but clear,
"After ALL these years, they STILL don't know." And Jesus shed a tear.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Just as we have struggled in times past and received the help we needed,
so must we repay the favor and extend our hands towards those who are in
need of our help. We should always be conscious to the needs of those
around us and make ourselves available to be the answer to their prayers.
It is a very simple thing to bless someone in need.
Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby
didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The
thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of
keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his
mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless,
even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend.”
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five
had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there
just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the
small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.
What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made
up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older sisters and one
younger sister, who ran the house hold in their mother's absence. All
three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother.
Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down
to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six
without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked
from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed
so beautiful and so out of reach.
It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when
suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting
off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny
dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that
moment. As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his
entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement
quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy
anything with only a dime.
He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner
asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could
buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at
Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder
and said to him, “You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you.”
As Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was
a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers. The sound of the
door closing as the last customer left jolted Bobby back to reality. All
alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.
Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before
Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and
tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart
sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white
box. “That will be ten cents young man.” the shop owner said reaching out
his hand for the dime.
Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true?
No one else would give him a thing for his dime! Sensing the boy's
reluctance, the shop owner added, “I just happened to have some roses on
sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?” This time Bobby did not
hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it
was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he
heard the shop keeper say, “Merry Christmas, son.”
As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out. “Who were you
talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?”
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he
replied, “A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting
up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set
aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the
time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then
just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy
a flower for his mother with one small dime. When I looked at him, I saw
myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my
mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on
the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. When I saw
that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a
dozen of my very best roses.”
The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped
out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all..
May this story instill the spirit of Christmas in you enough to pass this
loving act along.
Have a Joyous and Peace-filled season.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
D A Y
These kids were so cute!
supposed to be any words on
went well with this
picture of me as Santa Clause.
to see more pics of me as Santa.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
When will you be penciling in time for God's work?
Two Quotes for Tuesday
God has lots of folks who intend to go to work
for Him "some day." What He needs is more
people who are willing to
work for Him this day.
Marie T. Freeman
Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men.
Monday, December 14, 2009
A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
'Your son is here,' she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened..
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack,
he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside
the oxygen tent.
He reached out his hand.
The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's
limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit
beside the bed.
All through the night the young Marine sat there
in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand
and offering him words of love and strength
Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine
move away and rest awhile.
Whenever the nurse came into the ward,
the Marine was oblivious of her
and of the night noises of the hospital -
the clanking of the oxygen tank,
the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings,
the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse.
While she did what she had to do, he waited.
Finally, she returned.
She started to offer words of sympathy,
but the Marine interrupted her.
'Who was that man?' he asked.
The nurse was startled,
'He was your father,' she answered.
'No, he wasn't,' the Marine replied..
'I never saw him before in my life.'
'Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?'
'I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn't here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.'
The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.
WE ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS GOING THROUGH A
TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.
WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS
GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
O Holy Night ~ Lyrics
O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine! Oh night when Christ was born!
Oh night divine! Oh night! Oh night divine!
Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother,
and in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his holy name.
Christ is the lord, that ever, ever praise we.
Noel! Noel! Oh night;oh night divine!
Noel! Noel! Oh night; oh night divine!
Noel! Noel! Oh night; oh night divine!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This short poem is inspiring. I only pray I could live my life with these thoughts in mind.
Every Day Is Christmas
Every day is Christmas when you have the kind of mind,
That stores up all the goodness and the sweetness it can find.
When you don't need an occasion, to spread a bit of cheer,
But just keep on a-giving, of yourself throughout the year.
Every day is Christmas, with a gaily wrapped surprise,
When you've learned to see the friendship, in someone else's eyes.
When you try a little harder, and complain a little less,
Holding fast to all the fervor of the faith that you possess.
Every day is Christmas, when you've found that you can be
More concerned with words like "you" and less with "I" and "me."
When it's fun to do a favor, and to lend a helping hand,
When being understood means less, than when you understand.
Every day is Christmas, with a beauty deeply cast,
When you find it doesn't matter, if you're first or if you're last.
When you can face your conscience, and be glad of what you are,
Then every day is Christmas, with a stable and a star.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
God's grace and love is ever flowing like water down upon us.
Two Quotes for Tuesday
"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you."
Some people think God does not like to be troubled
with our constant asking. But, the way to
trouble God is not to come at all.
Monday, December 7, 2009
At 7:55 on the sunny morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, 183 Japanese warplanes swooped out of a cloudless sky and demolished the US Pacific fleet docked at Pearl Harbor. It was this single catastrophic event, not the invasion of Poland, the Battle of Britain or the persecution of the Jews, that finally dragged the United States into World War II.
Today on Pearl Harbor Day I offer this prayer for our nation, our leadership, and for all veterans and their families. This prayer was written shortly after the 9/11 tragedy however I think it relates to those who experienced the tragedy of war at Pearl Harbor in 1941. I also feel it is fitting to the current events in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lord, we come to You on bended knee,
heads bowed and our hearts filled to overflowing
with so much grief for the many people who have
been injured and killed in our National crisis.
We ask you Lord, to give courage
and strength to those who so bravely
go to their aid. And though their hearts will
be heavy and filled with sorrow we ask Lord
that You give them the endurance needed
to help them through this difficult task.
Please give us the strength Lord,
to get through each difficult and devastating
day that faces each of us and our country.
Protect and guide our Military that
are now being called to duty.
We ask Lord, that You guide the leaders
of our great country in their hour of decision.
The burden that has been placed on their
shoulders during this crisis is overwhelming.
We ask that with Your infinite wisdom You
guide them gently to the right decisions.
And lastly Lord, we ask that You
allow us all to come together as a Nation,
to stand tall and united, so that we might
help each other in our hour of need.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
To all of my friends and family,
My dear Uncle Jerry has died. He was a great man. He served with The United States Postal Service all of his working career. He was a proud man who loved God dearly and his loving wife, my Aunt Dorothy. He was a Great American who supported our troops and this country for all of his life. When I was just a babe he was the one who taught me to speak French; unfortunately I did not retain much and wish I had continued to learn this beautiful language, never too late, huh? He was a member of the American Legion and was always sure to keep my membership up in the Sons of The American Legion. This is a card I proudly carry in my wallet. As you are probably can tell, I am and have always loved and have been proud of my Uncle. Please offer your prayers for my Aunt and my family. I am happy to know he and my Grandmother are now together in heaven; they loved each other dearly and I remember sitting as a child and listening to them talk for hours.
I will return to posting on my blogs and responding to emails in a few days. Thank you for your prayers for my Uncle and my family.
May God be with all of you,
Brian, the old man
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
When terrible things happen, there are
two choices, and only two: We can trust God,
or we can defy Him. We believe that God is
God, He's still got the whole world in His hands
and knows exactly what He's doing, or we must
believe that He is not God and that we are
at the awful mercy of mere chance.
"For I know the plans that I have for you,"
declares the LORD,
"plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope."
Monday, November 30, 2009
'Twas The Fight Before Christmas
'Twas the fight before Christmas when all through the house
Not a good deed was stirring, and Dad was a louse!
Their mother was angry and loaded with care,
'Cause the gift list was longer than ever this year!
The children were nagging for gifts worth a ton,
And Dad was convinced, "Christmas just isn't fun!"
With Mom's loud complaining, and Dad mad at all,
They loaded the car for the trip to the mall!
They stopped first at Sears to buy Grandma a platter,
At Wards Sis tried on jeans that confirmed she was fatter!
They stopped at the ATM for some more cash,
And saw their new neighbors with THEIR Christmas stash!
Hearts sank as they saw what their neighbors could spend,
"We've got to buy more!" Everybody chimed in!
When, what to their shopping red eyes should appear,
But a sign with the answer to their Christmas fear.
"Use credit, use VISA, use MasterCard,
Just run up their limits, it's not very hard!"
More rapid than eagles, the charges, they came
And they whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Now Nordstroms, now K-Mart, now Price Club and Kinneys,
To Broadway, to Target, we'll finish at Penney's!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,
Their packages piled up; they'd OUT-BOUGHT THEM ALL!!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky,
So flew away hope of a Christmas of joys,
Not a problem was changed by the gifts and the toys.
And then, in a twinkling, Dad knew without doubt,
They needed to know, "What is Christmas about?"
That night in a dream he saw Bethlehem town,
And a babe in a manger with thorns for a crown!
And then what Dad saw brought the tears like a flood,
Christ's back was all tarnished where lashes brought blood.
A rugged old cross was his tortuous rack,
As he shifted it's weight to his now bleeding back.
His eyes, filled with burdens, 'twas nothing there merry,
The thorns had no roses, the night became eerie.
His dry thirsty mouth was drawn thin like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was plucked out cruelly, and slow.
The cross from his back held him high in his shame,
And the soldiers encircled his death with a game.
He had a kind face, in his eyes none saw hate,
And he shook when they laughed at his horrible fate.
He was dying for me, took my sins on himself,
And I wept when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A look in his eye, and the twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know, I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work;
And he took all my sin, and then turned with a jerk.
"It is finished," he said. Death he willingly chose,
Then GLORY TO GOD, from the grave He arose!!!
Dad sprang from his bed, shouting what Christmas gives.
"It's not all the gifts, but that Jesus now LIVES!"
So you'll hear them exclaim, on their next Christmas night,
Happy Christmas to all, WHO WILL KEEP CHRISTMAS RIGHT!!!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
In thinking about Black Friday and the commercialism of the season, I thought the story below expressed a good thought to ponder.
Paid In Full
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.
Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angry, he shouted at his father and said "with all your money, you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house.
Many years passed and the young man had become very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father now was getting old, and thought perhaps he should go see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day.
Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages.
His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt.7:11, "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had wanted. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Have a Happy Healthy Holiday Season
As the holiday season rolls in earlier and earlier each year with our lives being bombarded with decorations and advertisements from all directions and our friends and family putting numerous demands on our time, it is easy to feel frustrated, stressed and apathetic about our health. In our efforts to achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle it is important for us to plan for our success.
During the holiday season the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds, but this can easily be avoided if we plan our meals correctly and remember the turkey gets stuffed, not us. It is not necessary and unhealthy to stuff our bellies full when we sit down for our Thanksgiving meal. I know it is easy to do but consider making the meal itself healthier. We can easily fill up on healthier foods and limit the amount of high-calorie, high-fat foods we consume.
In order to achieve this we must first make the decision we are going to concentrate on our health. Why wait until New Years Day to begin taking care of ourselves? Most New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside and are forgotten. There are numerous excuses we can make for ourselves but the truth is we are the ones in control. It takes looking into the mirror and deciding we are going to change our habits. If we don’t, we will find ourselves gorging on holiday treats and buffets and then feeling guilty because we made the decision to fail.
Sure the red velvet cake tastes great at the time but is it really worth the guilt and torture you put yourself through 20 minutes later when you feel bloated and are asking yourself why you over indulged? Not in my opinion, however, if we decide to fill up on healthy vegetables and fruits before diving into the stuffing and piling on the gravy, we will feel better about ourselves and can avoid the need to make New Year’s resolutions we have no intention of keeping in the first place. A good plan is to fill half of your plate with veggies, one-quarter with a lean meat and the other quarter with your starch.
There are many other things we can do during this holiday season in order to keep from gaining weight. When going to a party, begin the day with a healthy breakfast rich in fiber and protein and be mindful of your calorie intake throughout the day. We need to realize appetizers are not meals! Nibble on the healthy snacks like nuts, wheat crackers, veggies, and fruits. Stay away from the buffet table and walk around and mingle. Don’t feel you have to say yes to everything someone offers you to eat. Remember, drinks contain calories too, especially if you plan to consume alcohol.
But our weight gain should not be our only concern for our health. There are many stressful situations we will deal with during this holiday season which can leave us feeling achy, irritated, and depressed. One of the easiest things we can do to relieve stress and also help us avoid gaining weight is exercise. This is especially important if you have a lot of traveling to do. In an airplane or a car we can do knee hugs lifting our knees toward our chest, twist our necks rotating them around, and shrug our shoulders up and down to stretch out the kinks of our travel.
To avoid the irritating situations of shopping, gift wrapping, long lines, cooking, and the numerous other events going on in our lives, we must have a plan. Staying on top of all of these events can be achieved through following Santa’s advice by making lists and checking them twice. However, even the most organized person can feel over extended during the holiday season. Things which have helped me overcome the aggravation are taking deep breaths, shopping online or at local merchants to avoid crowds, and going for a leisurely stroll just to unwind and relax. You must make time for you!
Also, loneliness and depression are common feelings among many people during the holiday season. There are a few things you can do to overcome these feelings. You can spend time outside in the sunlight, get up and dance around, have sex, watch a funny movie or exercise to increase those feel-good endorphins. Pick up the phone and call a friend; this may raise your levels of progesterone, a mood-boosting, stress relieving hormone. If you are experiencing extreme depression please seek the advice of a health professional.
Although we are quite busy this season, catering to the soul is necessary. Make the time to take care of yourself. Take time to volunteer and help the less fortunate. This can easily redeem a sense of joy and thanksgiving in all of us. By taking this time to supply another’s needs, one’s heart will feel complete. Take care of yourself this holiday season and have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This video will get you in touch with your feelings of Gratitude and Abundance. Gratitude is a powerful, healing energy. "Gratitude" evolved from a popular poem by Sara Dawn, inspirational author and visionary. Learn more about Sara by visiting http://www.saradawn.com/
Please stop by Oldman's Poetry Corner to read my newest poem, Thanksgiving Reflection.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
God is spirit,
and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying,
"For He is good,
for His loving kindness is upon Israel forever."
And all the people shouted with a great shout
when they praised the LORD because
the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Monday, November 23, 2009
by Helen Steiner Rice
Thank You, GOD for everything
I've experienced here on earth--
Thank You for protecting me
from the moment of my birth--
And Thank You for the beauty
around me everywhere,
The gentle rain and glistening dew,
the sunshine and the air,
The joyous gift of "feeling"
the soul's soft, whispering voice
That speaks to me from deep within
and makes my heart rejoice--
Oh, GOD, no words are great enough
to thank You for just living,
And that is why every day
is a day for real THANKSGIVING.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about -the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me. Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jetway, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags.
He stopped right next to me to greet his family. First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other's face, I heard the father say, "It's so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!" His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, "Me, too, Dad!"
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son's face in his hands said, "You're already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!" They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother's arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father.
The man said, "Hi, baby girl!" as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.
After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, "I've saved the best for last!" and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing.
He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. "I love you so much!" They stared at each other's eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn't possibly be.
I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm's length away from me.
I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, "Wow! How long have you two been married?" "Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those." he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife's face. "Well then, how long have you been away?" I asked the man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile."Two whole days!"
Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he'd been gone for at least several weeks - if not months. I know my expression betrayed me, I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), "I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!"
The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, "Don't hope, friend... decide!" Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, "God bless!" With that, he and his family turned and strode away together.
I was still watching that exceptional man and his special family walk just out of sight when my friend came up to me and asked, "What'cha looking at?" Without hesitating, and with a curious sense of certainty, I replied, "My future!"
Friday, November 20, 2009
Meditation & Prayer
Close your eyes. Take a couple of deep breaths. Listen. If your experience is anything like mine, you are now hearing a lot of noise. Like the chatter of teletype, we process one thought after another in a continuous flow. With this much incessant activity, it is unlikely we will ever hear something as soft-spoken as intuition while our attention is diverted by the louder voices of what I don’t want and have yet to achieve. As the multitudes shout, I am a worthless sinner, it is hard to hear the more melodic sounds of, I am a magnificent expression of God’s love.
Listen to your thoughts and notice how they are all, apparently, connected. What’s next? Why did that happen? Where am I going? Where have I been? What does this all mean? During an interview with Deepak Chopra many years ago, he reminded me that although this flow of thought appears constant, in between each thought no matter how “infinitesimally small,” there resides a space, a “gap,” to use his precise description. I have found, within this gap, the silence, the peace, the rest we need to nourish and replenish the body and mind. For some, entry into this space is also an opportunity to glimpse and touch the unseen self…the soul.
Chopra continued to explain the practice of meditation allows us to gently slip into this gap, if even for a passing moment. With continued practice, we are able to expand the space between thoughts, increasing the silence and giving additional dimension to the gap. As the gap grows, we are better able to sink into this space, soothed by the peace as we connect with our inner being.
Through the ages, we have been given many maps to the gap; directions for returning to our source. While the precise methods may vary, every path shares the common element of reducing thought activity by stemming the tide of constant noise. Give focus to a single thought, it is suggested by using a mantra, our breath, the flame of a candle or prayer. By contracting our divided attention, we quiet the distractions and can more easily slip into the elusive space between our thoughts and peacefully rest within the gap.
Residing in the gap is tricky as this is a place without thought. After years of noise, finding yourself in this peaceful state is cause for celebration, “Wow…this feels great!” And, with this thought you have already made a hasty retreat from the bliss you were just about to experience. Darn! As the Buddhists say, Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. Learning to move with grace asks for our patience, understanding and forgiveness and all of these qualities must be turned inward before we can make use of them with others. In the silence we grow as we meet our highest self.
As we become better acquainted with who we are, light begins to illuminate our path. The answers we seek are all within, the path obscured by the noise, the distractions we will now learn to set aside. You cannot ignore the snow storm for as soon as you say to yourself, don’t think about the storm, you have just given the snow your full attention. The most you can do is gently set aside distracting thoughts as any struggle gives them counterproductive power. What you resist persists.
There is a multitude of research on the benefits of quieting the mind and I encourage you to seek out this information if it is unfamiliar or as a reminder or update. Most appropriate for this discussion, I ask you to reflect on vast amount and variety of historical references to the value and practice of seeking the silence I describe. In the west, we have Biblical accounts from Old Testament to New Testament citing the value of prayer. We have contemporary demonstrations of success with hypnosis. Yogananda and other western teachers of eastern thought have all carried messages of meditation rooted in Buddhism and other old world religious and spiritual practices. The Mayans, the Incas, the American Indian and groups representing diverse civilizations and geographic locations through time all present ritual that honors silence. Further, this silence is a vehicle to self-realization that is commonly achieved by a reverent practice of paring down diverse thought to single thought and then to no thought or a silence referenced to as bliss.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
If your every human plan and calculation has miscarried,
if, one by one, human props have been knocked out, take heart.
God is trying to get a message through to you,
and the message is:
"Stop depending on inadequate human resources.
Let me handle the matter."
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
Monday, November 16, 2009
A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw, the man hadn't shaved in a while.
His shirt was kinda' shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,
Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.
Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him, "Watcha' doin' here?"
"The old man said he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.
I stay only moments, see, 'cause the factory is so far away;
As I kneel here talking' to the Lord, this is kinda' what I say:"
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKIN' IN."
The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.
Time to go, Jim smiled, and said "Thanks." As he hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar, he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP, AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKIN' IN."
Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning Jim was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill.
The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.
A minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse's concern,
No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up, and with a winsome smile;
The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that in here all the while;
Everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
I ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS CHECKIN' IN."
And you shall love the LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay
When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.
At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.
I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'I don't want my kids to see me crying,' so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'
I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the
car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.
She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan. 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.
So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'
This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'
It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.
Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalm 55:22
'Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and all who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace, In Jesus' precious name. Amen.'
The above story was sent to me in an email by a friend. I am not sure if it is true and Snopes lists it as Undetermined. They do offer a warning because sometimes people will pretend to be in need in order to scam others. However, it is my belief to leave the judgement to the Lord. We should all try to help others who are in need. You can read the Snopes report here.
Friday, November 13, 2009
This is 'Faith' This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs -2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which had to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him…
She named him 'Faith'.
In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let him feel the movement. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and to reward him for standing up and jumping around.
Even the other dog at home encouraged him to walk. Amazingly, after only 6 months, Faith learned to balance on his hind legs and jump to move forwards. After further training in the snow, he could walk like a human being.
Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he attracts people to him. He is fast becoming famous on the international scene and has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows. There is now a book entitled 'With a Little Faith' being published about him. He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies…
His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.
For more information, photos and updates visit Faith the Dog's Official Website.
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