From the Author

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Be Yourself

"Jesus does not want masks.  He does not want projections of our superficial selves that bear no resemblance to who we really are.  When he calls us to follow after him, he does not want the person we wish we were or the person we pretend to be.  No, when he calls us, he wants the person he created, the person we are becoming in his love, our truest selves.  If we want to follow after him, we must strip ourselves of everything that is superficial, inauthentic, forced, or pretend.  We need to let go of all those partial and superficial selves.  They just get in the way." 
---from the book "Let go:  Sever Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship by Casey Cole, OFM

This quote can make us think about the kind of person we try to project, placing the best foot forward, attempting to become what we are not, following rules to the exclusion of communicating and loving others, and missing out on the reason why we are here. The gift of who we are is the best gift of all because we are sharing ourselves.  We are all special and unique and we all have something to give that no other person can duplicate.  Remember that God loves you just the way you are and is assisting you in what you are becoming if you ask! 

Thank you for the loving kindness, smiles, encouragement, and prayers you offer everyday! Check out my book, ebook and audio book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live", my art gallery and vinyl prints

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Life is Precious

I recently attended a funeral for a friend from my church.  He was relatively young and was a life-long volunteer along with his wife and soulmate. He died suddenly, quietly and unexpectedly. Another man died quietly also. Their lives were completely different, although they shared the same name and faith. Their funerals reflected their lives and were notably contrasting. In one funeral the love flowed in the standing room only crowd. The other was muted and void of emotion among the sparse family and participants. 

We all have to choose what kind of life we live and to choose to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Sometimes our contributions are not known or appreciated until we die or maybe never!  We know! We can live and die peacefully or with regret and conflict.

Our attitude can make a huge difference! 

Attitude

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of Attitude on life.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, that what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.  It will make or break a company...a church...a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the Attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only this we can do is play the one string that we have, and that is our Attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.  And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitude. 

Charles R. Swindoll

It is never too late to make a decisive Attitude change, starting now, today.  Life is too short to waste the time we have with our family, friends, neighbors and society. We can change the world with one attitude at a time!  



Monday, January 20, 2020

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

"There are some things so dear and so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for.  And I submit to you if a man has not discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."  Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Things that Dr. King died for include his view of the world. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."  He believed in love over hate.  

"The time is always right to do what is right."  He also asks, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What are you doing for others?"  

One man has given his life to these beliefs.  We can learn much from a man willing to give his life for the needs of others.  He gave the ultimate gift, the gift of his life. His family had to continue on without him and experienced a huge loss with his death.  

What, if anything, do we care enough about to give up our lives? It is a mind-blowing examination of our value systems, our priorities and our love of others.  I am in awe of our role models and protectors.  

There are many of us who have had to face death.  Police, fire fighters, bystanders who see a crime and choose to actively save lives instead of hiding, military members, honest politicians, clergy, and anyone who puts their life on the line to save another human being.  

Are we willing to sacrifice our own lives?  Do we care enough about anything to give our lives for it?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How Can I Make a Difference in the World?

"You Want to Make a Difference in the World?  Live a Holy Life" 
by Mark Lucado,  A Gentle Thunder

Be faithful to your spouse.

Be the one in the office who refuses to cheat.

Be the neighbor who acts neighborly.

Be the employee who does the work and doesn't complain.

Pay your bills.

Do your part and enjoy life.

Don't speak one message and live another.

People are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say."

Remember we may be the only person that looks beyond what they see and hears what is being said. We can be the answer to a prayer of someone in need.  Money and toys do not compare to active listening, heartfelt hugs, and sharing the gift of your time, abilities, and prayers. Be PRESENT INSTEAD OF JUST GIVING A PRESENT.
Check out my book, E Book and Audio book "The Dying Teach Us How to Live and my art gallery



Saturday, November 30, 2019

Counting Our Blessings

We are always happy to have a holiday in the United States.  Thanksgiving is a day off work for many and a chance to celebrate with families.  Sometimes we can get so caught up in cooking and planning that we forget the meaning of this special day.

Recently we had considerable damage in our community.  The tornado was devastating, quick and surprising. I remember the people who lost everything they had in the tornado.  What we heard from them was their happiness when loved ones and pets were safe.  They were grateful that no lives were lost. 

 A mass shooting also occurred during a local celebration. The senseless loss of lives was worse than the mass destruction of homes. Many more lives would have been lost except for the bravery and quick actions of police and bystanders.

Counting our blessings helps us to cope with unimaginable pain from losses that occur through no fault of our own.  If we take time each day to remember all of the kind and wonderful things that happen when tragedy strikes. Our community came together to help each other. Volunteers were working from the beginning and continue to assist friends, family and strangers. 

We have the option to bury ourselves in the destruction and senseless killing.  Instead, we can become stronger emotionally and spiritually by taking stock of the wonderful blessings that occur on a daily basis.  By counting our blessings, we can reconnect with the world and vow to be a blessing to someone else who is hurting.  We always have something to give, even if it is just an encouraging note, smile or hug.  We can share the blessings we have with others who are struggling. The act of giving is the sign of life and hope.  If we didn't have tragedy and death, we would not appreciate life and prosperity. 

Being thankful is the road to recovery.  God is always with us no matter what happens. 

Check out my book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live" and my art gallery and vinyl prints   

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

Veterans come in all shapes and sizes, all faiths, all colors, all ages, and all have represented their country.  They are the inspiration and heroes that keep our country safe and in front of the world.  They are also fathers, sons, brothers and grandfathers. The children are watching and imagining being a part of the world of the military.

Toy Soldier

My six-year-old was playing with his toy soldiers, using a different voice for each one.

Soldier Number 1
I have a bazooka, and I make a big boom.

Soldier Number 2
I have a pistol that goes bang.

Soldier Number 3
I have a Swiffer, and I can make your house really clean.

That last soldier caught my attention.  On further examination, I discovered that Soldier number 3 was holding a mine detector.  

Donna Lawrence, Albin, Iowa

Military men and women make a difference in the world along with firemen, police, and all individuals who put themselves in harms way to keep all of us safe.  

THANK YOU!!!





Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Freedom for the Soul

I had a recent visit from a relative that I love and admire.  She is currently having issues with her brittle diabetes and its resulting effects on her physically.  While she was visiting, I observed her drinking alcohol, eating sweets and desserts. I know that she didn't realize that while she was "cheating" with her diet, she was cheating herself, her loving family and her own health. Often we face obstacles in our lives that seem overwhelming and insurmountable.  However, if we tackle these issues head on and decide to not be captive to fear and insecurity, we find we can rise above and overcome them triumphantly.

"The prerequisite to true freedom is to decide that you do not want to suffer anymore.  You must decide that you want to enjoy your life and that there is no reason for stress, inner pain or fear."

"You can live a life completely free from the fears of the psyche.  You just have to learn how to do it. Let's take smoking as an example.  It is not hard to understand how to stop smoking.  The key word is "stop".  It really doesn't matter what patches you use; when it is all said and done, you simply must stop. The way you stop smoking is to stop putting cigarettes in you mouth. All other techniques are just ways that you think will help. But the bottom line is, all you have to do is stop putting cigarettes in your mouth. If you do this, it's guaranteed that you will stop smoking."

Michael A Singer, "the untethered soul," the journey beyond yourself

We are in control of our thoughts and fears.  We can use our personal power to achieve mastery over any addictions such as drug use, alcoholism, anger, fear, self-judgement and judgement of others, anxiety, stress, or anything stopping us from being our optimal selves. With support of faith, friends, and our own willpower, we can love ourselves and others just the way we are. We can reach for the stars to create a positive attitude and a willingness to achieve the best that we can be.  We control the freedom of our soul. 

Check out my book "The Dying Teach Us How to Live," my art gallery with originals and vinyl prints