From the Author

Monday, April 6, 2020

Values

"There is no security for anybody if there is insecurity for many."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Many historical plagues, pandemics, and high death rates has its beginnings in slums, poor sanitation, homelessness, lack of healthcare, joblessness, over crowded living conditions, poor nutrition, rampant crime and hopelessness.  When these conditions incubate diseases, the result is expansion of the victims including friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, church and education associates, and employers.

We may forget that our lives are intertwined among the United States, other countries and the world in general.  We are interdependent on each other in order to maintain our lives with safety, medical issues, jobs, economies, mental health and pandemics.

It makes sense that if all families had a home, proper sanitation and healthcare, adequate nutrition, access to education, job opportunities, and safety, the incidents of rapidly spreading diseases would be diminished. We are all in this together.  Individuals who own businesses need people to purchase services and items for sale.  People who need services and items need money for purchases. Without give and take, the economy can not function. Not only do all the human beings in the world share souls, they also share the same needs, wants and dreams.

"Our Lord doesn't look at the greatness of our actions or even the difficulty as at the love at which we do them." The greatness of a country lies in its treatment of the marginalized and dependent members of society. Yes, we are our "brother's keeper".  Our destinies could be different and we could have been the person born in poverty instead of in a position of opportunity.

Remember the seniors, handicapped, ill or isolated people in your life who may be having difficulty in this time of crisis.  I am greatly indebted to my friend and neighbor who buys my groceries. It may seem like a small gift but to the recipient, it has a major impact.  We can all "make a difference" in unique ways, no matter how small and insignificant it seems. Just do it with love!  Check out my book, ebook and audio book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live", my art gallery and vinyl prints

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Making A Life

"Don't be so busy making a living that you don't make a life."

Everything in life has something to teach us.  This virus has uprooted our lives, created illness, death, and isolated us from each other.  It has caused financial and physical hardship while creating distrust and fear in relationships. It may cause a world-wide recession. It is real-life horror. 

It has also forced us to look at life head-on. Why are we here? What is in our future? What do we believe about death? What do we fear about our own death? The virus has taken away our schools, work, companionship, activities, churches and the comfort of touch and hugs. 

It has caused us make new priorities in our lives. We are no longer able to go blindly through our routine schedules. Now we have the opportunity to slow down and "smell the roses."  We have time to physically and emotionally experience our families, children, neighbors and friends. We may have time to follow through with our unfinished projects or start on our dreams for a special project other than work.

People we love become more precious to us because we know that they may become ill and may die. "Life is not how many breaths you take but how many moments take your breath away." We can make moments to "take our breath away" with whatever time we have before we become ensnared again in our responsibilities. By taking advantage of this special time, we can become closer to important people in our lives, reach out to our neighbors who live alone, contact distant family and friends and find new meaning in life.

We can support and encourage the healthcare, emergency and safety workers on the front line. They need our prayers and thanks for putting themselves in danger for the needs of others. Death makes life meaningful and precious.  Without illness we would not appreciate health. Without death we would not appreciate life.

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

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