Veteran’s Day will soon be upon us. There aren’t enough ways to thank the many men and women who’ve sacrificed for the common good of nations. Soldiers have trained, planned and entered battlefields to defend and protect causes of countries. Families, in certain aspects, “enlist” with their military loved ones. Yes, family members sure do their share of training, planning and sacrificing, too. Often, they’re uprooted and moved to foreign places. Pros and cons are associated with geographic and cultural changes. Transitional processes do help to mold attitudes and sensitivities, which can aid in developmental strengths within spirits, hearts, and minds. I love watching those videos that show soldiers who return home to surprise their loved ones. The love that flows among them is such a joy to observe. It’s a visual treat to see the various creative ways that are used to pull off the delightfully loving surprises. Gratitude extends to veterans, and to the active military personnel. What they give is immeasurable. From the privates to the generals,Continue reading »

Abundant admiration spreads to the countless volunteers who share their love and care worldwide. Scores of them sacrifice for the good of others. Their genuine smiles are adored and appreciated. Their loving hugs are medicinal to the lonely, bereft, and hopeless folks located all over this planet. Volunteers run the gamut from professionals, to housewives, children, the rich, the poor and the physically and mentally challenged. Yes, a variety of people types lovingly and cheerfully pitch in with their meaningful and often, sacrificial thoughts, words, and deeds. Many thanks for how volunteers enrich our great planet earth. God smiles and delights in love motions on vast and assorted levels. Luke 6:38 – KJV Give, and it shall be given unto you; . . .

Maggie’s daughter, Lydia, has been spending more time out with her friends than at home with Maggie and her five-year-old brother, Justin. Husband and father, Michael, is on a military tour of duty. This Saturday, Maggie has decided that Lydia needs to spend family time so she’s not allowing her to go out tonight with her friends. Lydia is livid. Oh, the episodes of the teenage years. Maggie has a much admired lasagna recipe that she’s assigned Lydia to prepare for this evening’s dinner. Lydia is pouting and sure doesn’t want to cook, but she has no choice. Mom has spoken. Lydia’s in the kitchen slamming utensils and muttering angrily. She does, though, follow the recipe precisely. Her attitude is sullen throughout her culinary exercise. Maggie chooses calmness in the midst of her daughter’s mini meltdown. Despite her demeanor, Lydia looks forward to eating the lasagna because Maggie’s recipe for it results in super delicious. The three of them sit down at the table, Maggie thanks God for the food,Continue reading »

We’re approaching the holiday season, which for many will be packaged in hustle and bustle in malls, specialty stores, and online shopping activities. Often, service workers and retail employees aren’t given adequate appreciation, consideration and respect. Typically, people in the retail industry are underpaid and work without pay when they need to miss work for family and medical needs. Those concerns certainly add stress to their lives. On top of that, frequently, those workers encounter rude and unruly customers. Folks frequently camp out at retail establishments to gain early arrival advantages. In their merchandise frenzy, folks have been seen nearly coming to blows and snatching products from people. And I do believe, in at least a few cases, actual physical blows have landed. In the midst of all that are the employees. How much regard is given to them, and fellow customers? How many times have we viewed news reports where people nearly cause stampedes when store doors open for people to shop at early bird specials and such? Readily,Continue reading »

Perspective is key when dealing with appearances from sensible standpoints. So many folks underestimate people and circumstances due to preconceived notions and rushes to judgment. Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer, readily comes to mind. On April 11, 2009, when she appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent,” right off the bat, her physical appearance diminished her in the eyes of the judges and some audience members. Susan began to sing in her superb mezzo-soprano voice, which pleasantly stunned the folks in attendance. Why were they stunned? It wasn’t their expectation that such melodic beauty would pour from a woman of her outward appearance. Boy, were they wrong. Susan went on to become an internet sensation and has produced successful albums. She even sang at Windsor Castle! As she continued to perform, Susan also made changes to enhance her outer appearance. I love Susan’s story and salute her and what she’s accomplished. How many times have fans left basketball games prematurely because they decided that it was a foregone conclusion that their teamContinue reading »

Years ago, in a transitional period in my life, I resided in a homeless shelter. Both my parents were deceased, and when I got laid off from a job, I wasn’t inclined to burden my family members. It was my choice to move to a homeless shelter while I searched for another place of employment. One day I was out walking and engaged, in conversation, a woman who was a stranger to me. During the course of our communication, I shared with her that I lived in a homeless shelter. She replied that I didn’t look homeless. I asked her, “What does a homeless person look like?” She registered a look of surprise at my response; she didn’t answer my question. In a friendly manner, I engaged her relative to stereotypical beliefs that many folks have about the homeless. The place where I lived is the shelter started by Mitch Snyder who Martin Sheen portrayed in a movie. The type of folks who lived there ran the gamut. There wereContinue reading »

How many times have we been surprised at outcomes and results? Stuff like basketball teams winning at buzzer beaters, runners coming from behind and winning races — same for horses? Wow! What a rush to experience, witness and learn about unexpected upsets. Politics has experienced such wins, as well. Yep, in life, underdogs do astound and beat the odds against them. In the bible, we read of the story of Gideon and how he and those chosen by God to battle with him were outnumbered. That book of Judges account is a favorite of the many folks who are familiar with it. Added to the inspiration of the story is that Gideon was poor and the least in his father’s house but, nonetheless, called by God to judge and to lead three hundred men to victory. Judges 6:15 – KJV, “And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” EcclesiastesContinue reading »

Days ago, there was an online video clip of a father attempting, with the use of technology, to calm his crying baby who was in a crib. I believe that it was a fictional account, but it spoke volumes, nonetheless. The father used his phone to show the baby a live video of the child’s mother while she was grocery shopping. The mother cooed into the camera as the father held the phone in front of the baby, who continued to wail in cry mode. Finally, the father lifted the child from the crib. Instantly, he stopped crying. The touch of the father quieted the precious little one. Yes, that video clip spoke volumes. Technology wasn’t the solution in that situation, and couldn’t substitute for the father’s loving touch. Technology has done marvels to aid us in our personal and business tasks. Fun is also contained in the use of the multiple gadgets. I have no clue of the array of what’s available in technology in these times in whichContinue reading »

Orange County is the locale for the edible meeting. The orchard folks have been looking forward to the oral feast. The summit was called by the fruit delegation to address the increased disconnect between fruits and vegetables. The fruits earnestly desire a better relationship with the vegetable community. Attendees pour into the Strawberry Field Arena. Early participants snatch the prime front seats. Turnip, cauliflower and watermelon rows fill up quickly. Bananas peel in and slide by grape clusters. Veggies roll in and take seats across the aisle from the fruit ensembles. Peas and carrots are side by side joined by green beans. The row is plenty colorful with the combined mixes. Lights are lowered. The fruity speech is about to begin. Honey Dew Melon strides center stage and approaches the lectern. He speaks in love with eloquence about the need for unity. Initially, all in attendance aren’t on board, but as the speech continues, nods throughout the assembly are observed. Honey Dew emphasizes that the body has a need forContinue reading »

Scriptures are from the King James Bible. Our Father has loaded us with multiple benefits from His vast treasury of provisions. He gave His beloved Son, Christ, to sacrifice for our salvation. What love indeed. We’ve also been blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Romans 5:5, “. . . the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” The Holy Ghost is power. Unquestionably, we need power to forge ahead to accomplish our tasks, from the smallest to the greatest. Yep, power charges get us through our days. The Holy Ghost is a witness. Acts 5:32, “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” How many times have we received witnesses that we’re on the right track? How many times have we received witnesses that we made wise choices? How many times have we been warned by the witness of the HolyContinue reading »

Assorted wheels churn in the vehicles of change. Start your engines. Here we go. We prefer changes that please our surfaces rather than those that unsettle our inner securities. Ugh! With those types, we sometimes express things like, “Do I have to?” We’re prone to be disappointed when uncomfortable changes violate our protected spaces. We just don’t want to go there. How many times have we resisted changes — then later been grateful for their appearances? Yeah, AFTER the facts? Life swings us in numerous directions. The outcomes often reap rewards that we didn’t anticipate or expect to be positive. Patience sure comes into play with the change formations. Changes, though, have balances weaved into them. The feel good ones come and their opposites show in due times, too. We have portions of both, which makes our journeys more bearable. The Lord never allows us to experience more than we can bear. He holds the balancing instruments and He wields them with masterful precision. Whew, what a relief it isContinue reading »