My friend, Lee, sent me a You.Tube video today. He said it was “worth your time and thoughts.” I agree!. It was narrated by a guy with a wonderful British accent. I bet it was created several years ago. The words in blue below are his. The red is my editorial comment about that item!
Whether you wear a $300. or a $3. watch, they both tell the same thing.
But the whole deal is, this watch does so much more than tell time! And it costs way more than $300. . Price tag = $539.98
Whether you carry a $300. or a $30. handbag, the amount of money inside is still the same.
This one actually is a $2,350. Guggi If you buy it, you’ll certainly have less money to put inside! Don’t you have better things to do with your money??
Whether we drive a $150,000. car or a $30,000. car, the road and distance are the same… and we get to the same destination.
But, the Ferrari is so much more fun! And you can certainly go faster! (If you survive at those speeds, that is)
Whether you drink a bottle of $300. or a $10. bottle of wine, the hangover is the same.
But Wine Spectator Magazine says, “It’s not as if wines that cost $10. or less are going to make you feel bad, or that wines that cost over $50 are never going to give you a hangover… How much wine you consume is the biggest variable…” So, in both cases, it’s the whole bottle? Not a good idea regardless of the price!
Whether the house you live in is 300 sq. ft. or a huge mansion with 30,000 sq. ft., loneliness is the same.
Yes, you can be lonely in a shack or you can be lonely in a castle. The size of the house has little to do with it. But, remember loneliness and alone are two different animals. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. And just because you have a kajillion people around you doesn’t mean you feel loved. It has nothing to do with the size of your house… it’s the size of your heart!
Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – you go with it.
True! But aren’t some seats safer than others? An article in the Huffington Post – when asked about the safest place to sit to a plane – wrote this, “Each incident or crash is unique. Impact could come from a nosedive, a water landing, or a runway collision. As a result there is no safest seat.”The good news in that article, though, is “Air travel is the safest form of transportation in the country.” Bon Voyage!! . .
In that same video sent to me this morning by my friend, Lee, this interesting addition was included:
Five Undeniable Facts of Life
Don’t educate your children to be rich; Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up, they will look for the VALUE of things, not the price.
2. Eat your food (a balanced diet) as your medicine otherwise you will have to eat medicine as your food.
3. The ones who love you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up, s/he will find one reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human… Only a few really understand it.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage.
May as well manage joyfully! Embrace Values and live the good life…
When your sunset comes, You will have no regrets!
Good night, my friends. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
In my reading this morning, These Days – Daily Devotionals for Living by Faith, I was inspired by the commentary of Robin Gallaher Branch of Memphis, Tennessee. The scripture that motivated her thoughts was from Ezekiel 1-2:1
The word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord was on him there.
What Does That Scripture Mean?
Study that painting. Obviously artists have been inspired by this scripture. But somehow, as I read it again, the depth of its meaning escaped me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Robin Branch, on the other hand, saw “A Vision is a Divine Interruption.”
She wrote, “I tell my students this: Expect Divine Interruptions.”
Why? Because they occur regularly in the Bible.
And that is what she understood was happening to Ezekiel in this passage. She wrote, “He was minding his own business when the heavens suddenly opened.”
Another artist depicted the scene this way:
Wow! Robin Branch describes it in words, “He saw four living creatures in human-like forms. Each had four faces: those of human being, lion, ox, and eagle… When the creatures moved, their wings sounded like mighty waters.”
What did he do? Ezekiel’s response was, “I fell on my face.” (verse 28)
God Interrupts Our Lives
Ezekiel shows us what to do when God interrupts our lives with a vision, a dream, or an angelic encounter. Worship and wait to be addressed!
But, how many of us have had God present Himself to us in a vision or a dream or an angelic encounter?
Maybe more of us than we realize! Do we open our eyes and hearts to recognize those defining moments? Do we see the angels in our midst? Do we know God makes divine appointments with us? Do we feel His presence?
Live in Expectancy
Do you live in a state of expectation, looking to see God in others? Do you know God is making broken things brand new? I see God in you! I see God in the defining moments of my life.
Daily Word, a Unity Publication, provides a daily word (or words) to ponder. It has a short devotional to enhance the word. Today’s word was “Expectation.” In the commentary, the title was, “Expectation keeps my mind positive and my heart full.
“Living in a state of expectancy kindles a quiet excitement in my heart, keeping me passionate about life.”
If I live in expectancy, I encounter defining moments …
Moments that define us are often not recognized until years later.
What are Defining Moments?
Of course, if you are married happily, you know a defining moment in your life is your wedding. That one is easy to recognize.
Defining moments are those that impact you, change your direction, or reinforce it. They change your thinking. They wake you up to an Ah-hah moment, or they sit quietly in your subconscious – ready for the day you are prepared to recognize their impact and put their lesson to work in your life.
I asked Bob, as we were together in our sanctuary this morning, doing our Bible Study and devotionals, “What are the defining moments of your life?”
Right away, he said, “Our wedding day.”
See, I told you.. that one’s a given. Especially for folks like us who have stuck it out through thick and thin for 59 years!
Not All Are Positive
Not all of your defining moments are going to be the mountaintop experiences. Some are experienced in the valleys of our lives.
One of mine was when I had a burst appendix. I thought I was constipated and that’s why I ached so much. I tried laxatives. I tried a therapeutic massage. It just got worse. Finally the pain was so intense, I couldn’t sleep and I was crying out. Bob took me at midnight to the emergency room in the hospital just 5 minutes from home. They ran a bunch of tests, took x-rays, thought it was diverticulitis. Sent the x-rays to the larger hospital in Bozeman (an hour’s drive away). The doctors there looked at them and called to say, “Get that lady in here right now! She has a burst appendix.”
Why was this a “defining moment”? A dear lady (one of our medical center volunteers named Donna) road with me in the ambulance to Bozeman held my hand and prayed with me the whole way. She was an angel on earth! She helped me survive the painful ride to the hospital. Once there, the doctors told me I could have died. At my age (I was 79 or 80), many don’t survive such an ordeal.
it’s probably not a good idea to ignore excruciating pain or self-medicate
it’s not wise to diagnose your own ailment
a prayer angel can make all the difference between life/death and comfort/agony
Some Defining Moments are Very Positive
A mountaintop defining moment for me occurred when I was only 16 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I was attending a summer “Music Therapy Clinic” at the College of the Pacific. One of our participants was a little boy named Jeremy. He about 4 years old and had never spoken. He had a voice. He could scream when he was upset. He could moan. He could whimper. But he had not spoken any words.
My music therapy counselor/teacher, Mrs. Harbert, was playing the piano. We all were sitting on the floor in a circle. Each of us had a child in our lap. Mine was Jeremy. Mrs. Harbert was playing a non-sensical, very rhythmic song. Its only word was “Hospodipomilwi.”
I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.
All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”
A year or so later, I saw Jeremy and his mom when I was shopping near the college. She said, “I can’t believe I used to pray for him to speak. Now I can’t get him to stop talking!”
There is no greater thrill than to help a needy child
Music is magical
I wanted a career where I could work with children and music
God’s Divine Interruptions Change Us
We were living in California. Bob was still working as a beekeeper. I was retired. He wasn’t sure he was ready to retire yet, but we talked about it. We didn’t know where we wanted to live after his retirement, but we were pretty sure we didn’t want to stay in California. The state was growing in population faster than the the infra-structure could handle the numbers.
Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life changed. We changed.
I won’t take you through the whole three year process, just suffice to say, it was a defining moment! His cancer caused us to reevaluate where we were, who we were, and where we wanted to be.
It is the reason we now live in this place we call God’s Country, Ennis Montana.
The Road of Life is Filled with Defining Moments
The road of life is filled with highs, lows, mountaintops and valleys, potholes and gravel.
When life knocks you down, when you are going along minding your own business and the heavens open up, or the bridge collapses and you fall into a crevice, remember Ezekiel.
He fell on his face. He called out to God. He waited for God to direct him.
Let God’s still small voice direct you. Like my Donna, watch for the angels all around you.
Let His strength illuminate your path. Like Josh Williams, see God in others and let their strength encourage you.
Let the defining moments speak to you. Like Jeremy, find your voice and sing! Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi
In a world of self-reliance, Where “I can do it” is king, Being reliant on others Is construed as a “weakness thing.”
But, as Christians we are taught To rely not on our own strength. “Lean not on your own understanding.” God is within a prayer’s length.
In today’s prayerful message, Our wonderful pastor, Mary Grace, Talked about God’s will and love, And seeking our Lord, face-to-face.
“God of forgiveness, hear our confession to you. You have called us to excellence in compassion and we fall short of your confidence in us. You grant us grace and we abuse your gift. You expect us to align our hearts with your will and that our love will be genuine. But we trust our own desires rather than rely on your goodness. We look after our own comfort instead of our neighbor’s needs. In Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. Amen”
As you know (if you’ve followed my blog for a couple of weeks or more), I take copious notes as I listen to the sermon through my fingertips each Sunday. Sometimes I translate what I am hearing into poetry. Today’s doesn’t rhyme. It’s free verse. But it poured out as I tried to capture the main ideas. First, look at the scripture on which the sermon was based.
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing[a] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
The sermon title was “Fools for Hoping”
“Secondhand Lions” was a movie with Caine and Duvall. The fictional characters were replicas of my grandfather and uncle! The film is wonderful and whimsical (don’t believe the critics). Believe what you want to believe… and here are some essentials: “What every boy needs to know” – a speech worth hearing…
People are basically good
Money and power mean nothing
True love never dies
Integrity means everything
Love, truth, and integrity are essential
True or not, those are worth believing!
We don’t see much love in the news these days. The news is full of the ways we are really awful to one another. Recent news revealed 751 unmarked graves of indigenous children found this week in Canada. Children taken from their families and forced to attend the former Marieval Indian Residential School.
Survivors, community honour 751 unmarked graves at Sask. residential school site with vigil
Seven-hundred and fifty-one lights spanned the entirety of the unmarked graves discovered on Cowessess First Nation in southeast Saskatchewan where a large group of people, many wearing orange clothes, gathered on Saturday night in honour of the remains.
An elder in the community who spoke at the vigil likened the finding of 751 unmarked graves to a scab that had been “slowly healing” being ripped off.
Not one of us is wholly good, so the natural inclination When confronted with our sinful nature is despair. Confession and repentance are the next steps, but Where do we go after confession?
We need to define our beliefs and act on hope… Even when it seems foolish to do so. Be ready to be made fools for your integrity. Stand up for what is right… stand up for Truth!
The woman in Mark 5 took the show! Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples laughed, “Everyone’s touching you!” Jairus was impatient, “My daughter needs you!”
He wondered why Jesus was taking precious time To deal with a woman with a 12 year infirmity. Let’s assume the woman just happened to be Outside the crowd that day and heard of Jesus.
She heard Jairus – with hopefulness in his voice – Asking Jesus to help his dying daughter. His hope inspired her hope as well. Two lives were saved that day.
Our speech, our attitudes, and our actions Can have a positive affect on others. We need to consciously lean on God With hope and trust and mindfulness.
Jairus could have listened to his tears, But he stepped up and listened to hope. His act of believing in the power of Christ to heal Allowed other to respond in hope, too.
“Your faith has made you whole,” Jesus told The woman whose hemorrhaging stopped. The only way out is reaching out in the hope That God’s love will make life better.
I’ll stay a fool for hope!
Rely on God
I’ll stay a fool for God.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Thanks for sharing a part of your Sunday with me. I hope you have a wonderful week.
When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.
So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.
I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.
Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?
Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”
Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.
The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”
In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.
It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:
“Wouldn’t life be lots more happy, If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.”
It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:
In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”
Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?
You say, “Since time immortal”??
Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”
As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”
Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.
One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:
“Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.
I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.
‘Who are you?‘
I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.“
That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.
The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”
I believe it. And that includes things like love, equality, unity, strength, freedom, peace, clarity, and direction.
One thought at a time. One step at a time. One act at a time.
We went on an adventure today into the Gravelly Range with our friend, Julie, and her dog, Zeke. Come enjoy the Montana Vistas with us!
The Gravelly Range is just south-west of Ennis. We were looking for wildflowers. This is the time of year when they usually are prolific. However, it has been a relatively dry spring and summer so far, so the flowers were not as colorful or plentiful as usual.
The clouds made the sky so beautiful and interesting today, but they also threatened rain. Fortunately we had about an inch or two of rain last night, so it settled the dust. And it held off until we were headed back home this afternoon.
This is a purple sticky wild geranium. Julie has an app on her iPhone that allows her to take a picture of a flower and then have the phone tell her the name of that flower. What a cool app! “Picture This” is the name I think. I need to check it out.
We reached a place where the road was closed and we could go no further. So, we stopped and rested a while and let TazE and Zeke run around.
Like I said, there were more cows than wild flowers, so of course, there were plenty of places for an inquisitive pup to explore!!
Heading back down the mountain, the cows bellowed at us! They were not happy that we were disturbing their peace.
The storm clouds threatened … and we got a few raindrops on our way back to the pickup.
Ah, home – with great memories of beautiful Montana Vistas!
And a beautiful sunset ended our day…
I hope you had a beautiful day, too. Embrace Montana Vistas. Come visit us!
Daily Guideposts 2021 devotional today inspired this blog topic. After I chose “Multiplying” as my EMBRACE theme today, every place I looked, I saw evidence of answers to my question, “But what needs to be multiplied?”
When you hear/read the word “multiplying” what comes to mind? I asked Bob that question this morning after my devotional time while we were chatting at the breakfast table.
“Increasing comes to mind. Numbers come to mind,” he answered.
What comes to your mind?
In her blog this morning, Marva Seaton wrote about multiplying. She didn’t use the word, but the concept definitely was there.
I used to play the clarinet. I was once upon a time pretty good at it. I was first chair in the University of Pacific Band and Orchestra. But now my arthritic fingers won’t cover the holes. I can’t get a B natural out of it for love nor money!
Unlike the saxophone, the clarinet keys require finger covers. When I had to put my instrument in the closet and say Good-bye to my clarinet playing days. I was sad. But I have an enormous appreciation for good clarinetists. They don’t come much better than Artie Shaw! Do go up there and click to listen to his rendition of “My Heart Stood Still” And sing along!
MY HEART STOOD STILL
Songwriters: Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart
I took one look at you That’s all I meant to do And then my heart stood still My feet could step and walk My lips could move and talk And yet my heart stood still Though not a single word was spoken I could tell you knew That unfelt clasp of hands Told me so well you knew I never lived at all Until the thrill of that moment When my heart stood still I took one look at you That’s all I meant to do And then my heart stopped right there My feet could step and walk My lips could move and talk And yet my heart stood still Though not a single word was spoken I could tell you knew That unfelt claps of hands Told me so well you knew I never lived at all Until the thrill of that moment When my heart stood still
Sally and I were in the Turlock Junior Band as well as the Turlock High School Band. Many years of fond musical memories!
Did you play an instrument when you were in school? Do you play it still?
Embrace the Clarinet! It’s a great instrument!!
What did you do today? I hope you had a great Monday.
See ya tomorrow(God willing)
P.S. Here is a solo I was once able to play when I was at UOP and practicing my clarinet several hours every day.
I admire musicians who are able to keep their skills alive their whole lives long. Any skill requires practice to maintain mastery.
What skills do you practice to keep them alive? MIne are cooking and writing. I can do those even though my fingers are gnarled!