An Advent Celebration!

Photo Credit: Christopher Bulle via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Christopher Bulle via CC Flickr

I would like to take this time to personally invite you to visit my wife’s new blog pare created especially made for this time of year “Advent Celebrations.” Starting December 1 and all the way to Christmas Day, find new, daily holiday recipes, memories and passages from Scripture that will certainly put a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

I hope you take the time each day to visit and enjoy…Advent Celebrations!

A Heartwarming Story of Perserverence

There are times throughout our lives that we can face situations that are very hard and difficult to deal with…finances, a job, a marriage, depression, health issues or numerous circumstances. Sometimes, there are issues that occur with a person that an individual cannot do much about but make the best of the “hand that they were dealt.” Nevertheless, the way a person handles their situation will greatly effect the direction of their life. They can either persevere, face their adversity with a positive attitude and decide to inspire others or become depressed and disheartened.

I recently came across the following story of Kayla Montgomery. This story is not just an inspiring tale but it is also one of the best examples of perseverance that I have come across over the past few months.

It is my hope and desire that it may inspire someone to look at an unfortunate circumstance that they may be dealing with, with a positive outlook and attitude.

A Story of “True” Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: Army Corps of Engineers via Cc Flickr

Photo Credit: Army Corps of Engineers via Cc Flickr

This is a re-post of a story that I posted a year or so ago on another blog of mine that was written by Steve Goodier.

At first it sounded like a Thanksgiving story, but the more I reflected on it, the more appropriate it seemed for any time of the year. The way I heard it, the story went like this:

Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment — to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student’s art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher’s true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went — until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas’ desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, “It’s yours, teacher.”

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, “Take my hand, Douglas, we’ll go outside.” Or, “Let me show you how to hold your pencil.” Or, “Let’s do this together.” Douglas was most thankful for his teacher’s hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they’ll remember the hand that reaches out.

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Have an AWESOME Thanksgiving!!

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Thanksgiving Memories

Our Thanksgiving Table Last Year

Our Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is without question, one of my favorite holidays of the year. There is nothing nicer than being outside either watching or playing a football in the crisp fall air, then returning indoors, into a house that is warm and filled with the mouth-watering smells of a cooking turkey, various pies, stuffing, and other tasty foods. Laughing, talking, and spending our time with our family, friends and loved ones is simply priceless.

As much as I enjoy sharing my own personal memories with you, I thought, a week or so ago, that it would be an interesting idea to ask my fellow bloggers what their favorite thing about Thanksgiving might be. The following accounts are what some of them decided to share with you! I would like to ask you to visit their blogs when you have a moment.

Enjoy and Have A Wonderful Thanksgiving!

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On Pets and Prisoners

http://loisajay1213.wordpress.com/

A few things my husband never fails to remind me of, every single Thanksgiving:
1. the time I cooked the turkey with the giblets packet still inside the bird. I thought I got everything out. I don’t even eat turkey–I’m vegan! He thought it was strange they didn’t include the innards to make gravy…
2. The first time I cooked our turkey, I roasted it upside down. It was crazy trying to watch that little thing pop up to let me know the bird was done..
3. The time my husband tried to ‘help’ me take the bird out of the oven. I think a tad bit of the pain touched his arm–and he dropped the entire pan on the floor. Turkey and drippings EVERYWHERE. Needless to say, the pan wasn’t the only thing that was hot.

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I Don’t get It

http://sanceau.com/

Time with family–without pressure of gifts, lounging around on a couch stuffed bigger than the turkey until my aunt decides that it’s time for a family walk around the neighborhood. Stuffing, cranberries, bread, turkey, wine, yams, and everyone saying what he or she is thankful for.

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Lorna’s Voice

http://lornasvoice.com/

Being the middle child, I’ve lived in the shadow of my older and younger sisters. Yet one of my talents shines through on Thanksgiving and I feel special, even irreplaceable. I make the best challah (Jewish egg braided bread) anyone has ever eaten. It’s simply not Thanksgiving without “Lorna’s bread.” I’m very grateful for the bread, the fact that everyone enjoys it so much, and for the yearly recognition!

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SanseiLife

http://sanseilife.wordpress.com/

My Favorite Thing About Thanksgiving Is the memory of my dad teaching me to carve a turkey. We would work on it together and because I was his helper I got to be the first to taste the turkey as we worked. He was second to taste, thats the kind of person he was letting his assistant have the first taste! We would carve the whole turkey at once so we were done with it for the day, my mom would immediately put the carcass in the big pot of water for turkey soup. What a wonderful skill to have, I often volunteer to carve the turkey at gatherings and I have gotten very fast over the years. Each time I carve a turkey I remember those days of sharing the task with my dad and the two of us sneaking tastes of the turkey as we worked.

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Karen

Macy’s parade on TV, followed by the dog show…the ONE day dinner is AT the table with family (and often including friends, who’d otherwise be alone)…also, last year, passing the “torch” to my daughter, to do the “honors” of cooking the meal in HER home was a proud moment for me!

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Fourth Generation Farm Girl

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

When I think of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of the smell of homemade dressing baking in the oven. It’s an old family recipe that’s been passed down from my great-grandmother. Grandma and Mom made it every year: sautéing onions and celery, mixing with bread crumbs and turkey broth and then preparing it into little patties that they would bake and place on a platter. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it!

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This Day With God

http://thisdaywithgod.wordpress.com/

I’m thankful for family and good food. Being from a family that loves sports, we always take in a few football games. There are lots of spectacular games this time of the year as teams play their rivals and a lot is on the line.

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Sstorms0730’s Blog

http://sstorm0730.me/

When dinner was done, my PopPop would sit at the head of the table and I would occupy his lap. Nana placed the turkey carcass in front of us and he would tell me stories while we picked it clean. He is gone now, and I am much older, but I have never forgotten that time with him, feeling like the Princess of the Thanksgiving table.

The Beautiful Laugh of A Child

There is nothing more beautiful and fun to listen to…then the sweet, innocent laugh of a child.

A Short Story With A Big Lesson

Photo Credit: Serge Melki via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Serge Melki via CC Flickr

A Cherokee was instructing his grandson about a battle that goes on in every human being. He said to the young man, “the battle is between two wolves. One wolf is slothful, cowardly, vain, arrogant, and full of self-pity, sorrow, regret, envy and anger. The other wolf is diligent, courageous, humble, benevolent, and full of compassion, joy, empathy and faith”. Then there was a silence.

The grandson thought about the wolves for a moment and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?”

The Cherokee elder replied, “the one you feed”.

Pictures That Speak Volumes #54

Power of Words

This is a picture that demonstrates the true power of words by a photographer that visited this Central American country. Imagine the effect that we can have on others when we find just one positive thing to say about them!!

The King and the Seashore

Photo Credit: Berit Watkin via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Berit Watkin via CC Flickr

There are many times throughout our lives that we sometimes forget the true power and strength of God. We cast our focus on famous or powerful people and shower them adoration, praise, honor and glory. We put them up on a pedestal and view them as people who have all the right answers, the correct decisions, and say the perfect things. It is sort of sad then when we find out how flawed these people are and how disappointed we are that they “let us down.”

A few days ago, I came across this great little story on InspirationalStories.com written by James Baldwin, (The Book of Virtues), which gave me a tremendous illustration about the simple power and glory of God. I hope you enjoy it.

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Long ago, England was ruled by a king named Canute. Like many leaders and men of power, Canute was surrounded by people who were always praising him. Every time he walked into a room, the flattery began.

“You are the greatest man that ever lived,” one would say.

“O king, there can never be another as mighty as you,” another would insist.

“Your highness, there is nothing you cannot do,” someone would smile.

“Great Canute, you are the monarch of all,” another would sing. “Nothing in this world dares to disobey you.”

The king was a man of sense, and he grew tired of hearing such foolish speeches.

One day he was walking by the seashore, and his officers and courtiers were with him, praising him as usual. Canute decided to teach them a lesson.

“So you say I am the greatest man in the world?” he asked them.

“O king,” they cried, “there never has been anyone as mighty as you, and there never be anyone so great, ever again!”

“And you say all things obey me?” Canute asked.

“Absolutely!” they said. “The world bows before you, and gives you honor.”

“I see,” the king answered. “In that case, bring me my chair, and we will go down to the water.”

“At once, your majesty!” They scrambled to carry his royal chair over the sands.

“Bring it closer to the sea,” Canute called. “Put it right here, right at the water’s edge.” He sat down and surveyed the ocean before him. “I notice the tide is coming in. Do you think it will stop if I give the command?”

His officers were puzzled, but they did not dare say no. “Give the order, O great king, and it will obey,” one of then assured him.

“Very well. Sea,” cried Canute, “I command you to come no further! Waves, stop your rolling!. Surf, stop your pounding! Do not dare touch my feet!”

He waited a moment, quietly, and a tiny wave rushed up the sand and lapped at his feet.

“How dare you!” Canute shouted. “Ocean, turn back now! I have ordered you to retreat before me, and now you must obey! Go back!”

And in answer another wave swept forward and curled around the king’s feet. The tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king’s chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood before him, alarmed, and wondering whether he was not mad.

“Well, my friends,” Canute said, “it seems I do not have quite so much power as you would have me believe. Perhaps you have learned something today. Perhaps now you will remember there is only one King who is all-powerful, and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. I suggest you reserve your praises for him.”

The royal officers and courtiers hung their heads and looked foolish. And some say Canute took off his crown soon afterward, and never wore it again.

My Favorite Thing About Thanksgiving Is…

Photo Credit: Tuchodi via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Tuchodi via CC Flickr

Thanksgiving conjures up many, many heartwarming memories for many of us. We all have favorite things about this delicious holiday. So, I decided  that it would be sort of fun to ask YOU…my friends and fellow bloggers…

What is YOUR favorite thing or experience of Thanksgiving?

Please send me your thoughts and within the week, I will write up a blog that will include your favorite thoughts, memories, and a free link to your page!!

So, sit back..think about what you may want to share about Thanksgiving with others…then let me know!! That’s all there is to it!

Thanks for your time.

I am looking forward to hearing from many of you!!

The Giggle of the Week

Photo Credit: Lynn F via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Lynn F via CC Flickr

Everyone needs a smile and a giggle……

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An Irish Man’s First Drink with His Son..

(His Description of the Event)

“I was reading an article last night about fathers and sons, and memories came flooding back of the time I took my son out for his first drink. Off we went to our local bar, which is only two blocks from the house.

I got him a Guinness Stout. He didn’t like it – so I drank it.

Then I got him an Old Style, he didn’t like it either, so I drank it.

It was the same with the Coors and the Bud.

By the time we got down to the Irish whiskey . .

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Laughter is good for the soul!

I could hardly push the stroller back home.”

The Power of Our Words

Photo Credit: Purple Sherbet Photography via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Purple Sherbet Photography via CC Flickr

Today before you think of saying an unkind word –
think of someone who can’t speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food –
think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband, wife, or friend –
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

Today before you complain about life –
think of someone who left this life ahead of you.

Before you complain about your children –
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep –
think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive –
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job –
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another person –
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down –
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

Life is a gift.

Live it.

Enjoy it.

Celebrate it.

Love it.

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Author Unknown