The Last King

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Resentment. Anger. Bitterness. Animosity. These are some words that have described the attributes that some individuals have allowed to grab hold of their hearts. In turn, this poison has led to a breakdown in their friendships, relationships, and interactions with others.

Leon Brown once said, “Bitterness is a result of clinging to negative experiences. It serves you no good and closes the doors to your future.” It has also been said that holding onto bitterness is like holding onto an anchor and jumping into the sea. If you don’t let go, you will drown. Anger and resentment are heavy…we must learn to let them go and forgive.

Today’s little story is a great example of these thoughts….

The Last King

There was once a king and he was the last king of a country. He had ten wild dogs and, unfortunately, used them to devour any of his servants that made a mistake or did him wrong.

One day, one of the servants shared his opinion to the king which the king didn’t like it at all. Seething with anger, the king ordered that his servant should be thrown to the dogs.

Begging for his life and trembling with fear, the servant asked,” Why are you going to do this to me? I served you for ten years and was loyal and faithful to you. Please give me ten days before you throw me to the dogs. “The king pondered the servant’s pleas then decided to grant them.

During the next ten days, the servant went to the guard who took care of the dogs and told him that he would like to serve dogs for the next ten days. The Guard was baffled, but he agreed. The servant was dedicated to the feeding of dogs, cleaning, washing, and caring for them while showing them all kinds of love and comfort.

When the ten days had ended, the king ordered the servant to be thrown to the dogs for his punishment. The dogs were released and to everyone surprise, the voracious dogs began licking the servant’s feet!

The King, bewildered by what he was seeing, asked,” What is this? What has happened to my dogs?”

The servant replied,” I took care of the dogs for only short ten days and they did not forget my services. However, I served you for ten long years, my king, and you forgot my dedication and devotion after one misspoken word,”

The King realized his mistake and humbly ordered the servant to be released.”

This story is a great reminder to all of us who tend to forget the good things people do for us as soon as the person has said or has done something wrong. We should remember not to get angry, give up and forget all the nice, caring and thoughtful actions of a friend…sometimes established over a long period of time… just because of one misstep that may have hurt you. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

So true my friends!

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“As I walked Out the door that would lead me to my freedom, I knew that I didn’t leave my hatred and bitterness behind…I would still be in prison.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Wonderful Worldwide Traditions of New Year’s

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The annual celebration of New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite times of the year. It is during this time that we reminisce about the past year and, at the same time, look ahead, plan, and make resolutions for the future. Millions and millions of people around the world take part in the festivities and revelry as they welcome in the New Year.

As with many of the holidays that we have throughout the year, I always find it very interesting and enjoyable to find some history and fun facts about each day. This holiday is no different. So, I decided to share some interesting facts with you about the celebration of New Year and some other intriguing things…so…here we go.

Interesting Things That Are Dropped New Year’s Eve

Most people from around the world, know that every year, New York City welcomes in the New Year in Times Square, by dropping a big “ball” which gradually descends from the top of a pole to the bottom, where it rests while all kinds of lights blink and shine as the new year begins. It all started in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. In 1907, the iron and wood ball weighed 700-pounds and was covered with 25-watt bulbs made of iron. Today, it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals. Meanwhile, close to a million people in the square, dance, party, hug and kiss, and have a good time at this joyous moment. Around the world, approximately 1 billion people watch world-wide festivities from their televisions or computers.

But are there other things that are dropped in celebration of New Year’s instead of a giant ball? You bet there is!!! Here are some remarkable objects that are “dropped.” So, without further ado, here are some things from around the United States that I think you will find entertaining.

In Brookville, Florida, a giant tangerine was dropped 40 feet in 2009.

In Traverse, Michigan, a cherry is dropped.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, a pine cone is dropped from a hotel.

In Prescott, Arizona, a boot is dropped

In South Lake, California, a gondola is lowered.

In Temecula, California, a bunch of grapes is dropped.

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, a 10-foot guitar is dropped from a specially designed 120-foot scaffold at the Hard Rock Café.

In Easton, Maryland, a red crab is dropped.

In Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a 100-pound stick of bologna is dropped.

In Easton, Pennsylvania, and giant M&M is dropped

In St. George’s, Bermuda, a paper-Mache Bermuda onion covered with Christmas lights is dropped.

In Black Creek, North Carolina, a large red heart drop is lowered.

In Eastover, North Carolina, a three-foot-tall, thirty-pound flea is dropped.

In Elmore, Ohio, a sausage is dropped.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, a flying pig is “flown”, not dropped, demonstrating to everyone that there is at least one occasion “when pigs fly.”

In Red Lion, Pennsylvania. A wooden cigar held by a lion is raised.

In Panama City, Florida, an 800-pound beach ball is lowered from a tower 12 stories high.

In Praire du Chien, Wisconsin, A carp (real but dead) caught by a local fisherman and weighing between 25-30 pounds is lowered.

In Vincennes, Indiana, a giant 18-foot, 500-pound steel, and foam watermelon is raised 100 feet during the final 60-second countdown to midnight.

…..and there are many, many others!!!

 

Several Amazing Facts About the New Year Celebration

The Babylonians celebrated the New Year over 4,000 years ago.

The New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne,” means, “times gone by.”

If you want to have a happy new year, don’t eat lobster or chicken. Lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are usually eaten to celebrate.

In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.

In some countries, the use of fireworks are used for more than just celebrations…they are also believed to scare off evil spirits and bring good luck

44% of American adults plan to kiss someone at midnight.

61% of people say a prayer.

Over 1 million people line the 40 miles of shoreline of the city of Sydney, Australia.

In Japan, at the stroke of midnight, Buddhist monks strike the gongs 108 times in an effort to drive out the 108 human weaknesses.

New Year’s Day is the oldest celebrated holiday.

Many people in America, eat Black Eyed Peas, cabbage, and ham on New Year’s Day for good luck.

In South America & Spain.
A person will take 12 red grapes and 12 green grapes and at midnight, they eat their first 12 red grapes, thinking about each month that passed this year, and all the things that they are grateful for that happened this year. Then they eat the 12 green grapes, thanking in advance for each new month’s blessings that will come the next year. (I know, it’s a lot of grapes to eat, so most people only do 12 grapes, and I guess they combine the gratitude for the months past and the months to come) I remember Pink or red underwear was usually for Christmas and yellow undergarments for good luck in the New Year.
No matter what tradition, this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect with gratitude for the experiences and lessons we receive this year, and to pan on the areas we want to improve or change as we have an exciting fresh chapter in our lives to start anew. (Contributed by Amira of Body and Soul Nourishment Blog).

 

Germany

In Germany, people will bake donuts, called, Pfannkuchens, which are usually filled with jelly or liquor. As a joke, a few donuts are filled with mustard. The unfortunate soul who bites into this morsel is considered someone who will have bad luck in the new year.

Itlay

A person wearing red underwear on New Year’s eve is thought to bring love, good luck, and success in the year to come.

England

Ever wonder why people kiss at the stroke of midnight? This tradition possibly began in England and Germany. It is believed that the kiss, will set the tone for the relationship of the two people involved in the smooch, for the upcoming year.

Mexico

People decorate their houses in the colors…each depicting the hopes that they have in the upcoming year. Red for love, yellow for work. and green for money.

Bahamas

Every New Year, there is a parade called the “Junkanoo” parade. People usually spend months decorating and creating their costumes with the winners taking home a prize.

Canada

In 1920, our friends in the Great White North started the traditional Polar Bear swim in which participants jump into the frigid North Bay on New Year’s Day.

Czech Republic

The people of this country believe that they can predict the future of the upcoming year by slicing an apple in half and observing the shape of its core. Interesting.

Japan

Buddhist temples throughout the land of Japan, usher in the New Year by ringing their bells 108 times…once for each of the human sins in the Buddhist beliefs. Many of the Japanese people believe that by doing so, it cleanses them from all of their sins from the previous year.

China

Many Chinese people will paint the doors of their homes red…which represents happiness and good fortune. They also hide their knives so that no one cuts themselves since it is believed that if someone gets cut, it could change their fortune for the new year ahead of them.

Scotland

In Stonehaven, during their New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Scots swing large balls of fire (which represent the sun) around during the Hogmanay festival by trained professionals then cast them into the sea. This tradition is meant to scare off evil spirits and purification.

Siberia (Russia)

On New Year’s Eve, courageous divers plant trees under frozen lakes  (YIKES!). According to tradition, the planting of the Yolka” (i.e. the Siberian Christmas tree) signifies the coming of “Father Frost” and symbolizes starting over.

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Do you know of any other traditions that celebrated around the world? Share them and I will add them to this post and give your site credit (if you wish).

Well, I hope that you enjoyed these tidbits and facts. I would like to personally wish each and every one of you the healthiest and happiest New Year!!

And here’s to many, many more!


Some Resources (countries): http://www.lifehacks.com & http://www.insider.com

The Story of the Christmas song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

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In March of 1863, 18-year-old Charles Appleton Longfellow walked out of his family’s house on Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and—unbeknownst to his family—boarded a train bound for Washington, D.C., traveling over 400 miles across the eastern seaboard in order to join President Lincoln’s Union army to fight in the Civil War.

Charles (b. June 9, 1844) was the oldest of six children born to Fannie Elizabeth Appleton and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the celebrated literary critic and poet. Charles had five younger siblings: a brother (aged 17) and three sisters (ages 13, 10, 8—another one had died as an infant).

Less than two years earlier, Charles’s mother Fannie had tragically died after her dress caught on fire. Her husband, awoken from a nap, tried to extinguish the flames as best he could, first with a rug and then his own body, but she had already suffered severe burns. She died the next morning (July 10, 1861), and Henry Longfellow’s facial burns were severe enough that he was unable even to attend his own wife’s funeral. He would grow a beard to hide his burned face and at times feared that he would be sent to an asylum on account of his grief.

When Charley (as he was called) arrived in Washington D.C., he sought to enlist as a private with the 1st Massachusetts Artillery. Captain W. H. McCartney, commander of Battery A, wrote to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for written permission for Charley to become a soldier. HWL (as his son referred to him) granted the permission.

Longfellow later wrote to his friends Charles Sumner (senator from Massachusetts), John Andrew (governor of Massachusetts), and Edward Dalton (medical inspector of the Sixth Army Corps) to lobby for his son to become an officer. But Charley had already impressed his fellow soldiers and superiors with his skills, and on March 27, 1863, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, assigned to Company “G.”

After participating on the fringe of the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia (April 30-May 6, 1863), Charley fell ill with typhoid fever and was sent home to recover. He rejoined his unit on August 15, 1863, having missed the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863).

While dining at home on December 1, 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received a telegram that his son had been severely wounded four days earlier. On November 27, 1863, while involved in a skirmish during a battle of the Mine Run Campaign, Charley was shot through the left shoulder, with the bullet exiting under his right shoulder blade. It had traveled across his back and skimmed his spine. Charley avoided being paralyzed by less than an inch.

He was carried into New Hope Church (Orange County, Virginia) and then transported to the Rapidan River. Charley’s father and younger brother, Ernest, immediately set out for Washington, D.C., arriving on December 3. Charley arrived by train on December 5. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was alarmed when informed by the army surgeon that his son’s wound “was very serious” and that “paralysis might ensue.” Three surgeons gave a more favorable report that evening, suggesting a recovery that would require him to be “long in healing,” at least six months.

On Christmas day, 1863, Longfellow—a 57-year-old widowed father of six children, the oldest of which had been nearly paralyzed as his country fought a war against itself—wrote a poem seeking to capture the dynamic and dissonance in his own heart and the world he observes around him. He heard the Christmas bells that December day and the singing of “peace on earth” (Luke 2:14), but he observed the world of injustice and violence that seemed to mock the truthfulness of this optimistic outlook. The theme of listening recurred throughout the poem, eventually leading to a settledness of confident hope even in the midst of bleak despair.

You can hear the song HERE or You can read the whole poem/song below…

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Article Credit: Justin Taylor, “The Christian Coalition”

Spending Christmas With Jesus This Year

a city built between the mountain and the sea

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The Christmas and Holiday season is one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year for millions of people around the world. The celebrations, music, parades, and all of the other thrilling festivities are some of the things that make the season so beautiful and heartwarming.

Unfortunately, for an untold number of other people, this time of year can be very sad, miserable, or depressing. The loss of a friend or loved one, or the remembrances of times and people in the past can make this time of year downright depressing. I lost both of my parents during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season…my dad, two weeks before Christmas, and my mom, seven days before Christmas. It seems funny to me how every year, a few weeks before the holiday season, I subconsciously begin to become sad and nostalgic about my parents.

So, it goes without saying, that I recently came across the following poem on a friend’s post called, “I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Christmas” (written by Wanda Bencke) that I thought was a unique perspective of someone who has left this earth and is now in heaven with God. The following rhyme is a wonderful and touching piece of writing that I hope with help uplift your heart and touch your soul!

 

“I’m Spending Christmas With Jesus Christ This Year”

I see the countless Christmas trees,

Around the world below.

With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,

Reflecting in the snow.

 

The sight is so spectacular,

Please wipe away that tear.

For I’m spending Christmas,

With Jesus Christ this year.

 

I hear the many Christmas songs,

That people hold so dear.

But the sounds of music can’t compare,

With the Christmas choir up here.

 

For I have no words to tell you,

The joy their voices bring.

For it is beyond description,

To hear the angels sing.

 

I can’t tell you of the splendor,

Or the peace here in this place,

Can you just imagine Christmas,

With Jesus, face to face?

 

I’ll ask Him to light your spirit,

As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray one for another,

As I lift you eyes above.

 

Please let your hearts be joyful,

And let your spirits sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven,

And I am walking with the King!

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” Explained

Nativity

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Millions of people know the vintage Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It is one of the most well-known and beloved songs of the holiday season. But, do you know what each item in the song represents? Well…good news! Today you are going to discover what each “Day” represents. I think that you will find the following read VERY interesting!

Day 1: “The partridge in a pear tree” is Jesus Christ

Day 2: “Two turtle doves” are the Old and New Testaments

Day 3: “Three French Hens” stand for Faith, Hope, and Charity

Day 4: “Four Calling Birds” are the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark Luke, and John

Day 5: “Five Golden Rings” recall the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old testament.

Day 6: “Six Geese A-Laying” stand for the six days of creation

Day 7: “Seven Swans Are Swimming” represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy

Day 8: “Eight Maids A-Milking” are the eight Beatitudes

Day 9: “Nine Ladies Dancing” are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control

Day 10: “Ten Lords Are Leaping” are the Ten Commandments

Day 11: “Eleven Pipers Piping” stand for the eleven faithful disciples

Day 12: “Twelve Drummers Drumming” symbolizes the twelve points in the Apostle’s Creed.

So, there is your history lesson for today! 🙂

There’s A Mouse in the House!!

An oldie but goodie!!

My Good Time Stories

micolo-j Flickr Photo Credit: Micolo-j via CC Flickr

This is a re-post of an article that I posted way back when I first began my “Good Time Stories” page. It is one of my favorite little stories. I hope you like it as much as I do!!


There are many people in today’s world that want nothing to do with helping other people. Their thought is, “why should I go out of my way to help them with the problem that they are facing? It has nothing to do with me.” Well, sometimes this decision can come back to affect them. The story today clearly illustrates why, sometimes, we should go out of our way to help others.

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain? The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it…

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Remembering Our Loved Ones

black and white boy child childhood

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All of us have relatives or other people that we know who are advancing in years and who are people that we might consider, “getting old.” As they progress in their age, we sometimes lose our patience with them and become mad or angry. We forget the times when we were younger, that they were kind, caring, and tolerant of our persistent questions and inquiries about so many things.

It is important for all of us to remember our aged loved ones and the love they once openly demonstrated for us.

The following story is a great example of this idea…

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An 80-year-old man was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his 45 years old highly educated son when suddenly a crow perched on their window.

The father asked his son, “What is this?” The son replied, “It is a crow”. After a few minutes, the father asked his son the 2nd time, “What is this?” The son said “Father, I have just now told you “It’s a crow”. After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time, “What is this?”

At this time some expression of irritation was felt in the son’s tone when he said to his Father with a rebuff. “It’s a crow, a crow”. A little after, the father again asked his son the 4th time, “What is this?”

This time the son shouted at his father, “Why do you keep asking me the same question again and again, although I have told you so many times ‘IT IS A CROW’. Are you not able to understand this?”

A little later the father went to his room and came back with an old tattered diary, which he had maintained since his son was born. On opening a page, he asked his son to read that page. When the son read it, the following words were written in the diary.

“Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa when a crow was sitting on the window. My son asked me 23 times what it was, and I replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I did not at all feel irritated, I rather felt affection for my innocent child”.

While the little child asked him 23 times “What is this”, the father had felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when today the father asked his son the same question just 4 times, the son felt irritated and annoyed.

So…

If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a burden, but speak to them a gracious word, be cool, obedient, humble and kind to them. Be considerate to your parents. You should remind and tell yourself every day, “I want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love for me. I will serve my old parents in the BEST way I can. I will always try to say good and kind words to them, no matter how they behave.”

They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to make me a person presentable in the society today”.

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“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

A Special Bonus Video!

“Keep Yourself at 17 Inches”

This is THE most popular post on my Page of all time!!

My Good Time Stories

Nations_Park_Home_plate Photo Credit: Gerald Klein (Nations Park Home Plate) via Wikimedia Commons

I recently came across a fantastic story written by Coach Sperry, that a couple of friends of mine sent to me via Face Book. I thought that it was something that should certainly be shared with everyone and worth the read…especially parents and coaches.

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years…

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