Just One More Time…

Mark K Baird via Morguefilecom
Photo Credit: Mark K. Baird via Morguefile.com

I recently turned the big “5-0” a couple of years ago and what was even more humiliating, was receiving an AARP membership letter in the mail the very next day…Ahhh! Anyway, I have always been a nostalgic-type guy and I have become even more so during the past months.

I usually find myself a few times each day thinking to myself, “just once, I would love to go back in time and do…..” basically, reminding myself of the days or years in my past. It always brings a type of warmth to my heart and a smile to my face thinking of the friends, people, places and activities that I used to enjoy.

I know that it isn’t healthy to “overindulge” or “dwell on the past” too much on the things of the past, but sometimes, when life gets hard, crazy, or hectic, it’s always nice to sit back and think of the special things that happened…when life was simple and pure.

So, if I could, I would love to go back and do some of these things…just one more time

Stay outside until the street lights came on…which meant it was time to come home

Have bike races around the block with baseball cards flapping in my spokes which we thought made us sound like we were riding motorcycles

Hear the dinner bell ring…which called us all home for dinner

Listen to grandma calling all of our cats letting them know that their food was ready

Go Snapper fishing with my dad off the boat docks until sundown

Help my mom decorate her classroom and get it ready for her students

Play baseball and kickball with the kids in our neighborhood for hours each day

Build a tree fort in the trees in our backyard

Play and “Hide and Seek” in the woods and discover things around creeks and ponds

Save the world from evil and chaos as super heroes Batman (and my brother) Robin

Sit on my grandfather’s lap and listen to one more of his stories

Go sleigh riding down “Mueller’s Hill”, fly off the snow ramps and navigate around the obstacles that we made

Give my mom and dad one more hug

Visit neighbors with my brother and then enjoy the treats that they would give us

Have crabapple fights with the neighbors

Build sandcastles then making a big sand wall trying to prevent the incoming tide from destroying my fortress

Smell the aromas of the sausage and pepper sandwiches, homemade French fries, fresh cotton candy and pizza that that were always present at the boardwalk

Hear the sounds of the binging and ringing of bells, whistles and other noises emanating from the boardwalk arcades

Feel the sudden pull of the line on my pole as a fish got snagged on the hook and the excitement of the “fight”

Experience my heart “skipping a beat” as I asked a girl on the first date of my life

Watch my dad take portraits of people in his photography studio

Take a family vacation with my wife and two boys

Experience the excitement and magic of dating my wife then marrying her

Go to Yankee Stadium with friends

Stand on the rock jetty by the beach, watching fishing, luxury, and other boats come in

Go to college again

Play miniature golf during a beautiful summer night

Go to a family reunion

I could go on and list more things for hours…but the one thing that I wish that I could do….just one more time…if only for a moment…would be to TELL my mom, dad and grandma…how much I loved them…and thank them for all the love that they showed me.

Life is short. Take the time each and every day to enjoy the big AND small things. Appreciate and be thankful for all the people that are in your life and let them know how much they mean to you…before they are all gone.

 

What Makes YOU Happy?

Mike Boswell
Photo Credit: Mike Boswell via CC Flickr

A crow lived in the forest and was absolutely satisfied in life. But one day he saw a swan. “This swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.”

He expressed his thoughts to the swan. “Actually,” the swan replied, “I was feeling that I was the happiest bird around until I saw a parrot, which has two colors. I now think the parrot is the happiest bird in creation.” The crow then approached the parrot. The parrot explained, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.”

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw that hundreds of people had gathered to see him. After the people had left, the crow approached the peacock. “Dear peacock,” the crow said, “you are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. When people see me, they immediately shoo me away. I think you are the happiest bird on the planet.”

The peacock replied, “I always thought that I was the most beautiful and happy bird on the planet. But because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. I have examined the zoo very carefully, and I have realized that the crow is the only bird not kept in a cage. So for past few days I have been thinking that if I were a crow, I could happily roam everywhere.”

That’s our problem too. We make unnecessary comparison with others and become sad. We don’t value what God has given us.  This all leads to the vicious cycle of unhappiness.  Learn to be happy in what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have.   There will always be someone who will have more or less than you have.  The person who is satisfied with what they have, are the happiest people in the world!

Orphans Need Us: Pictures That Speak Volumes #73

Why-we-often-forget-orphans...They-need-us...
Photo Credit: Unknown

There are literally millions of homeless children around the world that hunger for the affection and love of another person. Let’s try and remember these children each day and perhaps, in some way, you can discover how to help one. Take the time to show someone how much yo love them today!

 

Never Assume!

Martin Pettitt
Photo Credit: Martin Pettitt via CC Flickr

In today’s day and age, during the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy for people to criticize and accuse others without stopping, asking questions and discovering the true characteristics of an individual. We all need to take the time to find the truth about people and situations that sometimes cross our paths. Assuming what a person or a situation might be like can sometimes lead to an embarrassing or negative result. Today’s short little story is a great illustration of this thought: Never Assume! 

John was told that a twin-engine plane would be waiting at the airport.

Arriving at the airport he spotted a plane warming up outside the hanger.

He jumped in, said ‘Lets go’.

The pilot taxied and took off.

Once in the air John told the pilot: ‘Fly low over the valley so I can take pictures of the fire on the hill’

Pilot : Why.?

John : Because I’m the photographer for a television show. I need to get some close up shots.

Pilot was strangely silent for a moment, then he stammered ‘So, what You’re telling me is . . . You’re not my flying instructor’?
.
Life is Short. .
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ALWAYS ASK….NEVER ASSUME.!

The Five Fingers of Prayers

Michael Goghlan
Photo Credit: Michael Goghlan via CC Flickr

I came across this little, fun way to pray many, many years ago that I always thought was a pretty good idea and a terrific way to remember not only who or what to pray for…but HOW to pray.

This is beautiful – and it is surely worth making the 5 finger prayer a part of our lives!

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1.Your thumb is nearest you.

So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you.

They are the easiest to remember.

To pray for our loved ones is,

as C. S. Lewis once said, a “sweet duty.”

2. The next finger is the pointing finger.

Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal.

This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers.

They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction.

Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger.

It reminds us of our leaders.

Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators.

These people shape our nation and guide public opinion.

They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger.

Surprising to many is the fact that is our weakest finger,

as any piano teacher will testify.

It should remind us to pray for those who are weak,

trouble or in pain.

They need prayers day and night.

You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger

– the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves

in relation to God and others.

As the Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.”

Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself.

By the time you have prayed for the other four groups,

your own needs will be put into proper perspective

and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

The Beauty Inside You

Ben Seidelman
Photo Credit: Ben Seidelman via CC FLickr

The Holidays are here! Millions upon millions of people rush around looking for gifts to buy, decorate their homes, spend time with their family and friends and enjoy welcoming in the New Year with their loved ones.

Unfortunately, there is a flip side to this time of year…a dark side you might say. The holiday season is also the pinnacle of year in which an untold amount of individuals suffer depression, loneliness, and despair. It is during this point of time that the suicide rate around the world, is at its highest.

It is for this reason that I decided to share this video with you. Watch it to the very end. It is my hope and prayer that it will encourage and uplift you but most importantly, help you to realize that there is a simple beauty inside each one of us!

 

 

15 Life Skills That Teenagers Need to Know

GotCredit
Photo Credit: GotCredit via CC Flickr

According to Google, the definition of a “Life Skill” is “a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.” Sadly, many young people (and scores of adults) don’t know how to perform many of these everyday skills.

What are these skills? Well, I am glad that you asked because the following is a list of fifteen of these skills that everyone should know.

  1. Basic first aid.
  2. How to say “No.”
  3. How to use a credit card.
  4. How to write an essay.
  5. How to grocery shop on a BUDGET.
  6. How to jump-start a car.
  7. How to do their laundry.
  8. How to cook something that doesn’t come in a box with powder labeled “sauce.”
  9. Basic car and home repair and maintenance.
  10. How to send a professional email.
  11. How to budget and pay bills.
  12. How to change a tire.
  13. How to study.
  14. How to proof read.
  15. How to be kind to others

~ Source: Face Book


What are some “Life Skills” that YOU think a person should know how to do??

 

Comforting Thoughts About Life – Part 1

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn via CC Flickr

Life is strange. At one moment, it might seem tough, unfair, and if it just can’t get any worse while at other times, we are happy, joyful, or plain delighted with the good things in life.

I decided that it would be a great idea to collect some thoughts and ideas from other people that will encourage and uplift our minds and souls every day. The power of positive thinking is a tremendous asset to have. When we will feel good about ourselves there are many, many ways in which we benefit from these optimistic thought patterns and habits…less stress, lower blood pressure, we are happier, kinder to other people…just to name a few.

So, as you read some of the following thoughts, I hope that you may find comfort in them and that they will help and guide you on your path and you continue your journey through life.


We often forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but of deeply appreciating what we do have.

The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end of the book. Just turn the page.

You’ll never be able to see the great things in front of you, if you only look at the bad things behind you.

A big smile is the lighting system of the face, the cooling system of the mind, and the heating system of the heart.

We don’t stop dreaming and exploring because we grow old. We grow old because we stop dreaming and exploring.

When the right things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting the wrong things.

Surround yourself with positive people who will support you when it rains, not just when it shines.

Don’t make too much time for people who rarely make time for you.

The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.

We spend money that we do not have, on things we do not need, to impress people who do not care.

Friends who believe in you when others doubt you, friends who tell you can do it when you doubt yourself… these friends are a gift.

Life is too short to worry about needless issues. Have fun, live through love, explore, regret nothing, and don’t let others bring you down.

Remember, people who try to bring you down are already below you.

Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.

You may not have everything that you want in life but you are blessed enough to have all that you need.

Never lose hope, because as night falls, a new day is about to dawn and you never know what a new day will bring.

Having a thousand credentials on the wall will not make you a decent human being…but genuinely helping one person everyday will.

If you’re smiling right now, you’re doing something right.

The Beautiful Side of Sports

Photo Credit: Paul L. Dineen via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Paul L. Dineen via CC Flickr

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

It was once said that sports and the competition that is found in each athletic contest is much like life…every emotion that you find in sport competition are the same ones that you find in everyday life. Joy, happiness, fulfillment, discipline, hard work, endurance, perseverance, anger, frustration and sportsmanship…just to name a few.

In today’s blog, I would like to share a video of a great story that shows us the beautiful side of sports. Sportsmanship and the belief of having a mind set of helping others, despite when things do not go our way, it a tremendous attribute to possess. It is my hope that you will be inspired by today’s video.

Are You REALLY Thankful?

Photo Credit: Peasap via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Peasap via CC Flickr

Every once in a while, I come across a short story or illustration that reminds me of things that I may have forgotten…such was the case when I found this brief tale. It made me remember really how fortunate that I am and how important it is to always give thanks and be thankful!

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, ‘This Is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are Received.’

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, ‘This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.’

I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the Door of a very small station To my great surprise, only one angel was Seated there, idly doing nothing.

‘This is the Acknowledgment Section,’ My angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed ‘How Is it that there is no work going on here?’ I asked.

‘So sad,’ the angel sighed. ‘After people receive the blessings that they asked For, very few send back acknowledgments .’

‘How does one acknowledge God’s blessings?’ I asked.

‘Simple,’ the angel answered. Just say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’

‘What blessings should they acknowledge? ‘ I asked..

‘If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy .’

‘And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity. ‘

Also ‘ If you woke up this morning with more health than illness … You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day .’

‘If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation .. You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.’ ;

‘If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people In the world .’

‘If your parents are still alive and still married …you are very rare .’

‘If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair.’

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Remember to always be thankful…and GIVE thanks!

Seven Essential Rules For A Happy Life

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn via CC Flickr

I saw this list the other day of the seven things that will help a person to become a happier and healthier individual. While some of these rules may seem simple, in truth, they need consistent commitment and dedication each day. 

It is also interesting to review each rule and try to determine two things…how many of these seven attributes do you currently do well and how happy are you? Then think about people that you know and then, once again, compare them with the amount of kindness and happiness that they have in their lives.

I hope that these seven rules of having a happier life will have a lasting impact on your life and lead you to become a person that truly enjoys your life to its fullest everyday.

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The Seven Rules

1) Make peace with your past…so it doesn’t disturb your present.

2) What other people think of you…is none of your business.

3) Time heals almost everything…give it time.

4) No one is in charge…of your happiness…except you.

5) Don’t compare your life with others…and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about.

6) Stop thinking too much…It is alright not to know all the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.

7) Smile…you don’t own all the problems in the world.

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Source: vitaligusatinsky.com

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