The Incredible Power of Music

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Music. Its power and effect on people are unmistakable. It can soothe and comfort the soul, it can create an air of nostalgia, make that special moment more romantic, make you mad, make you sad, the list goes on an on.

It’s funny how sometimes the small things in life can make such a huge impact on other people’s lives and we don’t even know it.

We all are aware of how our actions can affect an individual’s well being, etc. but what about other things that we may use every day? Music can affect people’s lives in many ways… take watching a movie as an example. Imagine if you were watching a sad movie and the background music was a fast-moving pop song. Or imagine viewing a scary movie and ballet music was playing in the background? The music would not fit into the movie and you wouldn’t enjoy the film…..but used correctly, music has a huge impact on the total movie-watching experience.

Another example of music’s effect is how well music “can soothe the soul” or how athletes sometimes use loud music to get “pumped up” for a game.

Music can be used in many ways and affect every person differently.

In today’s story (it’s actually a video), watch how the power of music totally transformed this old man’s state of wellness. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and heartwarming. The power of music…AMAZING!

What Marriage is Really All About

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What makes up a marriage? What makes every moment in a marriage full of smiles, laughs, and excitement? We all now that the married life always runs smoothly and really is a Bed of Roses. Good times! Right? Unfortunately, we all know, without question, the marriage is hard work and there are times when couples face adversity, sorrow, or suffering. It how we react to these circumstances that can make all the difference.

A friend of mine, (my sister-in-law 🙂 recently shared the following little ditty that I think sums up what a marriage really is in a beautiful and positive way!!

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Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep. It’s not a clean home filled with laughter and love making every day.

It’s someone who steals all the covers, and snores, it’s slammed doors and a few harsh words at times.

It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal, and then forgiveness.

It’s coming home to the same person every day that you know loves and cares about you in spite of, and because of, who you are.

It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid.

It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds.

It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life.

It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud.

It’s about eating the easiest meal you can make and sitting down together at a late hour because you both had a crazy day.

It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your love lays down with you and holds you, and tells you everything is going to be okay. And you believe them.

It’s about still loving someone even though sometimes they make you absolutely insane.

Loving someone isn’t always easy, sometimes it’s hard. But it is amazing and comforting and one of the best things you will ever experience.

If you are blessed to have a wonderful partner in your life, then leave a thought here and please feel free to share this post with others!

 

Have a WONDERFUL day!!

A Secret to Inner Peace

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What is inner peace? What are the attributes of a life that can give us peace and solace in the things that we think and do each day? What are the true secrets that will calm our soul and soothe our spirits in today’s tumultuous world?

Well, today I am sharing with you a checklist, of sorts, that might give you an idea of how much inner peace you may have…and discover who might be the perfect “person” that holds this treasure.

 If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then You Are Probably

The Family Dog!

And you thought I was going to get all spiritual …

Handle every Stressful situation like a dog.

If you can’t eat it or play with it,

Pee on it and walk away 🙂

Have an awesome day and share a smile with someone!

The Crab and the Ocean

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What in the world is happening? Why did something like this happen to me? Why is it that this individual continues to do this annoying thing to me? Don’t they understand that when they continue to do this same thing over and over, it really, really bothers me!?! What is this jerk doing? Why is this person so mean? Why is it, that it always seems like bad things always happen to me?

Occasionally, there are things or situations in life that happen that we simply don’t understand at the time we are experiencing them. Sometimes people will continuously do things to us, like our bosses, parents, or a host of other kinds of people, that we don’t comprehend why they are doing what they are doing. The result? We jump to negative conclusions, make poor judgments and assessments of others…many times resulting in embarrassing or awkward moments.

The following little story is a great little illustration which demonstrates a simple truth of life…that we should attempt to truly understand the unfortunate things that may happen to us before we judge others wrongly.

Once upon a time, there was a crab. It was walking on the shore of the ocean, leaving its beautiful footprint behind. The crab adored its footprints. Suddenly as the crab was adoring it footprints, the waves of the ocean washed the footprints away. The crab turned towards the ocean wave and said, “Hey!! I thought you were my best friend. Why did you do that?? Why did you wash my footprints away?” The ocean said, “A fisherman was chasing you, my dear friend, looking at your footprints, so I washed them away so that fisherman could not chase you.” It’s a general human tendency. We all judge each other in different situations and conclude about the person. Even in our relationships, we judge the people by the actions or behavior. But it is important not to conclude about that person and react without understanding other person’s intentions. (Divya Nimbalkar). http://frtonyshomilies.com/

JUDGING A PERSON DOES NOT DEFINE WHO THEY ARE…IT DEFINES WHO YOU ARE!

Kafka and the Doll

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Death, grief, despair: these scorns of life are devastating. Death is arguably the most sorrowful time an individual can experience in life. Most unfortunate is when people encounter death within a family, a friendship, or an acquaintance. Sometimes, the loss can hurt so bad that it may seem like the pain and suffering will never go away.

Bill, a dear friend of mine, lost his wife to cancer at age 60 and a brother to murder at age 42. He uses faith, philosophy, family, and friends to mitigate his loss.

I would like to share the following story/essay that he wrote a while ago while thinking of these unfortunate events. It is our hope that this story will help ease the pain and sadness of others who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one.

Here is Bill’s story/essay.

As part of the human race, we all suffer loss. Loss is not a one-time occurrence, it happens to us and then it happens again. Loss is always difficult to accept. On the loss of a loved one, we wish to hold open the door into the next world and pull the deceased out. We wish to kiss those vanished lips, to hear that silenced voice; but it doesn’t work that way.

There is an instructive story on grief titled, “Kafka and the Doll.” In the story, Franz Kafka encountered a little girl in the park where he and his friend Dora walked daily. The little girl was disconsolate and weeping as if her heart would break. When Kafka inquired about her tears, the girl said she had lost her doll. Kafka told the girl that he knew for a fact the doll was fine. How he could be so certain, the little girl asked? Why just that morning, Kafka told the girl, he had received a letter from the doll.

Kafka arranged to meet the little girl the next day at the same spot in the park. That night he composed a letter from the doll and read it to the little girl when they met. “Please do not mourn me, I have gone on a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”

The meetings and the letters from the beloved doll continued. The little girl was comforted. When the meetings came to an end, Kafka presented her with a new doll. The doll obviously looked different from the original doll. An attached letter explained: “Do not be surprised at my appearance, my travels and adventures have changed me.”

Many years later, the now-grown girl found a letter stuffed into a deep fold in the cherished replacement doll. Kafka had written, “Everything you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”

Grief and loss are ubiquitous and an inescapable part of being human. Holding the perspective of the universality of loss, helps us deal with our loneliness and regret in times of grief, for if grief is omnipresent, we are less alone, less regretful. Holding the conviction that “love will return” is the path towards healing. As with the little girl in the story, following our loss and a period of grief, our job is to recognize love when it returns in its new form.

Those loved ones for whom we mourn would not want us to be in tears and sadness. They want us to remember them with laughter and with smiles, and to find love in all its new forms.

 

*Editor’s Note: Bill is simply a wonderful, charming, and outgoing man. After the loss of his wife, he continued teaching until he retired a few years ago.  Since then, he has traveled across America, hiked great mountains of the world, explored various countries and cultures, and has see and discovered the many beautiful things in this world. His warm personality and sense of humor have brought encouragement and happiness to all that have met him.

“The song may have ended but the melody lingers on.” ~ Irving Berlin

The Better Side of Life

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Life. It can be downright hard but it can simply beautiful. Life can be depressing and difficult or it can be fun and enlightening. It really all depends on how a person perceives it. It was once said that the difference between an individual who is successful and a person who won’t achieve the goals and desires of their life…is simply how they deal with circumstances that they experience. They can either learn from a negative experience and grow…or wallow in self-pity and disappointment and never make their life better.

Life is a peculiar thing…everything in it has two sides. How you choose to perceive and manage each event will affect the direction of your life.

This leads me to the following little reminder that I thought would give you “food for thought” when thinking about the virtues of life.

HATE has four letters…so does LOVE

ENEMIES has seven letters…so does FRIENDS

NEGATIVE has eight…so does POSITIVE

UNDER has five…so does ABOVE

CRY has three letters…so does JOY

ANGER has five letters…so does HAPPY

RIGHT has five letters…so does WRONG

HURT has four letters…so does HEAL

It means that Life is like a double-edged sword…..

so transform every negative side into an aura of positivity…

We should ALWAYS CHOOSE THE BETTER SIDE OF LIFE!

 

Surprises in Heaven

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It is so foolish to believe that anyone is better than someone else. Sometimes our pride gets in the way so much, that we don’t realize what other people are really like. There are times individuals put themselves on such a high pedestal, that I believe that some people may be very surprised one day when they get to heaven.

The following poem is a good reminder of the foolishness of judging others. Let it serve as a reminder to us all.

Judge Not

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp–
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade..
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

‘And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber – give me a clue.’
‘Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

Have a wonderful and rewarding day!

The Mother with One Eye

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Judging other people can be a struggle for almost anyone on a daily basis. People can find themselves judging others in a variety of ways. If could be something as small as how someone looks or how they act. We could be judging them based on what their government affiliation might be or their religious beliefs. The list can go on and on.

An example of how we can sometimes judge is this short story from psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach who frequently tells this story: Imagine you are walking through the woods and you see a small dog. It looks cute and friendly. You approach and move to pet the dog. Suddenly it snarls and tries to bite you. The dog no longer seems cute and you feel fear and possibly anger. Then, as the wind blows, the leaves on the ground are carried away and you see the dog has one of its legs caught in a trap. Now, you feel compassion for the dog. You know it became aggressive because it is in pain and is suffering.

Your judgement changed once you understood the situation.

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I came across this story that simply broke my heart and reminded me of an important lesson: never judge a person until you know exactly of what made them the way they are…

My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.

How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mom only has one eye!”

I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”

My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.

Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my Mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!”

And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” – and she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.

My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

“My dearest son,

I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.

I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see……..when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.

I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,

Your Mother.”

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“If you judge people….you have no time to live them” ~ Mother Teresa

Life Lessons From A 90-Year-Old Woman

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There is much wisdom to be gained from individuals of advanced age. If we are wise, we would take heed of things that they have experienced throughout their lifetime, and apply it to our everyday lives.

The following list of “Life Lessons” was written by 90-year-old Regina Brett, in the publication, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. It is certainly a fantastic collection of helpful tidbits of knowledge that we should all use.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 44 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:” ~ Regina Brett

01. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
02. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
03. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
04. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
05. Pay off your credit cards every month.
06. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
07. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
08. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
09. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness, but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ”In five years, will this matter?”.
26. Always choose life.
27 Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
34. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters, in the end, is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

Catching Monkeys in India

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This is a great little story that I found a little while ago that demonstrates two primary things that generally will decide whether or not a person ever becomes successful. It has always been fascinating to me how many people are afraid to let go of their fears or to think “outside the box” in order to be successful. The following short illustration, gives us a good example of this concept…

Monkey-hunters use a box with an opening at the top, big enough for the monkey to slide its hand in. Inside the box are nuts. The monkey grabs the nuts and now its hand becomes a fist. The monkey tries to get its hand out but the opening is big enough for the hand to slide in, but too small for its fist to come out. Now the monkey has a choice, either to let go off the nuts and be free forever or hang on to the nuts and get caught. Guess what it picks every time? You guessed it. He hangs on to the nuts and gets caught.

We are no different from monkeys. We all hang on to some nuts that keep us from going forward in life. We keep rationalizing by saying, “I cannot do this because . . .” and whatever comes after “because” are the nuts that we are hanging on to which are holding us back. Successful people don’t rationalize. Two things determine if a person will be a success: reasons and results.

Reasons don’t count while results do…

It’s Time to Celebrate!!!

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My grandma was an awesome lady. She used to give my brother and I great words of advice and words of wisdom as we grew up…but that story is for another day. But there is one quote that she used to say to us…especially as she got older…that I am understanding more and more each day, “the older you get, the days get longer and the years get shorter.” WOW! Isn’t that the truth!!

It is hard to believe that it was almost six years ago, February, 2013, that I decided to start a little blog in which I could share motivational, inspirational, heartwarming, and entertaining stories that I would find on the internet or from other people. I used to thunk that if I ever posted 100 posts…that would be amazing…200 or 300 posts would be “out of this world.”

Well, today marks my 1,000 post on “Good Time Stories!”

I never imagined in a million years that I would ever post that many stories, etc. I have enjoyed every minute and every word of each one of them. For people that know me (and even if you don’t), there is nothing in the world that makes me happier, makes my life feel so fulfilled as helping and encouraging others! I truly believe that human beings are wired in such a way, that “it is truly better to give than to receive.” Think about it…when do you feel the best? When you receive something or when you give something to someone and see the joy and happiness in someone. The gratitude and joy that they send back to you is immeasurable…simply awesome. If you ever have a lousy day, try helping someone else or show them an act of kindness…it will change your whole day!!

So, my journey of finding and posting new words and stories of encouragement will continue. Hopefully, I will be able to continue to find these stories and anecdotes to brighten others in a world that primarily a dark place…and give them a reason to smile, laugh, and see that every life is beautiful and our amazing world is a good place to be!

Why Would God Really Want Me?

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Have you ever felt like a loser? Worthless? Have you ever felt like you are simply “spinning your wheels” and getting nowhere in your life? Have you ever asked yourself something like, What is the purpose of my life?”, or “What can’t I use the gifts and skills that I have?”

Maybe you say to yourself things like, “I’m not perfect.” “I have all kinds of problems.” “I have no ability.” “I have no gifts.” “I’m just not worthy. Why would God want me?”

Well, here are some interesting facts about many of the people that were mentioned in the Bible that God used in mighty ways DESPITE their shortcomings and weaknesses.

Did you know that?…..

Moses stuttered.
David’s armor didn’t fit.
John Mark deserted Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a persecutor of the church.
Moses was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God’s will.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Noah got drunk.
Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
So did Peter, Paul – well, lots of folks did.

But God doesn’t require a job interview for salvation. He’s our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss. He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need. He knows who we are and what we are and loves us in spite of ourselves

SATAN SAYS, “YOU’RE NOT WORTHY.”
JESUS SAYS, “SO WHAT? I AM.”
SATAN LOOKS BACK AND SEES OUR MISTAKES.
GOD LOOKS BACK AND SEES THE CROSS.

He doesn’t calculate how you failed in in the past. It’s not even on the record.

Sure, there are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t call us. But if we are in love with Him, if we hunger for Him, He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, what we have done, or the fact that we are not perfect!

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Source: http://gatewaytojesus.com/