Encouragement, Life's Journey

Forgiveness

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January 17, 2015

 

This one word, FORGIVENESS, can hold us back or send us onward as we continue our journey of life. Which direction will you let it take you, forward or backward?

  • A tough topic. Each of us has been on both sides of this word.
  • We have been forgiven. We need to forgive.
  • It’s a complicated word and one that goes against our human nature.

Forgiveness has strong ties with other words.

  • Such as: selfishness, pride, anger.
  • These are dangerous words that effect our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

We hold the experiences of our lives very close. Sometimes it’s hard for us to let go of them. Much of the time they form who we really are.

  • There have been times when we have been angered or wounded.
  • Some of the time the fault is ours, but not always.
  • It’s those times, when others have behaved wrongfully, that we may allow ourselves to be grieved and let these various incidents bring harmful thoughts into our lives and our relationships with others.

Ask yourself this question: What is so important to me that I will give up knowing, respecting and caring for another individual?

  • Would your answer be stuff, money, position, popularity, having your say or possibly just being what you think is the winner in whatever situation you are confronted with?
  • What’s so important about winning?
  • Was your life enhanced for the better?

Anything you may be able to name will fade away. The only thing in this life that is lasting and brings joy to our lives is relationships.

  • You may say; “I don’t care what people think of me.”
  • Phooey, that is just another one of your defense mechanisms.
  • Relationships are what life and eternity is made of.
  • What you do with your life depends upon your relationship with God, family, friends and associates.

I have observed people from all walks of life. They are just like you and I.

Whether a leader or a follower, they all have the struggles of life happen to them. What makes them, you and myself different is how do we respond to these experiences?

Some in leadership that I have known, had wounding events happen to them.

  • Their response was to build fences around their lives.
  • How sad it is to shut yourself off from others.
  • You might not be subjecting yourself to anymore pain, but you become so protective that you miss out on contentment and the joys of life.

When you let go and reach out to whoever offended or hurt you, you gain a sense of freedom and peace.

  • Even if they don’t respond well, you are not chained to whatever event transpired between you and that other individual or individuals.
  • You have been faithful to: FORGIVE AS YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN.

If you have done the best that can be done, then your conscience is clear.

  • You can lay your head down and sleep at night.
  • I can guarantee that the other person involved won’t rest peacefully.
  • I’ve seen it happen for myself.

You say “but, you don’t know what happened to me.”

  • My answer to you is: “you don’t know what happened to me.”
  • The topics of these blogs, including this one right now, are written from the voice of experience.

That’s the whole point of this exercise started last September.

  • To say…..“I’ve been down this road, follow me because I have discovered how to get through the difficult times and to stay on this journey of life with a positive, contented spirit.”

Everything I have shared with you these past few months works.

  • My challenge to you….is to put these things into practice in your life.
  • Then, you will make the same discovery which you can use to be of benefit to those around you.

Forgive, forgive, forgive. The monkey is no longer on your back.

  • The wound will remain there in your memory bank.
  • Like an old scar, it will sometimes reappear.
  • Just don’t let it find a resting spot at the fore front of your life again.
  • Tell yourself “I have forgiven that person, so disappear into the back parts of my mind again” and go on to more pleasant thoughts.

We end with the question first asked at the beginning. FORGIVENESS, which direction will you let it take you, forward or backward?

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free

and discover 

that prisoner was you.”

(Louis B. Smedes)   

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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Music

 

……November 8, 2014

 

Have you ever stopped to think about music and how important it is to our lives? 

  • Where would we all be in our personal journeys, if it wasn’t for music?
  • Music is one of the consistent companions in our lives.
  • Music demands nothing from us, except to listen to what it has to say or how it makes us feel.

 

We have had music on earth since the beginning of time. 

  • It is present for all the great events of this world and our lives: wars, coronations, weddings, births, deaths, graduations, holidays, etc.
  • There are melodies and words for all of these occasions.

 

Soldiers would march into the unknown accompanied by music. 

  • We associate the fife and drum with the American Revolutionary War.
  • During the Civil War the trumpet was used to communicate the commands of battle.
  • How, can any one of us forget the haunting melodies of “Taps” or the bag pipes playing “Amazing Grace?”

 

Music is a mood creator.

  • Remember the great movies you have seen and the sound track that sets the tone for those movies: Gone with the Wind, Star Wars, The Way We Were, Gettysburg, Sleepless in Seattle.
  • When we hear the theme songs our minds go back to when we first saw that specific movie, maybe a favorite scene or the grandeur of the story that was told.

 

Music makes the work go faster and seem easier.

  • This past May we painted the eaves and soffits of our home. It was a hot, exhausting, difficult job for my husband and myself.
  • We had a young college student help us for a couple of days. One morning while he was working hard with us I suddenly remembered my ipod and dock.
  • I have a wide range of taste in music all the way from pop, 50’s, country, gospel, instrumental, opera, classical just to name a few.
  • We put the ipod on shuffle and it accompanied us as we worked for the next few days.

 

Music gets us moving, soothes us, leads us into worship, brings tears or laughter, puts us to sleep, creates memories.

  • There’s a great song by Trisha Yearwood that I love….”The Song Remembers When.”
  • Each of us in our own lives have songs that remember when, and we revisit a place in time when we hear a particular song.

 

When I was a child and became afraid or upset, my Dad would sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me.

  • My parents enjoyed music. I remember all the music we would listen to on the radio or record player.
  • My mother loved to play classical music loud to get the full impact, and I must admit than when I am alone I do the same thing.
  • By the way, when you have music in your life, you are really never alone.

 

Our family is a musical family.

  • My husband and our children were and are singers.
  • I love to sing, but I’m not as gifted as they are, so I keep my singing in the background.
  • We have a grandson who performed in his hometown’s children’s choir.
  • Our son-in-law has played the piano since he was a young child; his son also enjoys the piano.
  • Ever since I can remember music has been a vital part of my personal life and family life.
  • Be prepared, music will be a part of what I have to say from time to time.

 

Music is a universal language.

  • A few years ago I heard an Italian opera singer, Andrea Bocelli, for the first time.
  • His voice was so distinctive to me that I bought one of his CD’s,”Romanza.”
  • One day, I had a long drive to make, so I opened the wrapper and proceded to listen to the CD.
  • I didn’t understand a word, but he made each song his own. You could feel the power of the music, his emotions and could grasp the message of each song.
  • I was so moved that it bought me to tears.
  • That experience really made me realize the impact of music on our lives in a different way.

 

I found this poster that says: “Never underestimate the therapeutic power of driving and listening to very loud music.” 

  • I thought, “O boy,” That’s me, I love to do this.
  • Music brought a soothing to my soul, after the death of our daughter.
  • Somehow, I just couldn’t read my treasured Bible, but I could listen to good music to calm my grieving spirit.

 

On your journey, make music a traveling partner.

  • Listen to the music of nature. The sounds of the wind, the birds, the ocean, the running streams, the rustling leaves; in addition to the music created by man.
  • Let your spirit soar to the heavens, and you will discover that in some ways it makes your trip easier.
  • It will make your soul sing during the good times and make you able to better endure the hard times.
  • Music has been with us from the beginning and will be with us in eternity.

 

Be open to discovering the music in your life…..and pass it on so someone else may hear it.

 

The woods would be silent…

If only the best bird sang!

(unknown)

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