Encouragement

A Blue Moon

 

 

We hear the old saying that somethings happens only “ONCE IN A BLUE MOON.”

  • There was A BLUE MOON last night.
  • I decided to get up before day break to see it.
  • When we truly examine ourselves, it seems like more often than not we tend to sleep through unusual events that occur in our lives.
  • We may miss entirely the lesson that is being taught.

If we are alert to her message, nature all around us speaks about life.

  • She has words that apply to both your life, and mine.
  • There are lessons to be learned, if we are observant enough to see them and listen to what is being spoken to each one of us.

The definition of A BLUE MOON means an extra full moon.

  • Whether one month has two full moons or one quarter of a year, or a season has four instead of three.
  • This month just passed, July 2015, there was a full moon on both July 2nd and 31st.
  • A BLUE MOON comes along about once every two and one half years.
  • The last one was in 2012 and the next one early 2018.
  • They are not extremely rare, but happen infrequently.

What was the lesson of July’s BLUE MOON?

  • To me, it was to be alert and watchful.
  • Don’t just cruise through the events of your life.
  • Pay attention to the occasional happenings you experience.
  • Whether the times are difficult or joyful: observe, make good decisions, and put to practice in a positive manner any new lessons learned.

Sometimes we are so asleep with what preoccupies our time that we miss the small things of life that are before us.

  • The companionship of a family member or friend.
  • A phone call to someone that is important to our lives.
  • The pleasure of playing with a young child or spending time with a teenager.
  • Sitting with a loved pet and stroking them.
  • Listening and enjoying the words of a beautiful song.
  • Turning the television your tablet or phone off, and giving your full attention to someone who may need it.

In short: giving our time to someone else.

  • Don’t let this be a rare or infrequent event in your life.
  • Some opportunities only come along “ONCE IN A BLUE MOON.”

 

“What am I to do?

I expect to pass through this world but once.

Any good work, therefore, any kindness, or any service I can render to 

Any soul of man or animal, let me do it now.

Let me not neglect or defer it,

For I shall not pass this way again.”

–An Old Quaker Saying

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Life's Journey, Poems/Songs

The Rose

 

…….February 7, 2015

 

 Some say love, it is a river

That drowns the tender reed.

Some say love, it is a razor

That leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger,

An endless aching need.

I say love, it is a flower,

And YOU its only seed.

 

It’s the heart afraid of breaking

That never learns to dance.

It’s the dream afraid of waking

That never takes the chance.

It’s the one who won’t be taken,

Who cannot seem to give,

And the soul afraid of dyin’

That never learns to live.

 

When the night has been too lonely

And the road has been too long,

And you think that love is only

For the lucky and the strong,

Just remember in the winter

Far beneath the bitter snows

Lies the seed that with the sun’s love

IN THE SPRING BECOMES THE ROSE.**

 

Above all the months of the year, February is the month of love.

  • Because of February’s theme some people choose to get engaged or married during this month.
  • Many times the fourteenth becomes their special date.
  • February celebrates our personal valentines with cards and gifts.
  • This time of year has romance, hearts, flowers (especially Roses), candy and lovely songs that speak to us of love.

I would venture to guess that Roses are the number one favorite flower of a large percentage of people in this world.

  • Their beauty, variety and form is unsurpassed.
  • One of the most expensive perfumes in the world “Joy” comes from lavender roses.

Roses are not easy to raise. It takes attention and care to establish a young Rose bush. 

  • You can’t just plop them in the ground anywhere.
  • They need a specific spot, the correct soil, the right amount of light and water.
  • The most surprising thing to me was how deep and big of a hole has to be dug before you can plant a new Rose bush.
  • As the roots become established it is then time to be alert to pests.
  • They like to hide on the underside of the leaves to do their damage.
  • If ignored, the plant can easily die; especially a young one.

The best time to cut Roses is when the bud is fully developed, but not quite yet in full bloom.

  • That’s when all the preparation pays off and for a few days we enjoy the form, color and sweet scent of a Rose.
  • If you choose not to cut the blooms for your pleasure then you must remove the dead blooms.
  • A Rose will produce more if new or old blooms are continually removed.

Finally, when their growing and blooming season is over they need to be pruned. 

  • This can be difficult to do but is a necessary process to ensure a healthy future.
  • You must trim back the older branches; sometimes quite severely.
  • This encourages a stronger plant and even more blooming during it’s next cycle of life.
  • Although it’s beauty is now hidden the Rose will bloom again.

The song “The Rose” is a thoughtful song, not necessarily about romantic love.

  • The message of this song is about life and how we decide to live it.
  • It’s about choices and living our lives from the inside out.
  • It’s about taking a chance and putting yourself out there.
  • It’s about our dreams and disappointments.
  • It’s about being broken, but getting back up and starting again.
  • It’s message is about life, death and rebirth.

As you have read the past few words, I trust you will think about what has been said. Note the parallels of “The Rose” that apply to your life and faith. We can all take comfort in knowing that after winter has spent itself…….“The Rose” will bloom again.

“Remember, anyone can love a rose,

but it takes a great heart to include the thorns.”

(Unknown)

 

**Composed: by Amanda McBroom, 1977 – – Sung by Bette Midler

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Life's Journey, Seasonal

The Song The Angels Sang

 

…..December 20, 2014

 

What is this that I hear?  

A sound like never heard before.  

Yet, if I am still and listen, 

Something begins to take form in the emptiness of my life.

And I can begin to hear the music.

 

  • It’s a new song, never heard before.
  • It’s the song planned ever since the world was formed.
  • It’s a song that came to earth because of the garden.
  • It’s the song of the season.
  • It’s a song of a gift given.
  • It’s a song of celebration.
  • It’s a song for you and me.
  • It’s a song of peace.
  • It’s a song of joy.
  • It’s a song of forgiveness.
  • It’s the song of eternity.
  • It’s the song the angels sang to the shepherds
  • It’s a song of goodwill to all men.
  • It’s a song of prophecy.
  • It’s a song all can hear if they listen.
  • It’s a song of restoration.
  • It’s the song of redemption.

 

Isaiah 9:2 & 6        “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined…… For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”    **

Luke 2:8-15

2:8…………The message was first given to the common people

2:9-10…….Fear not, it’s good tidings of great joy

2:11………..It’s a message of good news to all mankind

 

Romans 5:1  “There is no other name by which we may be saved”    

Matthew 28:5-6    ”And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified……He is not her for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”   

 

This is the Song the Angels sang.  The song of hope and of a destiny for those who hear the music and accept it’s message.

IT CAN BE YOUR SONG.

 

“Faith consists in believing

when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

(Voltaire)

** kjv

 
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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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Encouragement, Life's Journey

Words

…..October 25 ,2014

 

Most of my life I have been a reader: novels, poetry, self-help books, newspapers, the Bible, etc. I love the beauty of words and the way they flow together. Some well known authors certainly have a talent for expression.

 

WORDS ARE POWERFUL

  • They paint a picture.
  • They take us to distant lands and different times.
  • They entertain us and sometimes they change our behavior.
  • They educate us and at times challenge us.
  • They make us laugh and they can make us sad.
  • They can lift us up or tear us down.

Scripture has much to say about words; especially in Proverbs and in the book of James.

 

There are two things in this world that devastate us: words and rejection.

  • In all honesty I believe that those two words probably form most of who we are.
  • You say, “no way” but a great deal of our lives are based on the outcome of what we have experienced from those two words.
  • Today our attention will be focused on Words only. Rejection will be addressed at a future time.

 

Recently I alluded to the home where I was raised. My parents, as we all are, were a product of the baggage that came from their backgrounds.

Their experiences manifested itself in words that more often than not tore down.

Too much of the time destructive words were hurled at each other.

During those times I was the appointed go-between. “Tell your mother this….tell your Father that.”

I was “little miss goody two shoes” who tried to do what I could to keep these explosions from happening.

When they happened, life was confusing and difficult. My heart was wounded for the first time at an early age.

 

I knew my parents loved me and cared for me. They taught me the necessary things we need in our lives.

  • To know what it is to work, to have good manners, to be helpful to those who are suffering.
  • They were good, honest people.
  • In their defense, it was a different time.
  • They were a product of the great depression.

I came to realize as I became an adult that they didn’t have the resources to help them that are available to us today. Counselors, preaching, books, helps on how to have a productive discussion, support from encouraging peers.

 

My younger sibling became a carbon copy of my parents, so I was outnumbered.

  • I became quiet, shy, undemanding (unlike my sibling), introverted and a book worm.
  • I learned to measure my words carefully.
  • I just wanted a peaceful home.

 

After 30 plus years of marriage, my parents finally divorced. Still when I went home the words were there, especially on my mother’s part.

  • I loved her dearly and still do. So much of what I am is owed to her.
  • In many ways she was an example to follow.
  • My strength and belief in myself came from her.
  • She sacrificed herself for others even when it was difficult for her.
  • She was a get it done type of person.
  • She had earned the respect of other people.
  • Her friends appreciated her.

 

When she died a neighbor commented (he meant it nicely) that she was one tough broad. She had to be, she was the only girl in a family that had seven boys.

I’ve often thought she should have been written about in the Readers Digest under the heading: The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met. That certainIy was my mother.

People didn’t forget her and she made an impression on many lives.  It means so much to me that my last words to her were “I love you Mama.”

 

But she also thought she was clever in the things she said in order to get her personal point across.

  • Anytime I visited home, there were new wounds and at times her words effected my children.
  • I knew she was speaking through her own disappointment, and brokenness, but that didn’t make me feel any better.

 

One time, when I was in my 30’s, myself and our three children went back home for a visit.

  • She still grieved over the divorce and at that specific time my sibling was avoiding her.
  • I tried to encourage her with the enjoyable things she could do with myself and her grandchildren.
  • She said to me: “I don’t have your daddy, I don’t have ?????, and I don’t want you.”

Even then, I knew she didn’t mean it, but those words are to this day embedded in my memory.

 

Previously, you were warned that sometimes this blog would be deeply personal.  

I do this for one reason….YOU.

Behind every face is a story. The things I have just shared with you are a part of my story and have helped to make me who I am.

The real truth of my story is that these things were necessary, in order that my life’s purpose might be fulfilled. It is a tool to be used, not locked away.

Each of you have your story. Many will be different from mine and some will be similar. There are others out there whose story is horrific and they run from it.

 

Whatever your story, you control how it ends. New beginnings are possible at any stage of life.

  • My prayer for you is that somehow through these words you will see that there is always hope, a new day and a different future.
  • Each one of us needs to learn and use our past experiences to help us grow. To obtain the best for ourselves and those whose lives we may effect.

 

All of us should be careful of the words we utter.

  • It’s so easy to let them fly out of our mouths. It takes a lot more courage to keep your mouth shut than it does to open it.
  • Always stop and think before you say anything. Once it’s out there, it cannot be called back.

 

Sometimes the price for words said or possibly not said is too high.

  • Build people up, don’t tear them down.
  • Words are free, but be careful how you spend them on others.

 

As you have determined by now, I believe it’s best to use words that encourage others and to think in a positive manner.

  • You’ll feel better about yourself and others will feel better around you.
  • It’s not hard to say something uplifting to someone you encounter during your day.

 

A couple of weeks ago I went to a deli counter that we use frequently.

  • For quite a while we have had difficulty getting an order sliced to our satisfaction.
  • Very politely, I told   the clerk about our (small) problem.
  • She took time to explain about the problem they were having with their equipment.
  • She then proceeded to do the best she could to accommodate my order in the best way possible.
  • When I picked up my purchase, I kindly said to her “I appreciate your attitude” and wished her a good day.
  • She replied back to me, “you made it better.”

It cost me nothing but a few words, but the results gave both of us satisfaction and a happier spirit.

 

Think about words which have been spoken to you that made your day better, or maybe encouraged you when it was needed. And, as they say, “pay it forward.”

Maybe you can reflect on the words of a song or songs that you love.  A favorite song brings pleasure to our day. They may even make our tasks easier to perform, make us smile or speak of a memory we treasure.

You might remember an author you enjoy whose way with Words lives long after the book is finished. I often think of the last few words used by Herman Wouk in the “Winds of War.”  They are so descriptively beautiful. They still (after many years) remain in my mind.

 

Words live on after those who have uttered them are gone. The quotes that I use in this blog are ones that I meditate on and try to apply to my life. They cause me to continually inspect my outlook on life and how to approach the issues we all have to face.

Remember………WORDS ARE POWERFUL…….use them wisely!!

“The Past is My Heritage,

The Present is My Responsibility,

The Future is My Challenge.”

(unknown)                

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