I Am Enough
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson
Sunday, November 29, 2009
As many of you know, we spent the holiday in Upstate New York - Syracuse and Utica. We got the chance to meet our niece, Mimi for the first time. She is 9 months old and a baby doll. Her older brother, Manu is a bundle of energy and was quite the challenge with Chutes and Ladders! Grandma, Grandpa, David and I, and Manu all played and he was sooooo dramatic. Every time he spun he would put his hand to his forehead and say, " A four - what will I do with a four ( or five, etc)
My sister-in-law, Adzele (Ad-gel-e) and I did a crochet lesson and made granny squares. It was a blast!
David carved the turkey and we attended a pie party at the home of some longtime friends of my mother-in-law whose home has a Norwegian theme, hence the masks.
Andy Rooney and Prayer
Andy Rooney says:
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin , but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution.
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Yes, and this is the , a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?
If I went to a football game in Jerusalem , I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer...
If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad , I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
If I went to a ping pong match in , I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome .....
But what about the atheists? Is another argument.
What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!
Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.
Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights.. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.
The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want. It is time that the majority
Rules! It's time we tell them, You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!
God bless us one and all .. Especially those who denounce Him , God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.
Let's make 2009 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions . And our military forces come home from all the wars.
Keep looking up.
I pull the boxes of ornaments from the closet and prepare myself for a trip into
the past. No photo album can bring back as many memories as my box of ornaments.
Like a picture, each ornament contains a memory.
There's the box of wooden ones, handmade and painted with care. Within the assortment is a small man on skis, a mouse on a swing, even Santa in his sleigh. I
remember when my Georgia I bought them. It was our first Christmas as a married
couple. We hung them on the tree and dreamed how our future children would love them.
I pick up a ceramic Santa. My aunt gave it to me when I was four. He holds a
tiny box in his hands. There's a tear in it's wrapper, a tear caused by a boy who couldn't
contain his curiosity.
A tiny brass bell is next. My brothers and I had fun with this bell. We took
turns hiding it in the tree. The others had to find it. We played "Find the Bell," until mom
yelled at us for shaking the tree to make the bell ring and reveal its hiding spot.
Mom knew how much the bell meant to me. The year I had my own family, she
gave me the bell. I played the same game with my own children.
I pick up a pretty red ball. My daughter touched it when she was two. We'd put
Venessa down for her nap and decorated while she slept. We wanted to surprise her.
We finished I sat back with a glass of eggnog and waited for her to wake.
I see her face again. She ran from her room, fully charged and ready to take on
the world. She was five feet from the tree before she looked up and stopped. Her eyes
opened wide. Her jaw dropped open, as she emitted a small cry of delight. She walked
forward, raised her hand, and touched a red ball - the ball now held in my hand.
She turned to me. Her eyes reflected the colored lights. "Daddy, what is
"It's Christmas, Sweetie." My voice quivered with emotion, "It's Christ's
birthday. We're going to celebrate it."
Her sparkling eyes, hanging jaw, and soft skin made me hold my arms out. She
ran into them and gave me a hug that would have melted even Scrooge's hard heart.
I pick up a cracked green ball, a veteran of the first time I allowed my kids to
decorate the tree. They hung all the balls on one branch. When they turned for another, I
quickly moved the one before it to a better spot. I laughed when they told Grandma they
decorated all by themselves.
Near the bottom of the box, I find a brass plaque. It brings back a special
memory. It has my son's name and birth date on it. Justin was supposed to be a New
Year's Eve baby, but he decided he wasn't going to miss Christmas.
Justin was three weeks old, when we took him to the Christmas Eve service at
our church. That night, our minister explained to us the real meaning of Christmas. As
she spoke, she wandered down the aisle and stopped beside us. She reached down and
asked, "May I?" I nodded and handed him to her. She lifted him into her arms.
She was quiet as she walked back to face the congregation. Turning, she held
my son high and said, "This is the real meaning of Christmas: The birth of a new life!"
She cradled my son as she spoke. A single tear trickled down my cheek. She
walked around the sanctuary, displaying my son to those gathered for the Christmas
service. The room seemed empty of everyone but her and my family. Overtaken with
emotion, I reached out, hugged and Vanessa to my side, and thought, "This
will be a Christmas to remember."
In 2003 I pulled the ornaments out again. Justin and I were not going to be
home for Christmas that year. We were going to spend Christmas with friends in ,
but I wanted Christmas to be the way it always was. I wanted Christmas to be the way
Georgia had died two months earlier. Justin and I were alone in New Jersey.
Vanessa was in Ohio. It had to be the way it was before - the tree perfect. The
ornaments - the memories - had new meaning that Christmas. The memories of
happiness were raw, but the tree over came them. A tear trickled from my eye. Good
things may pass, but their memories hang on.
A year later, I hung a new ornament on our tree. It was one I got for Ginny, my new wife. It's a penguin. Ginny loves penguin. This year, I have one she gave me to hang. It's an
Ohio State Football ornament - new pages added to my album.
I hang my personal album for all to see, sit back and relax. For several weeks,
I search my magical tree until I find my special spot. It could be anywhere on the tree,
but I know it's there - a spot where light shines perfectly on one or two balls and reflects
off a length of tinsel. It's perfect in every way.
I lock my eyes on it and enjoy its beauty. I relive my life. It's there for all
to enjoy. I invite you to share it with me. Look at the ornaments. Flip the pages. Share
my life. It's my magical tree
Michael T. Smith
Note: This year we are living with Ginny's daughter's family. They don't have room for my
big tree. My ornaments will stay packed away for another year. Next year they will be even
Sunday, November 22, 2009
It's been a while since I've written but I have a moment to take a breather so I thought I'd share some pictures with you. Yesterday David and I went to the Festival of Trees at the local casino. There were over 100 decorated trees, which are then auctioned off and the funds are used to pay for arts programs throughout the year.
Here is a glimpse of what we saw:
Sunday, November 15, 2009
By Bob Perks
has been used over and over...
nothing without love in their life.
"I want to love and be loved after all that is
what gives meaning to life"
is important, but it is not all that gives meaning
put life in your love for living."
important relationship...the one with God.
natural world. Like the sun and the moon.When one is down the other rises to the occasion.
the light from one shines on the other.
than we were separately. That is incredible.
empty spot. Love wraps around like a blanket,
it's not just to fill holes in your life.
life and you to theirs.
how complete you are already.
I do ask that you keep my name and contact
information with my work.
If you would like to receive Bob's Inspirational
stories, please visit http://www.IWishYouEnough.com
and submit your email address.
Â© 2001 Bob Perks
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The Army Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
My Church have you been true?'
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep....
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
Define a Veteran:
Whether active duty, retired, national guard
or reserve - is someone who, at one point in
their life, wrote a blank check made payable to
The United States of America for an amount
up to and including their life. That is HONOR, and
there are way too many people in this country
who no longer understand it.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sorry that I've been so quiet here lately: I'm swamped with projects and there is not enough time in the day sometimes. The relationship violence workshop that I'm presenting at church is next weekend, so I'm preparing the handouts, practicing telling my story and moving smoothly from transition to transition, etc. I have to practice my Messiah score later this afternoon since rehearsals are tomorrow.
School starts when I return from NY after Thanksgiving, so I need to get to work on trying to understand my algebra. . .the list goes on and on.
It is a gorgeous fall day; most of the leaves are off our trees already but the temps are 73.
Friday, November 6, 2009
WHO ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?
December 1, 2003
As the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, I wish each of you a happy holiday and ask you to think about the meaning of the word Thanksgiving. So often we get caught up in the pageantry that surrounds this holiday, and forget just who we are thankful for.--- Marlene
In life, you will meet many people along the way. Each person who touches our life brings a gift. Some will touch you more than others, but each person comes into your life for a reason. Many times we don't exactly know why. This person could be a teacher, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend or a stranger. Maybe this person listens when we need to talk or cry. Maybe they help us financially when we are broke. Maybe they talk to us, when we need a different perspective. Maybe they hold us when we don't deserve it. Maybe they sit with us when our grief is too much to bear alone. Maybe they are just there, so we know we are not alone.
How have we acknowledged this help? Have we taken their gifts of love, compassion, and hope out into the world and offered it to others? We all need to give something back to this world that will help others along their paths. I think we all need to be more thankful. This year, stop, think, and remember all of the people who have crossed your paths and be thankful for them. Say it out loud, say it in silence, but say it.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Jim Rohn
Any day we wish; we can discipline ourselves to change it all. Any day we wish; we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish; we can start a new activity. Any day we wish; we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.
We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. As Shakespeare uniquely observed, "The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves." We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions. They need the truth. They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth.
Everything you want in life is within your reach. And getting your every want is just a matter of taking charge.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The president without a country
Monday, November 2, 2009
Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store.
She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few
She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.
John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once..
Visualizing the family needs, she said: 'Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.'
John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.
Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, 'Do you have a grocery list?'
Louise replied, 'Yes sir.' 'O.K' he said, 'put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries..'
Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head,
then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.
The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.
The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, 'I can't believe it.'
The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.
The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.
It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:
'Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.'
The grocer gave her the groceries that he had
gathered and stood in stunned silence.
Louise thanked him and left the store.... The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said; 'It was worth every penny of it. Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs..'