Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wanted

Wanted: For Acts of Goodness - the names and information about people making a difference in our world.  Yes, the information is wanted because there are tons of fantastic people out there doing wonderful things, but we don't always get to hear about them.  We should celebrate their good deeds and be inspired by them.  Perhaps you can help!
 
I'm always looking for new ways to brighten people's days and to give back to this wonderful world.  I'm always happy to write about others here too - those hometown heroes that truly are making a difference.  Sometimes I just bump into someone.  Occasionally a friend mentions a story or I come across something in a newspaper or on television.  Another way of course is if you would help!  If you know of a person or organization that is doing something marvelous and making a difference for the better, share that information with us in the comments section below!
 
While the information is certainly wanted, so are more folks like that.  Don't be afraid to try new ways of giving.  Don't be afraid of changing the world!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Life is a picnic

Have you ever heard someone say "It's no picnic? It means that something is not particularly easy or pleasant. There may be a lot of things we can say that about, but if we try, we just might be able to make picnics everyday. Seriously.

Over the weekend, I was in the park with friends and neighbors doing all of the traditional things - listening to music, chatting with each other, playing games, and of course eating delicious burgers, hot dogs, salads, and cookies. It was a picnic indeed!

"When things are a bit tense, when life is not going at its best, when the potential for disaster is just around the corner, when your enemies are all around you - and even staring you down! - that's when God lays out the red-checkered picnic cloth and says, "Oooo, this is a nice place. Let's hang out here together for a while. . .just you and me." That's what David Brazzeal says in Pray Like a Gourmet: Creative Ways to Feed Your Soul (a very good read, by the way). Brazzeal is giving us his idea of what Psalm 23 is all about. Yes, God spreads a picnic for us - if we let him.

Not a lot of money in your pocket? Health not what you would like it to be? You don't know a lot of people? So many excuses we allow to turn us in the negative direction, and it is certainly true that every day is not as pleasant as the next, but why give up? When I look back at yesterday, I realize how simple it was. We didn't eat fancy food. We didn't have live entertainment. We didn't spend a lot of money on sports equipment. We could probably have scaled back and had an even more simple get-together, and still have had a lot of fun. Life is a picnic, if we allow it to be.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fifty

Walking down an unfamiliar street in Buffalo, New York many years ago, it suddenly began to rain. It wasn't a light shower but rather a cold and pounding downpour. I wasn't wearing an overcoat and had no umbrella, so I was soaked almost immediately. My usual sunny disposition had turned to quite the opposite, but all that was about to change for the better.

Hurrying up the sidewalk with water pouring off of me, I looked down and there in front of me was a fifty dollar bill! Oh my! Suddenly the rain didn't seem so bad. If it hadn't been raining, surely that money would have blown away. I put it in my pocket and continued on my way.

Later when I mentioned my good luck to a friend, he said "But it isn't yours. Did you even try to find the rightful owner?"

This wasn't a wallet or an identifiable piece of property. It was US currency that someone had likely dropped without knowing, but since I didn't witness it, how could I possibly find the person it belonged to?

I'm telling you this story today to solicit your thoughts. Was I wrong to keep it? Was that a dishonest act? What would YOU have done?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

One person's trash

Something that one person considers to be worthless just might be considered valuable by someone else.  I think the old saying is that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  You might also look at it as always seeing something positive, even in something as seemingly worthless as garbage.
 
I know people who always see the positive.  I try to be like that myself.  I would much rather enjoy the everyday experiences and rejoice in the hidden beauty that is so often missed than to spend unnecessary time and money going for the lavish expensive things that so many covet but which all too often are really over rated.
 
There is so much good - everywhere.  All we have to do is open our eyes and our minds.  Now, I'm not saying we should wallow in dirt and filth, but we can appreciate the less extravagant.  We can also do something about the filth and make it so that everyone might enjoy it!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Yada yada yada

First of all, this is NOT a reference to a certain sitcom episode from the past. It's actually in response to what someone said to my face yesterday, about this blog. I was told that once these words were read daily, but now that it is "boring and empty talk about nothing," they no longer bother with it.

Goodness! I certainly don't want to bore anyone. I also don't see how my detailed posts about charities, hometown heroes, and ways we can all give back, could be considered as "empty talk about nothing." I asked for suggestions about how to make this better, but they said it wasn't worth it.   I should just stop writing.

Guess what? I have no intention of stopping. I mentioned this to my doctor on Friday, and he liked the idea that I was writing this. Another friend who says she reads this regularly, once told me that even if I only reached one person a week, that was worthwhile. I have said many times that I don't have all the answers, and my suggestions are just that. Some of you may have different or even better ideas (and you are always welcome to share them in the comments section below). I will never stop wanting to make a difference though, and if I can inspire others to join in, who wonderful!

So, if this is a big yada, yada, yada for you, share some of your own ideas. Let's make this more exciting!  Let's do some incredible things and make our world a little better each day of our lives!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Often is heard an encouraging word

Originally written by Dr Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas as part of a poem entitled My Western Home, back in the early 1870s, the line "Where seldom is heard a discouraging word," is familiar as part of the song Home On the Range. Around here we borrow from that idea but state it in the positive: Often is heard an encouraging word!
 
Why not?  It is so uplifting to raise others up too.  Speaking to cheer or to console or simply to refresh is such a positive experience - it warms your heart!  Besides, who needs all the negativity?  How much more rewarding it is to see the good in our world and to encourage more of it!
 
I really like looking our at the beauty and the positive energy in our world.  Dr Higley's poem has another very uplifting line later on too.  He writes

          "How often at night, when the heavens were bright,
                                                         With the light of the twinkling stars
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

In Remembrance

Two years ago on this date, a very dear friend of mine passed away.  During his forty-two years of life, he made friends wherever he went, traveling to 43 countries and 47 US states, he was a man rich in faith, in ideas, and in compassion for others.  I hope the entire world will remember him with love, as I most certainly will remember him.

Great women and men live and die every day, doing marvelous deeds and making a difference in our world.  So many of them are never acknowledged.  That's not why they care - why they give back so much, but it would be nice if they could be remembered.

In Ecclesiasticus (called Sirach in some Bibles) it speaks of our ancestors in chapter 44 and says of them "Some of them have left behind a name, so that others declare their praise.  But of others there is no memory; they have perished as though they had never existed; they have become as though they had never been born, they and their children after them. But these also were godly men, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten; Their offspring will continue for ever, and their glory will never be blotted out.  Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name lives on generation after generation."

Say the names of those we know.  Say Wilson, Teddy, Bill, Mary, Fay, Richard Jonathan, Eddie, Cindy, and Brian.  Say the names of the others too.  Think about all who have made a difference.  Hold in your mind the good memories of all who worked for good.  Of the ones we don't know and have never heard about, be aware that good women and man are always among us, and their hard work helped make a better world.

Pause for a moment today and help me remember my friend, and I will remember yours.  Please feel free to add names and positive memories in the comments section below.