Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some more of my favorite quotes

Once I started this yesterday, a bunch of additional quotations came to mind.  There are really a lot of profound things being said.  Here are some more -

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." –Maya Angelou

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." –John Lennon

"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." –Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take." –Wayne Gretzky

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." –Mark Twain
 
More things to think about.  Perhaps some of you will act on these.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Some of my favorite quotes

Sometimes people say things that are so profound, they are quoted over and over again.  These are some of my favorite inspiring thoughts from some folks you may have heard of -

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." –Benjamin Franklin

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try." –Beverly Sills

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." –Henry Ford

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." –Albert Einstein

"It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years." –Abraham Lincoln

"If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough." –Oprah Winfrey
 
A few things to think about today.

Monday, April 14, 2014

It was on a Holy Monday

It was on a Holy Monday, just one year ago, that Mom entered into eternal life.  I can recall everything from that day and the day before (Palm Sunday) just like it was now.  It's amazing how some things stick with you. 
 
I especially remember the wonderful nursing assistant who, seeing that Mom was in distress, asked my sister and I if we might step out for a few minutes so that she could put some lotion on Mom.  (I found out later that this angel was actually assigned to a different ward that night but came and did this on her break because who had really clicked with Mom and wanted to make her comfortable).  When my sister and I returned to the room later on, the nursing assistant told us she had given Mom a sponge bath and rubbed her down with lotion.  It was obvious too that she had combed her hair and put a dressing gown around her.  I'll always be grateful to this lovely lady who prepared Mom's earthly body for what turned out to be its final hour.  I really think it helped put Mom at ease, knowing that she was "presentable."
 
Oh and I have memories of the night before when Mom was anointed with holy oil and prayers were said for her.  She leaned over to the priest afterward and said "you're going to preach at my funeral, right?"  It amazed me at the time that Mom seemed to suddenly be full of energy and she went on to tell the priest that Abide With Me was her favorite hymn.  We would sing it at her service a few weeks later.
 
My aunt died in Holy Week two years ago and then Mom died in Holy Week last year.  It might make this week especially hard to deal with.  I'm going to use the time though to center on the good things - the positive things - the things that make a difference.  I had such a wonderful mother and I am grateful to her for all she did for me.  I'm grateful too that she is at peace and that I have so many warm memories to carry with me, not just on Holy Monday, but always.  Thanks be to God.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Challenged Athletes Foundation

Sometimes I stumble across the most wonderful organizations or events because some wonderful people are doing wonderful things with them.  Here's an example:  I just learned about the Challenged Athletes Foundation because a friend of mine is involved in a fundraiser for them.  More about that later.
 
If you where born healthy with all of your body parts in order and no illnesses to slow you down, you might not have ever thought about how much some folks would like to participate in sports and athletics but can't for lack of equipment.  I'm not talking about a baseball bat or a ball.  If you have special needs, you just might also need special equipment.  Adaptive sports equipment like basketball wheelchairs cost up to $5,000, while running prosthetics can cost more than $30,000. That's just part of it.  Only one in ten physically challenged people participate in sports and the main reason for that is they simply don't have the resources they need to succeed.
 
Using those special basketball wheelchair can require some instruction.  Learning to swim when you lack a limb (or limbs) requires special coaching.  Insurance typically doesn't cover these expenses. Challenged athletes may very well want to participate in athletics and feel the rush of competition, but they face a major obstacle. The Challenged Athletes Foundation is around to help.
 
My friend Bill McCarty is helping CAF.  Truth be told, he helps a LOT of different causes.  The man is a saint.  I'm not sure how he finds the time or energy to do all he does, but this one is incredible.  CAF needs big dollars because of the high costs involved in the grants it provides.  I'd love to give you great detail, but there simply isn't space here to do it justice.  I do urge you to visit their website at http://www.challengedathletes.org to find out more.  There is a lot of information there including many ways you can get involved.
 
Now, about Bill's fundraising efforts that I mentioned back in the beginning.  You can help him!  Click HERE to go to his personal secure fundraising page.  You can donate any amount from $5 up and it all helps him reach the ambitious goal he set for himself of $6,000.  Tell your friends too.  This is a great way to help a great organization.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

No man is an island

For some reason, when I awoke this morning, I could hear Joan Baez in my mind singing

No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man's joy is joy to me,
Each man's grief is my own.

We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.


The message of course is a timeless one.  We need each other.  Simple, huh? 

In the Book of  Ecclesiastes it says "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe unto him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

How many of us feel alone though?  Is it the fault of the others is our world, or could we be doing something differently?  There is an story of a little boy who is having a tough time trying to lift a very heavy rock. His dad comes along and seeing him trying, and failing, to lift the rock, asks him, “Are you using all of your strength?” The little boy looks at him rather impatiently, and says, “of course I am!” “No, you are not,” replies the father, “I am right here waiting and you haven’t asked me to help you.”

Yes, it is wonderful to reach out to others.  It is wonderful to do things that will benefit those around us.  That's pretty much what we talk about here every single day.  It is important to note though that when someone does not reach out to us, it is okay for us to ask. 

In his letter to the Philippians, Saint Paul says "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."  How can I help you, AND how can you help me?  We are not alone.  We need each other.

If our strength were to be measured not by what we can do alone but by what we can do together, how would the world change? How might those changes reflect in our idea of caring and of being cared for?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday

Everybody gets excited about Friday.  Of course the reason is because many folks don't work on the weekend and for those going to school, that is almost always a Monday through Friday situation.  Yeah!  Friday is here!  I'm so happy!
 
Well I'm always ready for a good celebration and being happy for two days off from work is certainly not a bad thing, but shouldn't we be happy EVERY day?
 
Don't like going to school?  Perhaps you are not taking the right classes.  Hate your job or unhappy with the way things are right now at work?  Do something about it.  Perhaps it's time for a change.  Instead of rejoicing when Friday arrives, we should celebrate every single day of the week.  Mondays don't have to be a dreaded day.  We can have our Friday kind of happiness every single day of he year.
 
Happy days are upon us.  Let's see that they are ALL happy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

You'll never walk alone

There are less than 100 days until this year's AIDS Walk San Francisco in Golden Gate Park.  I was thinking about that last night as I went to bed.  My fundraising is going along nicely.  (Please click HERE if you would like to become one of my sponsors).  Thanks so very much to everyone who has donated so far!

At the beginning of the event each year there is an opening ceremony and the very last part of that is the singing of a song that has become an anthem for AIDS Walk more or less, but as I thought last night about the lyrics, I realized that it can be an anthem for each of our lives!

"You'll Never Walk Alone" is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, and it had a popularity back in the sixties when Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded it. We could all get something every day of our lives though out of these wonderful and encouraging words:

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone