Archive for May, 2015

Who Stands by YOU????

Posted: May 18, 2015 in World On The Edge
By Taliespin, MorgueFile.com

By Taliespin, MorgueFile.com

In the life of each of us, there are a few people we can count on. For some of us it’s our spouse, or children. For others it’s a good friend.

What is it that causes us to set those people apart from others?

Is it that we are certain they have our best interests at heart? That at a given time, they put us ahead of their own self-interests?

Some people are users; they like us because they need something from us. Mostly, we’re able to see that, but sometimes, not. Sometimes, we’re fooled—and often disappointed.

Turn it around. Do we hang around some people only because we need/want something from them?

This is a test of character. Character that is, or isn’t, LOVE in action. Because we all know that LOVE means action, not words. There are people who can “tickle our ears” with what they think we want to hear; but they are not people who will stand by us, regardless. Let the first wind come–a wind that requires them to step forward and actually stand up for us–and they are nowhere to be seen.

Who will stand up for you?

Video pics by Stawberrypatch1

By kconnors, 2013, MorgueFile.com

By kconnors, 2013, MorgueFile.com

I’ve been working¬†on a new novel for months, and now, I’m finishing up the¬†final draft.¬† It’s working title is “Something in the Water.” It’s a mystery, in the deepest sense.

The main characters are farmers, tillers of the soil. Boring characters, you say? Well I say, Think again.¬† Put a flashlight on the life of a farmer and his family and you’ll see some mind-blowing action. Ups and downs that would keep Superman on his toes.

I’ve had to research quite a bit for this novel because I don’t live on a farm and didn’t grow up on one, though farming was, and is, a huge part of where I live. I’ve had to research digging wells, irrigation systems, and peanuts; Hydraulic fracturing and Williston North Dakota, the Chattahoochee River and Creek Indian lore, Birmingham, Alabama and steel, the actual sale of human beings and babies–and more. Let me say with humility though, after all the research, I am loving my characters!

I love the older farmer, the steel man, who would stoop as low as he has to, to get what he wants–and does just that when his land and family are threatened,

I love his handsome son, the high-minded man, who marries a woman for convenience and finds he’s not as high as he thinks he is.

I love the handsome man’s boy, who discovers a skull by the nearly-dry river, tucked in the roots of a dying tree—a skull that propels both the steel man and his high-minded son to come to grips with particulars in their flawed natures. I love that skull, too! And that it actually has a voice through other characters.

I love the boy’s new mother, who he hates; and his unusually intuitive younger sister, who he loves.

I love that the characters are so…well, human. I love that they often fail, that they fall hard, and some get back up. That they are wise, and misguided; lovable, and hateful, compassionate, and downright cruel.

What I’ve¬†learned so far in writing this book, is that¬†everyone’s life necessitates Faith, especially a farmer’s.

Faith in the Nature of the Earth, knowing it can put him on the verge of personal destruction through¬†events like floods and droughts–as well as feeding his family and producing food for the world.

Faith in his own Nature as man, realizing he is flawed and can fail–but that he is also strong and resilient.

Faith in God, that He will overshadow with grace and mercy any destruction caused by floods and droughts, human flaws, or failures.

I’ll let you know when it’s completely finished. Until then, here’s a little dirt from around the Chattahoochee.

by DuBoix, 2012, MorgueFile.com

by DuBoix, 2012, MorgueFile.com

This is our time. Yours and Mine.

We might have been born some years in the past, or in the future.  But we were not born then.

We are here now. Today, in this particular world.

Our life is NOW.

This is Our Time to make a difference.  And we will, one way or another. It may be a good difference or a bad difference, depending on whether we base our time here on Truth, or Lies.

But it counts.

We may make a difference in a very personal and singular way, with only one person. But if we give our loyalty, kindness, and  love to that one person; he may give the same loyalty, kindness and love to another person, or to many people. And in turn, they may pass it on, too. A real domino effect.

And it counts!

We may not be someone who likes to work up close with others, but we work anonymously on the sidelines, taking no credit, no facebook publicity, no bows, at all.

It counts.

We may be people who pray for others, those we know and those we don’t.

It counts.

We may raise our children to love God, to love themselves as creations of God, and to treat others with respect.

It counts.

OR

We may not give, but only take. We may not work for anyone except ourselves. We may allow our children to lie and bully others. We may never give the problems of anyone else a passing thought.

All that counts, too, but in the opposite way.

Let’s make a difference in our time, in our world, that will not hinder, but benefit ourselves and others. So that when we leave our time in this world, we’ll have left it better, not worse.

What’s Hurting You??

Posted: May 13, 2015 in World On The Edge
By jclk8888, 2015, MorgueFile.com

By jclk8888, 2015, MorgueFile.com

We’ve all had days when everything seems to go wrong.

Maybe we’ve had years when we think everything goes wrong.
And when it does, maybe we constantly cry, or grumble, or act like toddlers–because what else can we do? We can’t change it.

Maybe we can’t change it. Many times that’s true. But can we change our ways of looking at it? Absolutely!

If we are going to try to view our situation differently, that means something deep within us will need to change first.

And that something is our faith.

First: Realize that every situation on earth is temporary– our joys and our pain.

Second: Realize we are not alone. As the song says, Everybody Hurts.In fact each one of us on earth is meant to feel another’s pain. (pardon the political expression)¬† We do that with empathy, or compassion. Some people, of course, have more compassion than others, but we need to try to think of others as we¬†would think of ourselves.

Third: Place our faith in someone much bigger than us–God. And then, give our pain to Him.

Here’s what God says about that:

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
–Isaiah 43:2

By Clarita, 2006, MorgueFile Photo

By Clarita, 2006, MorgueFile Photo

Aren’t you amazed at the brilliance of people around us? Smart people who push advances along in science, technology, medicine, physics, and a multitude of so much more.

But are these people necessarily wise?

Intelligence is not the same as wisdom.

Think of someone you consider wise. A parent, or grandparent? A counselor or teacher? A spiritual leader? Do you think they became wise because of their brilliant minds? Or is there something else that makes a person truly wise?

A person may be born with genes of high intelligence. But we are not born with wisdom. We discover wisdom for ourselves, usually after a journey through something dire, a path which must be our own–no one can take it for us.

Is there a better teacher of compassion than one’s own experience of hard times? Is there a better way to learn humility than to make a mistake?

When we face an adverse situation, such as illness or the death of a loved one, we often think about what LIFE actually means.

Of course, not ALL people grow wise from hard times–some grow mean, bitter, and revengeful. So what is the difference?

Could it be spiritual grounding, our belief in God who loves us, who shows us the way, and graces us with strength enough to cope with, and conquer, difficult circumstances?

Today, there may be loads of brilliant people, and surely we have many more advancements in all fields, but in our long history as human beings, it is only wisdom, coming by way of spiritual grounding, that allows us to advance through our struggles.

The following is a very old song, written in 1851 by Stephen Foster, who is known as “The Father of American Music.”

Praying for A Change??

Posted: May 11, 2015 in World On The Edge
By dpawats, 2004, MorgeFile.com

By dpawats, 2004, MorgeFile.com

There are times when we go through anguish in our lives. We may feel abandoned and alone.

We may have lost a loved one. We may have lost a job. We may have ruined ourselves in addiction, or in anger or jealousy, destroyed a relationship. We may have a child or parent or spouse who is sick, and we are the caretakers. Or we may be ill ourselves with a disease that has changed our lives forever.

We may drop to our knees and shout for God to help us, but see no change in our situation. All seems hopeless.

And then…..

A voice tells us, “I love you.” A hand we didn’t expect reaches out for us, holds us, dries our tears.

In the lives we live as human beings–all of us will experience pain in some way. The important thing to remember is we are loved by God.

The remedy for our troubles will come from our Trust in God.

And then….

“He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth.‚ÄĚ Hosea 6:3

IMG_5553Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday! And congratulations to those of you who are mothers, and to the mothers you had.

If you are a mother, you know that Love–as in “Mama’s Love”–is not a noun with a possessive adjective preceding it. It’s an action, one that lasts a lifetime. I know this from loving my own children. But I also know it from the love of my mother.

I was a shy child, always I wanted my hand in the hand of my mother. And her hand was always there. Sometimes not physically–after all, I had to grow up, be courageous, lose my timidity. She helped me do that. She saw that I loved to draw and gave me art lessons. Everything I drew or painted, she was proud of and showed it off–especially to her Bridge Club, a group of ladies who ended up playing bridge together, once a week for fifty years!

But still, the idea of her hand in mine, and the knowledge she would be there for me, no matter what, was pasted into my thoughts. It gave me security. SHE gave me security. She gave me confidence in myself.

And she prayed for me, and for our family and friends. I remember kneeling around her bed at night for the rosary. Many times I wanted to do something else. For those who are not Catholic, the five decades of the rosary usually end with a prayer to the Blessed Mother, “Hail Holy Queen.” But not for my mother! She went on, with prayers to St. Jude for the sick and hopeless, prayers to St. Michael for our protection, prayers to the Holy Spirit that we might have courage, and on and on. And me? I used to pray for the phone to ring!

My mother was a beautiful woman—really. She received many compliments for that, but she knew people, too. She knew when words were just show, and when they were sincere. “People will sometimes tell you what they think you want to hear. Use your head to determine the truth.” Not to be taken in by everything I read or heard was another thing she passed to me.

My mother had an ability to read people. And sometimes I thought she read them a little too harshly. She was honestly compassionate, but occasionally, she dug her heels in when it came to who I was allowed to be around, or date. My mother had standards, and in her mind, people would either accept her principles, or –should I say?–depart from her company—because she changed her deepest principles for no one. One more characteristic she set into me.

As far as her Faith–it was simple. Simple, yet astounding at times. She grew up Catholic in the Protestant South, one of only three or four Catholics in her high school. She never denied it. She never shrank from it around her Protestant, and Jewish, friends–and she had many, caring about each one. But it was her church she loved and was faithful to, the same little white church I grew up in. One more precious gift–my Faith. So, thank you, Mama. You were and always will be, my Rock.

Can We Stop Time???

Posted: May 7, 2015 in World On The Edge
By impure_with_memory, 2015, MorgueFile.com

By impure_with_memory, 2015, MorgueFile.com

When people say, “You can’t stop a river from flowing to the sea,” they are usually talking about a force beyond their control–Time.

One definition of Time: A measure in which events are ordered. All of us experience this measuring because we all have a past, we live in the present, and will continue to our future. The certainty of time is that we will grow older, our children will grow older, along with our houses, cars, clothes, the food we buy.

Time is also the¬†measure of durations of events and the intervals between them, such as a day at work or school, a football game, a movie or a play.¬†Sometimes we experience moments when we would like to stop time, especially if our team is winning and we don’t want the other to get ahead.

But only when we die does¬†the time of¬†our life on earth stop.¬†The one certainty in human life is that one day it will end. Except some of us live recklessly, as if it won’t.

By recklessly, I mean we haven’t taken the time to think about why we are here in this span of time, or why we are here at all. In other words, what is our purpose?

The purpose of everything created is decided on by the one who created it. God created us.
He created us to be alive NOW, and at no other time. And He definitely created us with a purpose in mind.

We are set in this particular span of time to work toward that purpose, which is to love and serve others, because when we do, we are loving and serving God.

Today we live in such a needy world. There is so much we can do to serve those who need us! So, let’s make our time here valuable.

freewallpaperfor.me

freewallpaperfor.me

Most people believe in angels, and that God created them, but many don’t believe in the devil. Yet the devil was created by God before God created Man.

Frankly, especially today, I don’t see how it’s possible not to believe in the devil, who is evil itself. We don’t have to go to the Middle East to find Satan in action—because he’s certainly here, too—-but what is happening there surely points a finger at personified evil. Consider the recent beheadings of Americans, the crucifixion of Christian children and the burning out of their eyes, the raping of women, burying people alive, destroying their homes, stealing, torturing, defaming, and on and on!

Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.– 1 Peter, Chapter 5:5-9

The devil hates goodness, and goodness is all about God.

So, what is the nature of Satan’s game?

The devil attacks us in our complacencies, where we are, through what we love. And sometimes the devil has a very attractive face–one that’s hard to resist. He lures us by our addictions, the things we think most about, the things we’ve tied ourselves to. He yanks on the chain of those addictions, leading us further and further away from what is good, to what is evil–until we become his devoted ‘pet.’ Then he’s got us just where he wants us.

No, we don’t want to hear this. We say, “Look, I am who I am, and who I am is okay.”

Well, that depends. Because we weren’t given life on earth in order to fulfill ourselves. Believe it or not, each of us has a greater mission than our own existence. There is a reason for our having been born. God knows our mission even if we haven’t yet discovered it. And it has nothing to do with evil, and everything to do with good.

To determine what is good for us requires an informed conscience—an objective conscience, based on what we know to be true. We have to be able to stand outside of ourselves and look into the mirror of what we are becoming. And then, we have to (pardon the expression but I can’t think of a better word)… ..we have to have balls enough to admit it.

The Devil is a liar, who will use any means to get to us–flattery is one of them. That misguided axiom we hold to–“I’m okay, you’re okay no matter what I do, or what you do” is one of his tools. We see it growing day by day in our present society.

The word Satan comes from the Hebrew verb satan meaning to oppose, to harass someone.The word devil is derived from the Greek diabolos meaning an accuser, a slanderer.The Bible says that in the beginning, God created Satan as a good angel, as a beautiful cherub called Lucifer. Lucifer had a superabundance of spiritual gifts, he was also endowed, as we are, with the gift of free will. God left him free to choose good over evil, and, as we know, he chose evil, rebelling against God and taking one third of the angels (now referred to as demons) with him into rebellion.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. —Revelation 12:7-9

These angels irrevocably chose through their free will to rebel against God and not to serve Him. When we do the same in our lives, Satan would be the tempter, the one to bring out the fallen nature in ourselves, the one to assist us in tripping and falling, the one to turn us from God.

How can we say he’s not real? And how can we honestly say that we haven’t personally learned a thing or two from him?

Video by discordiancell, 2010

Snowbear, 2009, MorgeuFile.com

Snowbear, 2009, MorgeuFile.com

When you prepare for an action, how do you gear yourself up? We could learn a lot about preparing from Bumble Bees.

At rest a bumblebee’s body temperature will fall to that of its surroundings. If it wants to fly the temperature of its flight muscles must be raised high enough to enable it. What does the bumblebee do? It shivers. Sort of like we do when we are cold. This shivering can easily be seen in a grounded bee when her abdomen pumps to ventilate the flight muscles. And then she’s up!

If we want to succeed in something, we need to prepare ourselves. If we are involved in sports, we train hard. If we want a good job, we educate ourselves. If we want to go on a great vacation, we plan it. If we want to be successful parents, we learn patience. And if we want to play a musical instrument, we have to practice. (Can’t wait for you to see the video below!)

But above all the training, education, planning, patience, and practice, there is an even greater preparation, and that is the sincere trust that God will lead us in our endeavors, all of our endeavors no matter how big, or small. We can achieve this through prayer.

We don’t have to be on our knees to pray. We can pray anytime, anywhere, in any circumstance. Our prayer does not have to be rote, or long, or complicated. A sincere “Jesus help me,” or “Lord lead me,” or any heartfelt words that link us to God, is enough. So when you want to do something beyond yourself, and are shivering like the Bumblebee, PRAY.

I simply couldn’t do anything without prayer–I mean that literally. I know many of you feel that way. But for those who haven’t tried it, I have one word. DO. And keep doing it. Why? Because prayer is a conversation that opens, and then continues, our relationship with a God who loves us and wants us to love him back.

For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy. – Saint Therese of Lisieux