Archive for January, 2016

Photo by Clarita, 2008, MorgueFile.com

Photo by Clarita, 2008, MorgueFile.com

Are there people you would call “great?” How do you recognize greatness in him or her?

Some might say a person is great because he/she is powerful or famous or wealthy. That may have been the case in the ancient world, but not today.

A great person is one we can respect, someone who is decent and caring human, who shows love and acceptance equally. A great person is someone we can trust.

Do you want to be great? How do you do it?

In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.— Harry S Truman

Self discipline must surely be the first personality trait of greatness. The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. Persistence to the end for what one believes in.

This person of self discipline will not be a fickle man or woman who purports to believe one thing until something more politically correct causes him to change his mind. He or she will be someone who sticks to a standard of absolute Truth.

I think of a father or mother who will sacrifice whatever needs sacrificing to do what is best for their children. I think of a person humble enough to apologize for his/her mistakes and then set out to change those mistakes. I think of a giver, not a taker, a person who works untiringly for the good of others. A person who would give up his own life for someone he loves.

There are many so-called famous people all over the place, but they are not necessarily great. In fact, many truly great people go unnoticed in this life. They are not flashy. Their contributions to life are selfless. They may be quiet, unassuming, and their greatness may be known only to God. But isn’t it God who will ultimately determine who is great and who is not?

When Everything Changes….

Posted: January 13, 2016 in World On The Edge
Photo by DodgertonSkillhause, 2013, MorgueFile.com

Photo by
DodgertonSkillhause, 2013, MorgueFile.com

She recalled her life as a child, before she turned fourteen. That part of her past held no secrets, there was nothing to hide then. There was only the peaceful escape that came as soon as she shut eyes, when she simply unwrapped any first thought and let it go, seeing it spiral and dance like a striped, toy top spinning from the hand of her grandfather. The image of her grandfather followed many first thoughts when she was a child, but he’s been dead for years.

Back then, she’d been certain her thoughts she came from angels, those she talked with. Not only the stone angels in her grandmother’s garden, but other angels, everywhere, and not one looked the same. She laughed a lot then, pointing at nothing, and playing with children no one else could see. She opened her mouth to drink in colors, tasting red and orange leaves, purple dawns, dark velvet skies that sparkled with diamonds. She drew into her skin the softness of a breeze, and into her ears the symphonic twitter of birds, the sloshing of the lazy Suwanee, and the sweet sound of silence.

In time, she responded to conversations not yet had, and answered questions not yet asked. While her mother called her ‘peculiar,’ and her father lifted his chin and tightened his lips, her early childhood had been a wonderfully bright world, a world with no shadows–until she turned fourteen. Then it transformed into something colorless and dark as the slow-flowing river she stood in. —from Faithful, a novel in progress.–Copyright Kaye Park Hinckley, 2016

In our life journey, the  innocence we were born with will leave us. We will be broken in some way. There may have already been a time in your life when everything changed like it did for the girl in the paragraphs above. What did you–or are you–doing about it?

Of course, none of us wish for brokenness, but all of us will suffer in some way. What sort of action will we take when that happens? We might moan and groan about the trouble that has befallen us. We might strike out at others. We might wound ourselves up, like a tight ball of yarn, and wish the world would go away and leave us alone, leave us wadded in our misery.

The girl in the story above was betrayed by someone she trusted.  It breaks her for awhile, but then….well, when it is published, you’ll find out.

The point is there comes a time when, if we allow God’s grace to unwind inside us, our inner sight will change. We will make an attempt to understand how much God loves us, and when we understand that, we will see things differently. We will be ‘put together’ and able to surrender our lives to Him. And follow Him.

Our earthly lives are like jars of clay. They can be beautiful but they are fragile and easily broken, many times by our own sins. And of course, our lives do not last forever. The genuine treasure of this life is that it continues beyond the container of our bodies. It is not temporary, but eternal.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.–Corinthians 4:17-18

Photo by Pippalou, 2014, MorgueFile.com

Photo by Pippalou, 2014, MorgueFile.com

Every piece of music has a beat. Every human being has a beating heart.

Sometimes a piece of music is fast and frenzied. Sometimes the heart of a human being is fast and frenzied, too–when we’re worried, afraid, or excited. Sometimes music is slow, restful or quiet. The same with the human heart that keeps our life going.

The beat of music is called rhythm. Our individual lives have rhythm, too.

Rhythm is made up of sounds and silences. These sounds and silences are put together to form patterns which repeat to create rhythm. A rhythm has a steady beat, but it may also have many different kinds of beats. Some beats may be stronger or longer or shorter or softer than others. In a single piece of music, a composer can create many different rhythms. And in his or her life, a person can create and express many rhythmic beats as well.

God, our creator, made each of us unique, but in His creation of us, He gave us the power–the free will-to choose the beat, the rhythm, of our lives. The composition of our life on Earth is up to us. The sheet music of our life is what we show and give to others. We create it by the pattern of our attitude. Is our attitude toward this miraculous life that we possess positive or negative? Is the beat of it, good or not so good?

In this New Year, let’s step back and take a look at the rhythm of our life by reviewing our relationships with the ones we care about. And then let’s step up the beat. Let’s shake things up while we’re here until we positively affect those beloved hearts we treasure like a ball of fire!

Why Drag Through Life???

Posted: January 11, 2016 in World On The Edge
Photo by Prawny, 2014, MorgueFile.com

Photo by Prawny, 2014, MorgueFile.com

I often write about getting through the hard times, but what about celebrating the happy times? The great thing about being human is that we have the capability to be happy, to be filled with joy and to express it in celebration.

Each of us deeply desires JOY. Each of us has a need for CELEBRATION. Our human spirits are filled with those yearnings. But sometimes our busyness pushes them into a back corner, and we roll through life without taking the time for the joy and celebration–of ourselves.

But should we just drag through life as though it were a burden?

Our life alone is something to celebrate. And if we don’t believe that it is, it’s in our power to change it.

It’s possible we are losing the personal ability to be joyful and to celebrate–especially if we only look outside ourselves for amusement or entertainment to things that really have nothing to do with us, things that place us on the sidelines to watch. Celebration is something we do, not something to sit back and watch others do. It is participation, not spectating.

When we are entertained by someone or something, we are passive. We are receiving something, but not creating or doing something. On the other hand, when we celebrate we are active. We are expressing reverence or appreciation. We are confronting our personal world to give attention to the miraculously transcendent meaning of our life as a human being.

It’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
― Jimmy Buffett