Wisdom For The New Year!

New Year Greetings To All

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and you have fully recovered from any and all ill effects of 2020, including any severe health issues from COVID-19.

Even though we’re not fully done with COVID-19 yet, I’m praying the worst is behind us and the best is yet to come in 2021, God willing!

I originally posted the content below in January 2018. It was my very first post! I’m re-posting this wisdom at the beginning of each new year as a fresh reminder for all of us.


I drafted these nuggets of wisdom below in December 2018 to share with our amazing and talented grandchildren. I put a copy in each of their Christmas stockings and encouraged them to read the one corresponding to each day of the week. Not a very exciting stocking stuffer, I know! My hope and prayer is they will take this wisdom with them, apply it to their lives as they grow, and even share it with their friends.

It didn’t take long to realize these nuggets of wisdom might also be beneficial for anyone desiring to make positive changes in their lives, no matter their age.

I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than reading and meditating on these daily nuggets of wisdom each week and committing to live by them. I believe the world would be a far better place if each of us just started here!

Full Disclosure: Each of the daily quotes below are from sources other than my own pea brain! I cannot take credit for originating them, however I did add some content to each.

So, even if you don’t believe in the power of prayer, you can’t go wrong making the “Sunday Prayer” below your very own every day of the week, let alone on Sundays.

It’s a prayer written by General Douglas MacArthur to his only son during World War II. I’ve reworded it a bit to personalize it.

ENJOY!


Daily Wisdom For 2021

Sunday:      O Lord, make me strong enough to know when I am weak and brave enough to face myself when I am afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Make me a person whose wishes will not take the place of good deeds; who will know Thee, and that to know myself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead me, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let me learn to stand up in the storm; here let me learn compassion for those who fail.

Make me a person whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; who will master myself before I seek to master others; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are mine O Lord, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that I may always be serious, yet never take myself too seriously. Give me humility, so that I may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength.

Then O Lord, I will dare to whisper, I have not lived in vain.

Monday:       Job security is your ability to produce. Never stop learning and giving your very best effort every day.

Tuesday:      Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. Don’t take your God-given talents and abilities for granted. No pain, no gain!

Wednesday:  Moral & ethical character is the will to do what is right, as God defines right in the Holy Bible, regardless of personal cost. Sometimes, doing the right thing hurts!

Thursday:    What’s popular is not always right, and what’s right is not always popular. One bad decision can lead to a lifetime of regrets!

Friday:         You can never be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, if you’re with the wrong crowd! Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

Saturday:     Run from evil and hold onto what is good. Sin has consequences!


Parents and grandparents, please bless your children and grandchildren with a copy of this daily wisdom. Encourage them to use it as a moral compass as they grow and navigate through this crazy world we live in.

You can grab a downloadable copy of “Wisdom for Daily Living” by clicking on the “Free Resources” tab.

Please share this blog with your circles of influence because…Wisdom Matters!

May God bless you and your families, and may God Bless America!


Continue Spreading The Word

Just a heads up to all my Christian brothers and sisters.

I’ve been reading and actually enjoying The Pour Over – they summarize current events from a Christian perspective.

The tone is informal and emails are short, a great addition to my news intake.

You’ll get a welcome email after signing up to get a feel for it and can unsubscribe anytime if it’s not for you!

I hope you’ll check it out and share it with others if you find it to be a credible and valuable resource for staying informed about what’s happening, and focused on what matters.

And, please take a minute to sign up for future emails and blog posts HERE. Thank you!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

How Then Shall We Live?

I am not ignoring or trying to make light of the seriousness of the coronavirus. However, I sincerely don’t believe many of the mayors and governors in certain states are sincerely following the “science” by again shutting down small businesses, schools, and places of worship, enforcing curfews, cancelling major sporting events and other social gatherings, and mandating the wearing of masks EVERYWHERE except in our homes!

What the politicians in these states really seem to be doing is trying to control the actions and activities of people using fear and the threat of fines and jail time as their secret weapons to build a fully submissive society.

I believe most Americans are mature enough to use common sense and do the right things when dealing with the colds and flu bugs we face every year.

This isn’t the first time Americans have faced and survived a major crisis, and it probably won’t be the last!

The following article from C. S. Lewis was written in 1948 after the dawn of the atomic age.

I have replaced the words “atomic” and “bomb” in Lewis’ original writing with “COVID-19” and “coronavirus” to allow his words to speak to us in light of our current circumstances.

I have also inserted some bible verses, hopefully as a source of encouragement to those of us who put our trust in the Perfect Creator of the universe instead of our imperfect politicians.


Wise Words from C.S. Lewis in 1948

In one way we think a great deal too much of the coronavirus. “How are we to live in a COVID-19 age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the coronavirus was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics (and vaccines-my add); but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which is already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your Book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16 – NIV – my add)

A person’s days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5 – NIV – my add)

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by COVID-19, let that coronavirus when it comes find us doing sensible and human things — praying, working, (attending school in person-my add), teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, (attending church and social events-my add), chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about coronaviruses. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 – NKJV – my add) AMEN!


Daily Prayer: Lord, set us free from the fear and anxiety that reigns over our world, our culture, and in our own hearts right now. Help us to take our anxious thoughts captive and to put on the mind of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the One in whom we must ultimately trust! Help us to demonstrate that trust in our lives by living out the reality of a non-anxious presence in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and most especially in our homes. We can only do this with Your help! As always, we are utterly dependent upon You to speak Your Peace over us and to calm our souls! May we be a walking display of the hope that lives within us through Your Son, Jesus Christ, and by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen!


Spread The Word

Just a heads up to all my Christian brothers and sisters.

I’ve been reading and actually enjoying The Pour Over – they summarize current events from a Christian perspective.

The tone is informal and emails are short, a great addition to my news intake.

You’ll get a welcome email after signing up to get a feel for it and can unsubscribe anytime if it’s not for you!

I hope you’ll check it out and share it with others if you find it to be a credible and valuable resource for staying informed about what’s happening, and focused on what matters.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Life Is A Gift. . .Live It Well

With the preliminary results of the Presidential election in, I’m guessing half of the nation are jumping for joy and the other half are not so happy, to say the least!

Since the final results of the presidential election won’t be determined until the electors of the electoral college make that final determination on January 6, 2021, as Yogi Berra would say, “It ain’t over til it’s over”.

Contrary to what many believe, just because a bunch of news outlets have determined the winner, that does not make it official. There is an official process the electors of the electoral college must follow after each presidential election.

The electors meet in their respective states, as well as in D.C., on December 14th to cast their votes for president and vice-president on separate ballots. After the electors cast their ballots, they are sent to Washington, D.C. where they will be counted in Congress on January 6th, 2021. The results are announced that day, with Inauguration Day following on January 20th.


However, this post is not about elections, it’s about how we choose to live our lives each day regardless of our individual circumstances and what life throws at us.

After reading the email message below sent to me by a high school friend, I just had to share these words of wisdom with you so you could share it with all your friends and loved ones.

I also wanted to share it with you now because I am on “the back nine of my life” and God only knows when I’ll finish it!


The Back Nine Of Life

I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL & WAS READING FAST, UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE.

I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD. MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK. READ SLOWLY!

AND THEN IT IS WINTER

You know… time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young and embarking on my new life.  Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

But, here it is… the back nine of my life and it catches me by surprise… How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

 I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is… my friends are retired and getting gray… they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me… but, I see the great change. Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant.. but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I fall asleep where I sit! (I’m not quite there yet!)

And so… now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the back nine, and I’m not sure how long it will last… this I know, that when it’s over on this earth… it’s over. A new adventure will begin! (Praise Jesus!)

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the back nine yet.. let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the back nine or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…. so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember… and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

Life” is a gift to you.  The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.

Make it a fantastic one.

LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY!

DO SOMETHING FUN! 

BE HAPPY!

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”.

LIVE HAPPY in 2020 & beyond !


May our lives be a blessing to others while we are able. God is the only One who knows when we’ll finish our “back nine”. May we glorify Him with all we say and do.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters, the Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!

Living Life In The “Fast Lane”?

A friend of mine sent me the story below. After reading it I knew I had to share this wisdom with you.


Whispers Or Bricks?

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door. He slammed on the brakes and drove the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”

The young boy was apologetic. “Please mister…please, I’m sorry…I didn’t know what else to do,” he said. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop.” With tears dripping down his face, the youth pointed to a spot around a parked car. “It’s my brother, he’s rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.”

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and may God bless you”, the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message;

Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice: Listen to the whisper… or… wait for the brick!


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

How To Change The World!

I’ve been a follower of Dan Miller’s 48Days newsletter since the early 2000’s. His message last week, which I posted below, is well worth sharing in light of all the unrest still going on in cities across America.

Just as an aside, if you are a struggling or wannabe entrepreneur, his website is worth checking out. And, if like millions of Americans right now, you are out of work and wondering what the future holds for you, I highly recommend taking a look at his website.

The vision of 48Days is to foster the process of imagining, dreaming and introspection, to help people find their calling and true path, and to translate that into meaningful, purposeful and profitable daily work.”


I Want to Change the World

In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey distinguishes between two circles. The first is our Circle of Concern. This includes a whole range of things – global warming, the state of the economy, the current pandemic, societal attitudes including racism and bigotry, the apparent collapse of political systems, the demise of the American church, and more. The actual list will depend on the individual, but the important thing is to understand there may be little you can do about these large scale issues since they are outside your influence. Devoting energy on them may be a waste of time – the equivalent of yelling at the television – and our energy is thus depleted.

Our Circle of Influence will be much smaller but includes the things we can actually do something about.

People who focus on their Circle of Concern – because they have very little direct control – are often reactive and maintain an attitude of victimization and blame.

The extent of your control will obviously be related to your power – if you’re the President of the United States, the chairman of NASA, the CEO of General Motors, or the Pope, you may have far more influence than the average person. But the key is to focus our energy on those things we can influence. And thus we can in fact initiate effective change. And when we do this with wisdom and decisive action, we’ll find our Circle of Influence will increase in scope. Conversely, if all your energy goes into things you cannot control, your Circle of Influence will shrink. Not only will you waste your energy and perhaps destroy the very resources needed for positive change, you’ll feel frustrated, drained of energy, and others will see you as a negative force to be avoided.

And yes, this presents a very dicey balance. If we assume our Circle of Influence is small and thus we have no power or impact, we can justify inaction on large scale issues. We can bury our heads in the sand, protect our tiny space or escape to a place of isolation. So what do we do with problems like lack of clean water in foreign countries? What about challenges of adequate food or housing right here in the United States? What do we do when desperate immigrant families are locked up when approaching our borders? How do we correct racism and police brutality?

If I watch TV and scream in anger at the injustice or join the incensed mob in breaking windows in my home town, I may be acting righteously in my Circle of Concern, but the likelihood of positive change is slim.

On the other hand, if I focus my energy on working with my neighbors on cleaning up the local park, or leave an extra tip at the newly reopened restaurant, or provide work for an immigrant family, or supply a hand-up to a young black lady who just got out of prison, or be an example of health and optimism in the face of a pandemic, I can expand my Circle of Influence, and create a small positive change on those larger issues.

When I spend my mental, emotional and spiritual energy serving others and adding value to their lives, rather than tearing things down, I can create a tiny ripple toward the major challenges in the world. And each of us is equipped with unique skills to accomplish that. We don’t all need to find positions with nonprofits, church or political organizations; rather, finding work that engages God’s greatest gifts to you is likely your best way to improve your life and, subsequently, help improve the lives of your family, your friends, the members of your community, and ultimately, the entire world.

I’m reminded of this inscription on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in Westminster Abbey, dated 1100 A. D. (I used this with permission in No More Dreaded Mondays)

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits,
I dreamed of changing the world.
As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change –
So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country,
But it too seemed immovable.
As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt,
I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me,
But alas, they would have none of it.
And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, if I had only changed myself first,
Then by example I might have changed my family,
From their inspiration and encouragement I would then have been able to better my country,
And who knows, I might have even changed the world.”

Quotes: On Changing the World

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” – Confucius

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 – NLT)

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 – NIV)


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Never Say “I Can’t”!

Inspiration, Motivation, Determination, Perseverance, Courage and Guts!!!

That’s what you’ll witness in the short video one of my high school classmates sent me.

I’m sure everyone of us is more than tired of all the emotional, and maybe in some cases, the physical pain being caused by this invisible coronavirus pandemic. Not only in our own lives, and the lives of our loved ones, but in the lives of most everyone in the entire world!

Just as my high school classmate encouraged me to share the video below with everyone, I’d like to encourage you to do the same. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a keeper for those moments when things don’t seem to be going so well.

When you think you’re having a tough day, view this video for some inspiration.

Such a struggle, yet always a smile on his face! A real Superman!

By the grace of God, one day in Heaven, that little boy will run with perfect new legs into the arms of Jesus and give Him a big hug with his perfect new arms and live happily ever after in eternity with Him! “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4 – NLT)

Things may not be so bad in our lives after all! And, even if they are, a new perfect body and new perfect life are waiting for you too if you’ve given your life to Jesus Christ and have received Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

Please take some time to remember and pray for others you may know who are struggling to make it through another day. While you’re at it, say a special prayer for the little boy in the video even though we don’t know his name or where he lives.

God bless his big heart, and God bless you and yours as we weather the storms of the coronavirus.

And most of all, let us not forget to count our blessings each and every day, no matter how big or small they may be. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2,3 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

 

A “PERFECT” Song In Fearful Times

I pray this short post finds you, your family members, and your friends in good health and free from the ravages of the coronavirus as it continues to wreak havoc around the world.

If you believe in the power of prayer, please continue to pray with me and the millions of people around the world who are asking for God’s grace, mercy, peace, protection, and healing in the midst of so much fear, stress, anxiety, and sickness.

This week, instead of consuming your time with a lengthy post, I want to share a song with you that has touched my heart to the core. As often as I’ve listened to this song, I still find a great deal of peace and comfort in the words and music every time I play it!

The name of the song is “PERFECT” rearranged and sung by a lovely young lady named Philippa Hanna. I hope you’ll give it a listen. It’s about four and a half minutes long and I’m betting you won’t regret the time spent listening.

Enjoy it by clicking HERE.


Praising the Prince of Peace, ALWAYS.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Look For The Blessings

“IF YOU ARE DISTRESSED BY ANYTHING EXTERNAL, THE PAIN IS NOT DUE TO THE THING ITSELF, BUT TO YOUR ESTIMATE OF IT; AND THIS YOU HAVE THE POWER TO REVOKE AT ANY MOMENT.” – Marcus Aurelius


Count Your Blessings – A Great Story!

Two women who had been friends for years but had lost touch ran into each other while out shopping one day. In an effort to catch the other up on her life, one of the women said, “We were blessed with the fire in the attic last year. The fire didn’t destroy that much, but the water and smoke damage was extensive.”

“Why that’s terrible!” the other woman replied.

“Oh, no! It was a real blessing,” the first woman countered. “You see, the house had been in my husband’s family for years and was badly in need of renovation. The fire forced us into doing what we’d been putting off, and once all the repair work was done and we were able to move back in, it was just like moving into a brand new home.”

“Oh, I see. I guess that was a blessing after all,” the other woman agreed.

”A big one. Then another blessing came when my husband, Jack, tripped over some wire left by one of the contractors and broke his leg in three places.”

“Oh, come on now. How could that be a blessing?” the astonished friend asked.

“Because while we were at the hospital getting his leg set, a tornado came and blew the house away.”

“Oh, no!” the friend declared, and then a moment later added, “Okay, I understand you were spared, but losing your home like that, why that’s nothing short of tragic! I frankly don’t see where you find the blessing.”

“But that was the biggest blessing of all, you see, because after we cleared away the debris left by the storm, we found a small underground cellar where my husband’s grandfather had secretly kept an antique coin collection worth a sizeable fortune. We always knew there was a collection and that it was valuable, but until that tornado revealed it to us, no one ever knew where it was. Now we’re rich!”

As the story illustrates, even those experiences we deem calamitous can carry the seeds of a greater blessing. It is often only in retrospect, however, that the benefit reveals itself. And whether or not it reveals itself and how quickly it does so, is dependent upon only one thing: our own individual perspective. We determine whether something will be a blessing or a curse by the way we choose to see it.

Life is an ongoing process, and most of us meet something at almost every turn we wish were different. Just because something is not turning out the way we want, doesn’t mean it won’t.

While the story of the two women may sound far-fetched, we all know people who have suffered tremendous setbacks only to look back years later and declare the experience to have been a blessing.

Become a hunter of blessings, actively seeking them out in every experience and person you encounter. No matter how bad a situation or person might seem, say to yourself and mean it, “There’s a blessing in this, and I will find it!” Follow this regimen for a while and you may very well discover that you’ve poked a hole in every problem and sent every misery packing.

When the apostle James wrote to the members of the early Christian church that they should “count it all joy,” he had a good reason for doing so. He understood, as did Benjamin Franklin nearly 2000 years later, that life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it. And when you take life as a blessing, it tends to become one.


At this point someone might be asking, “How can staring death in the face be viewed as a blessing?”

That’s an excellent question!

Some might answer, “At least the pain and suffering will finally be gone.” And that is certainly true. However, it’s a very shallow and hollow answer when the reality of eternal death is ignored.

Christians, those who believe in and trust Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord of their lives, view death as the ultimate blessing because they know where their eternal destination will be:

“Then I saw a new Heaven and a new earth; for the first Heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’

 And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8)

We determine whether something will be a blessing or a curse by the way we choose to see it.

How do you see your eternal destination?

If you don’t like what you see, it may be time to make some serious changes now while you still can!


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Wisdom For The New Year!

New year greetings to all,

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and you have fully recovered from any and all new year’s celebrations.

After a long rest, I’m ready to ring in the new year with more wisdom-filled blog posts each Sunday in 2020.

I originally posted the content below in January 2018. It was my very first post! I’m re-posting this wisdom at the beginning of each new year as a fresh reminder.


I drafted these nuggets of wisdom below in December 2018 to share with our amazing and talented grandchildren. I put a copy in each of their Christmas stockings and encouraged them to read the one corresponding to each day of the week. Not a very exciting stocking stuffer, I know! My hope and prayer is they will take this wisdom with them, apply it to their lives as they grow, and even share it with their friends.

It didn’t take long to realize these nuggets of wisdom might also be beneficial for anyone desiring to make positive changes in their lives, no matter their age.

I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than to read and meditate on these daily nuggets of wisdom each week and committing to live by them. I believe the world would be a far better place if each of us just started here!

Full Disclosure: Each of the daily quotes below are from sources other than my own pea brain! I cannot take credit for originating them, however I did add some content to each.

So, even if you don’t believe in the power of prayer, you can’t go wrong making the “Sunday Prayer” below your very own every day of the week, let alone on Sundays.

It’s a prayer written by General Douglas MacArthur to his only son during World War II. I’ve reworded it a bit to personalize it.

ENJOY!


Daily Wisdom For 2020

Sunday:      O Lord, make me strong enough to know when I am weak and brave enough to face myself when I am afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Make me a person whose wishes will not take the place of good deeds; who will know Thee, and that to know myself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead me, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let me learn to stand up in the storm; here let me learn compassion for those who fail.

Make me a person whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; who will master myself before I seek to master others; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are mine O Lord, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that I may always be serious, yet never take myself too seriously. Give me humility, so that I may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength.

Then O Lord, I will dare to whisper, I have not lived in vain.

Monday:       Job security is your ability to produce. Never stop learning and giving your very best effort every day.

Tuesday:      Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. Don’t take your God-given talents and abilities for granted. No pain, no gain!

Wednesday:  Moral & ethical character is the will to do what is right, as God defines right in the Holy Bible, regardless of personal cost. Sometimes, doing the right thing hurts!

Thursday:    What’s popular is not always right, and what’s right is not always popular. One bad decision can lead to a lifetime of regrets!

Friday:         You can never be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, if you’re with the wrong crowd! Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

Saturday:     Run from evil and hold onto what is good. Sin has consequences!


Parents and grandparents, please bless your children and grandchildren with a copy of this daily wisdom. Encourage them to use it as a moral compass as they grow and navigate through this crazy world we live in.

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See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

“17 Inches” – A GREAT Life Lesson!

Since we have grandsons who play baseball, this story quickly caught my attention. I soon realized it wasn’t really about baseball at all but about life in general and how we choose to live it.
Although I shared this article on our Facebook page earlier this week, I felt it was worthy of posting again. PLEASE  take the time to read it to the end. I promise it will be well worth your time!
Also, please share with your family and friends, children and grandchildren, anyone you know in a leadership position, and any coaches you may know,  regardless of the sport they coach.
No photo description available.

Ken Koenen

Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s (American Baseball Coaches Association) convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”…………“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause. “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? “

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline.

We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government. Our so-called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.

From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: “If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.”

Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it!

“Don’t widen the plate.”

Perfectly stated!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!