Ending Well

For the past few days, I have thought that as my fiftieth birthday approaches and it is doubtful that I will have another fifty years on earth, how can I ensure that this part of my life is the best part of my life.

As I read the bible……. an instruction manual for me, there is no mention of retirement, you do what you enjoy until your last breath. That was an interesting revelation for me because we are taught to work hard and accumulate stuff forsaking the most important things in life that make for a happy and fulfilling life in my opinion.  Ironically enough these things do not cost a significant amount of money, and actually, most are free.

Things like meditation, helping others,  spending time with people you love both family and friends, spending time in nature every day and last but not least communing with God is just some of the things that I have found that enriches my life. Doing these things along with eating nutritious food and exercise on a consistent basis also improves my mental and physical health.

We never know what the future holds and how long we will be on this side of heaven, but we can make a difference every day. It may not be something……. in our eyes, momentous but a small thing like a smile, a touch or an encouraging word can change someone’s life without us realizing it.

I ask you…. What are the most important things to you?

Is it to accumulate more stuff,

Is it to buy the latest and greatest,

Is it to accumulate great wealth,

How about having power and status,

or Accolades from your peers

All these things were important to me at one time, but I asked myself at what cost?

The cost of my health mentally and or physically. The cost to my family by not having time with me because I was working long hours. The cost of not being spiritually maturity or enlightenment. There is always a cost……. is it worth it?

My humble opinion after fifty years of experience is that every day is precious and  I should live it to the fullest. I may live another fifty, but I may only live another minute.  The key to everything is moderation, we all have to work to pay our bills but giving up years of your life to a job or a business is not worth it, especially if it is something is not enjoyable or not fulfilling.

How do you ensure you end well……., Again I used to believe that if I worked hard and saved my money so that I could have a large bank account with many investments so that I will be able to live a particular lifestyle when I approach the later years of life.

A parable from the Bible sums it up beautifully……

Luke 12 v 13-21 NLT

Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?”

15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops.

17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’

18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.

Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.

19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come.

Now calm down! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

 

Magnolia in the sunlight
Magnolia in the sunlight

 

 

 

 

 

The Potter

HE is the potter we are the clay………Pain is inevitable, the struggle is optional. We all go through some kind of difficulty in our lives and when I ask why Lord do we have so much pain in our lives the answer I got was in order to build our faith and increase our praise. I have come to learn that worry and fret does not fix anything…it actually is more destructive to our mental happiness and destroys our peace.

Crying out to God asking him for strength to ride out the pain which in pottery its the hardening process. God will never give you more than you can bear… I know that when you are in it nothing can be worse and it feels like you will never survive but I am here to say…….With GOD’S help, you will make it through, and it will be your testimony the harder the trial the Greater the testimony.

In my life I have had some pain to the point of a suicide attempt, the pain seemed so unbearable, it seemed like it was no way out. I told myself I was no good….. worthless. All negative self-talk that is so unhealthy and is from the pits of hell. God does not make junk! As I read Psalm 139, David reminds us how much I am valued by God.

I hit rock bottom and did not have anywhere to turn at 4 am in the morning, I went on my knees and asked God to take the pain away to show me a way out. And he did, for some reason, I had my laptop with me, and I decided to open Facebook, and God sent and Angel in the shape of an old friend that I had not spoken to for a long time and lived in a different country. She sent me a message via Messenger inquiring why I was up in the wee hours of the morning and that she could not sleep. And she talked me off the ledge. We text back and forth for hours, and through her, I realized that God needed/wanted me here to make a difference and there is always a way out.

It has been a few years now, and I realized how foolish and selfish I was, I would have left work undone on this side of Heaven and inflicted, even more pain in hearts of all the people who love and care for me. Thank You, God!

There are a few things I want to reiterate……..When you are in pain,

  • Reach out to God in prayer…. Ask him to help you through your valley experience
  • Stop the negative self-talk….. Everyone is here for a reason you are unique and precious
  • Know that all will be well…… There will come a time that you look back it won’t seem as bad as it looks now.
  • Share your experience…… Help someone else that maybe going through a painful experience and need a word of encouragement.

It is sincerely my hope that I will help someone in their time of need…….. Peace and Be Blessed

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Ephesians 2:10 NLT
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Love…..What is love

I am no expert on the issue of love…. but we all can agree that there are many different examples of love.. God’s Love, A mother’s love for their children, A child’s Love for their mother or Parent. A Love that a man and wife share, even the love that one feels when you are attracted to someone… and there are many more scenarios and there are many more ways to mess it up with our expectations. It has been said before but it is worth repeating to be happy in this life we need to have no expectations, There is only one perfect person that will never let us down or will never forsake us and his name is Jesus everyone else is human and they will hurt us sometimes unintentionally but it will happen.

 When this happens the key to this is forgiveness. God forgives us everyday we need to forgive one another and to love one another. Even if the person is our enemy or if they hurt us badly we need to find a way to forgive them and ultimately….. love them. unconditionally love ……it is difficult you say…… I agree but if that is the example Jesus left for us that is what we should aspire to… Mothers Love your Children unconditionally. Dads Love your children unconditionally. Children love your parents unconditionally, Husband love your wife unconditionally . Wife you do the same. Brothers and Sisters love each other unconditionally and Love your neighbor. As I was reading my devotional this morning one of the many verses about how we need to treat one another came up as the verse of the day and it is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:15. ” See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.”  Forgive easily, love unconditionally and control our expectations.  Blessings always

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Father’s Day

Mom, Dad and Aunt Gen

On this and every Father’s Day since the passing of my beloved dad…. I reflect on how fortunate I have been to have  had an exceptional dad. In December it will be two years since he went home and there is not one day that have passed that I have not thought about him. As I said earlier he was exceptional dad and a phenomenal human being.

Even though I am not a Father, I salute the Great Dads out there. I asked myself who makes a good dad? If we use our heavenly father as an example we all fall short but we can try to emulate his characteristics.

Oh Father in heaven is

1. Loving

2. Compassionate

3. Understanding

4. Forgives

5. Heals

6. Giving

7. Caring

8. Accepts

9. Righteous

10.Gracious

11.Kind

Just to name a few. (if I missed any please post)

As I look back my dad left a great legacy where he tried and achieved all of these characteristics. This is why I KNOW that I am BLESSED to have called him father.

I ask the fathers out there what Legacy are you leaving for your children?

Remember children learn from us and emulate us as they grow up. Keep this in mind always………

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there. Have a GREAT day . Peace

Life with Death

The other day I was driving by a cemetery and had a stong feeling that I should stop.

While walking around the grave stones I felt this over whelming sence of love and peace. All the graves were decorated with wind chimes, figurines of angels and other objects even bottles of liquor depicting item that the love one once loved or enjoyed.

Death seems so final to us that are left behind, but in actually our departed love one is at peace and are at rest.

Even though it is difficult for us to say goodbye… We can show love in our own way whether elaborately decorating our love ones head stones or just remembering them fondly.  I feel they are with us as we go about our day-to-day life.

One of my favorite poems is by Henry Scott Holland,

All Is Well

Death is nothing at all,

I have only slipped away into the next room,

I am I, and you are you,

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still,

Call me by my old familiar name,

Speak to me in the same easy way which you always did,

Put no difference into your tone;

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be the household word that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity,

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well.

My First Blog

This gentleman and his dog watching life go by….
Suns Out Guns Out !
Getting some exercise while having fun.
A couple of Young ladies getting some rays…..
Being at peace using Yoga as a medium.
Enjoying the sights and sounds…

As I embark on a new and exciting adventure into social media, I asked the holy spirit to guide me and to lead me in whatever direction I should proceed. This is not comfortable to me but i embrace it like a hunter would embrace a porcupine. They say the more you do it the easier it will become. With Gods help it will become easier.

This weekend was incredible the weather in South Florida was Hot and Humid but it was wonderful on the beaches…. I decided to go to Deerfield beach with a buddy of mine that I have known for all my adult life. We went to a local burger joint called Charm Burger, they make an excellent charbroiled burger with a secret sauce…. yum. We got there after noon and the small place was packed but we were lucky enough to get a parking space in front of the door and got a table easily.

We then headed to the beach Sun, Fun and beautiful people… Lots of people out enjoying the beach weather. With Camara, Cigar and Ipod in hand I set out to capture some images that spoke to me….

Life is what you make it as

someone once said…. Even though we all have issues try to accentuate the positive and walk away from the negative drama of life…. Be Well.

Friends

Water Buffalo, Keep in cool in the mud pit……

Why is it important to have friends? This question reminds me of a meeting I had with my guidance counselor in high school… I went to see him because I felt I was not able to make good friends. At the time I was shy and insecure. He gave me an assignment to go to downtown Montego Bay, Jamaica and position myself in the front of Woolworth department store and introduce myself to anyone that happened to walk by.

Two friends giving each other the eye….

I could not get up the courage to complete the assignment, but the reason he gave as to why people need friends is that friends help in times of need. The 1985 song by Dionne Warwick & friends song comes to mind, “That’s What Friends Are For”. Comes to mind every time I think of why we have close or best friends.

The challenge I have faced though is to discern which friends are good friends that I can count on, and which friends are bad news… As Proverbs 18:24 says There are friends who destroy each other but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

Another revelation I had about friendship was that to attract good friends, one must be a good friend. A good friend that is reliable, dependable, trustworthy, a confidant, a shoulder to cry on, an encourager, a supporter, never a judge and someone you can come to get an honest answer.

Love Birds showing some LOVE

I came across some quotes on friendship…

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” – William Shakespeare

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” – Helen Keller

“You can go through life and make friends every year – every month practically – but there is never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. These are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.” – Alexander McCall Smith

“Bird Feeding”

In analysing my life, I have or had some wonderful friends and I cherish their friendship, and I have had some toxic ones that I am happy we are no longer friends. Some I needed to forgive in order to move on, others it was important that I forget them.

Friendship is a two-way street like any other relationship, if you’re so called friend is taking more than they are giving, does not have your best interest in mind, or is sucking your peace its time to move on.