For those of us who love football are generally either lovers college teams or Pro teams. While we may watch both, there is usually a stronger pull towards one or the other. For me it is college and the playoffs are just around the corner. I enjoy all the bowl games and then there is the fight for No.1 team of the nation.
When Linda G Hill posted her prompt for this weeks fun she chose a difficult word for some but for us from the SEC, it was a no brainier to find a use for “hairy”. For the University of Georgia it is the name of the cheerleader mascot – Hairy Dawg. The actual bulldog’s name is Uga. Kind of fitting, don’t ‘cha think.
The college season ends with the championship in January giving one school bragging rights for the year. Although for the past few years its been an handful of teams with 2 prominent choices, Ala and Clemson. They again are the top 2 so we will see who actually ends on top when it is all said and done. For me I am pulling for Ala. but only because they are from the SEC. For the SEC conference, teams pull for themselves first but then they pull for the conference and since we lost to Ala, we will be pulling for them in the playoff.
As these game bring pout the fighting spirit in all of us, we must make an extra effort to be kind. Win or lose, its a game. There will be next year. Take a clue from the players on the field after the game, they shake hands and encourage each other.
Life itself can be played like on a ball field with respect and encouragement for each other. Even though you may be fighting for the golden ball, remember to fight with kindness. You can fight together and share the final victory.
I have Christmas all over my house, even in the bathroom. No room left undecorated.
The woodland forest in the bathroom with it’s pine cone hedgehogs cuties.
While Christmas giving has gone way overboard in some cases and in my belief the true meaning for Christmas revolves around Christ’s love for us, there is the fun side and history surrounding the fat guy in the red suit. So today’s fun story is about good ole Santa.
According to history, in 280 AD they was a young man born to a well off family. They lived in Patara, Asia Minor now known as Turkey. His name was Nicholas. While he was still a young man, his parents died and left him quite rich. But Nicholas was a gentle soul and was aware of those less fortunate than he. So he would secretly give gifts to those in need. Now in research I was uncertain if he was a monk or later became a monk but regardless he was christened as St. Nicholas and was favored by children and sailors. Not sure how all that happened but he was prayed to for safe journeys on the seas with many legends and stories of his help and appearances.
During the 16th century in Northern Europe the stories, legends and traditions became unpopular but they still wanted a deliverer by which presents came at Christmas. So the UK came up with Father Christmas or Old man Christmas and France had Pere Noel. Other countries like Austria and Germany had Christkind which was a baby with golden hair and wings that represented the baby Jesus. Early settlers in the US used the Christkind idea but revised the name to Kris Kringle. Later Dutch settlers in the US combined the old stories of St. Nick with Kris Kringle and he became Sinter Klaas which later became what we now use as Santa Claus.
In the 19th century the poem The Night Before Christmas was written making him an elf with 8 tiny reindeer. Coca Cola has always had wonderful pictures of full size Santa on their cans.
This is a very special time of year where good laughter, great love and cheer is spread to all. So in the Ho Ho Ho laughter of Santa I wish you the very happiest Christmas. And in the love of Christ of this wondrous season I wish you peace and good will. I have an ornament on my tree that shows even Santa shows a love and gentleness to baby Jesus.
May you share the gentleness and love of both of these Christmas joys and share them with others through the gift of kindness, the best gift of all.
My mother’s mother was a real southern jewel. She was a beloved 2nd grade school teacher and even on her meager salary she would find a way to help buy one of her students a pair of shoe or winter coat if needed. As pitiful as we pay our teacher today, back in the 40’s I can only imagine. She retired when I was in early high school when she said she turned 65 but we all knew she was probably older but refused to admit it. The courthouse that had all the birth records of her home town had burned down along with many records of the area. But her retirement was a big shindig where all the school attended along with former students, the local paper and of course family.
Her name was Charlotte but everyone called her Lottie or Miss Lottie, even her grand children. But she was NOT a grandmother. Don’t get me wrong, she loved her grandchildren and called us her grandchildren but she was not a grandmother. “The very idea!” I think that was her favorite saying. She had lots of great sayings but coming from the south, we do come up with some interesting ways of putting things. Sometimes words didn’t even need to be said, you just got “the look”. How many of us remember “the look”. I don’t think I ever mastered it, my kids could see right through me. But Miss Lottie’s was so strong you could feel it from the back, your hackles would rise. You didn’t even have to see it, you just knew you were getting it. Such fond memories.
Well, I am here to tell you that you don’t discount those memories you had with you grandparents as you never know when you may need one of those memories. One that tickled me the most were her clothing sizes. When she was young and thin I am sure she wore a size 12 but not in her grandmotherly state. So when we bought her clothes, we cut the tags out and told her they were size 12. And as we get older our feet spread and we gain a little weight, our shoe size changes. It’s part of aging I guess, at least that is what I have noticed, but I spent 40 years on a concrete manufacturing floor which probably didn’t help.
My grandmother loved this type of house slipper that looked very similar to a Japanese style slipper. I remember they were dark blue in color with darker swirls in the fabric and it was the only kind I saw her were. But she insisted she wore a size 7, yea, no. She was easily in an 8. But she would buy the 7, they would be too tight and bind her feet. So she would take her brand new slippers and cut them to allow room for her foot. I remember asking her one time(and only one time) why she did that. Her answer was that her feet swelled at night and she needed the extra room for the swelling. I returned with the question of why not buy the next larger size. Well, not only did I get “the look” I got “The very idea! Then how are they going to fit when my feet are not swollen?” Indeed, I thought quietly to myself as I nodded approvingly to her statement.
I laugh at myself now as I remember this story because I am using her “technique” until the swelling goes down in my right foot. After my first surgery, I was fitted with orthopedic inserts for my shoes to start using once I started walking to add the extra support I would need for my feet. The inserts do take up room and it is no issue with my left foot as it has minimal swelling left. But the right one is still pretty swollen and my foot would not fit in the shoe. So, Miss Lottie, I am using your method and it seems to be working fine. I removed the laces and the tongue and then slit the top just like she use to.
So the moral of the story is don’t fully discount the stories of your grandparents as they may be beneficial to you one day. Life is always a journey and memories sometimes are the things that help us make it through.
And in closing I remind you of the joys of laughter in helping you heal. Share your joy, laughter, kindness with others this holiday season. This can be a difficult season for some so always be kind. Reach out with a gentle touch to show others you care. It may be the only kind thing that person gets that day.
We have always heard that the measure of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There are many forms of beauty from nature, or art, or music, or people, or animals…even in life itself.
Take for example any living thing and the ability of today’s technology to break down anything to a single cell…and the parts of that cell, the amazing beauty of creation. I have had conversations with people who don’t see this or who don’t see the reality of creation as I do. I even had one gentleman tell me he didn’t do the “G” word. I had to bite my tongue to keep my composure with someone who gets offended in saying “God”, really. How very sad. It is my opinion that God is very real and the creator of all things. It is also my opinion that He created all humans in His likeness to also be creators in the many forms we love to express and show the beauty of all creation. And I believe all of this to be a profound truth.
There is great beauty in truth. While this may be dipping into the philosophy realm a bit, truth like beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder as well because the world has muddied the waters of truth so to speak. For me, truth is perceived by each individual’s perception of what truth is to them and that is the basis on how they run their life. For me, I base all truth on God’s word. In the bible, John 37:37, Jesus said “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” And Pilate asked Him “What is truth?” Clearly not on the same page as Jesus but on the side of the muddy waters.
I am not eloquent with words or a great biblical teacher but I do study the word of God and believe it to be the truth. We are now in the Christmas season, whether you believe it or not the season’s purpose is to celebrate Jesus’s birth…and our salvation from death. Because without Him we are forever doomed. He was born for a purpose – us – and he died for a purpose – us. It has always been about us, the people, the believers in God. We are God’s beautiful creation but we are not allowed to see God so he can’t come help us. So God sent us His son who can help us. He stands between us and God as a buffer. I ran across a picture of beautiful piece of art that explains the relationship between man and God so well that I felt lead to share with you here.
Jesus is kneeling in the arms of the cross while hanging onto God’s hand as He reaches down to us who are drowning. That is a truth we all can live by. We can’t get to the father without the son. And they both want us to succeed in reaching for the hand of salvation. I encourage you to celebrate the season of His love as God sent this gift to us and for us.
As you enjoy the love of the season, remember to be kind. Being kind to someone who is also being kind is easy. We need to remember to be kind to those who may not be showing kindness at that moment probably because this is also a season of deep sorrow. Reach out with a word of kindness, a hand of kindness, or maybe a gentle smile. You just may brighten someone world. I enclose my favorite smile. It makes me smile every time.
Those of you who have been following me know that since August I have been having correct bone alignment in my feet. We corrected the left foot first. It is about 85% healed. So it took about 6 weeks before I could put pressure down on the foot and learn to walk again with the new alignment. It gives you a new appreciation for babies learning to walk.
I still get the sharp healing pains as the nerves are knitting back together as they say it will take about 1 year. Not a fun experience but part of the healing experience. In November we corrected the right foot and I have been going from bed to sofa with the help of a knee cart. Its nice to be able to get around without crutches but when you already have knee issues from challenges of youth, it can be painful.
The challenges of youth should be correctly called the stupidity of youth because as an adult you would never do these things. And with me being a tomboy, I was not about to be shown up by any boy. And since I was into horses, well now you have added in another factor of – “You did what?” For example – diving from the top of the hay loft into the pile of hay below. Was it thick enough to cushion our fall? Were snakes hiding in the hay as they often were? How about standing on top of your horse as he walked around the pasture with no bridle or saddle? And of course there were the neighborhood ball games with all the guys? And the list goes on. I am sure others have similar lists.
Yes so now in my mid 60s I am paying for those challenges. But doing OK. As I have stated before I have earned every gray hair, every wrinkle…and every pain. But I would not have changed a thing, well maybe one thing that still scares me to think about it to this day involving a train.
So this week’s challenge is to start walking without the boot. Its twice as difficult as the left foot has not fully healed so I am having balance/confidence issues. My goal is to be back in church before Christmas. I go back to Dr on Thursday so we will see. But regardless, progress for this challenge is being made.
So in this season of thankfulness I am ever grateful that I can walk at all and that I have been blessed with another day of life. So tagging in with jansenphoto TPC weekly challenge word of Challenge, I submit my challenge of walking and ask you to play along for the fun.
And as I always say, remember to be kind. Even though someone may not look like they are hurting, a kind word will ease those silent hurts that are deep within.
It’s that time of year where those who are not that fond of the holidays recognize the kindness push factor of the holidays. Even Charles Dickens wrote a story of flaming tongue vs gentle words with Ebeneezer Scrooge, with the moral of the story showing the value of kindness being much more valuable to the heart than the non-value of a flaming tongue.
The bible has only a few sections that warn of the wicked or meanness of the tongue yet the teachings of love and kindness filter all through the scriptures in some form. Galatians 5 is an example as it list the fruits of the spirit – love, joy kindness…etc. We have to be taught how to be kind. What?? Yes we all have a mean streak that has to be tamed.
Cecilia Bacon post today speaks very much on this along line with a “cause/effect” disclaimer of biblical teachings. A lot of us in my generation(baby-boomers) were taught a principle of common decency with scriptural truths called “The Golden Rule”. I remember it being printed on the school rulers we were given. The Golden Rules states – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Do you want people being mean to you? Then cause effect of that tells us we shouldn’t be mean or others will be mean to us!! It’s how it works. Have you watched children play and how some can be selfish and down right mean. If this behavior is not checked, it grows. Seen kids in middle school as they try to learn who they are. Wow.
James chapter 3:1-12 speaks profoundly about the wickedness of the tongue. How it is like a horse unbridled running a muck or the tiny spark of fire from the tongue can burn down an entire forest. 3:10 says – Out of the same mouth come praises and curses. The tongue is a part of the body that must be tamed and we generally don’t understand it’s power or pain until we have been consumed by the fire of someone’s spark.
Words are powerful and the actions that can go along with these words only increase their value – either good or bad.
We must learn to be kind, gentle, good, peaceful…etc. Due to situations in our life those things may not be taught to us and we may have no clue how to use the gentle side of God. But if you will just scratch the surface if the scriptures – that is what they breathe with every word. Love…for God is Love.
The quickness way to diffuse someone who is being unkind to you is to be kind to them. They don’t know what to do with it. But I promise, they will be watching you. They want what you have, they just don’t know it or know what it is.
Jesus was constantly taunted by the teachers of the Law because they didn’t understand Him. Deep down I think they knew who He was but they feared He was going to take away their life style. And that was not acceptable. But people who were hungry for His gentle nature and followed Him, learned from Him and taught others His ways. His ways are love.
So I challenge you who may not really understand kindness, gentleness, basic love and compassion to look for it. Its strong this time of year. Get infected with it. Its a sickness that can spread with the softest touch and can lighten the darkest mood. Let the light of Jesus shine through you and He will lift you from the deepest pit.
Remember that Jesus said “whoever does these small kind things to the least of these are doing it to me.” Let Jesus feel you hear you gentle words this season and feel the kindness only you can share.
Music is a form of expression that we all hear differently and march to using a genera that satisfies our very soul. What can sound like a soothing sound for some is a screeching sound to other. To some the beauty and technical prowess of the opera far out reaches other forms and is their genera of choice.
But other enjoy a more loud and instrumental form of music like you find in the rock bands.
Then of course you can not leave out the country genera story telling aspect of music.
But to me I find music in all of life. It can be found in the whispering pines as the winds blows softly through the needles heading to destinations unknown.
How about the sound of a babbling brook as it moves through the forest heading to the nearest river
Then there are those of us who love our talented pet friends who entertain us and makes us laugh.
But my favorite music forms of all times is the music you hear in the laughter of a child. Not much else is quiet as rich or fills the soul quiet as full.
But regardless of the genera of music makes you heart sing, listen to it intently. Breathe it in and let it fill your soul. And teach others about you favorite. You may never know how many of us share the same types that enrich our lives and make us smile.
And I remind you at the very special time of year the music of kindness. It too can bring a peace to your soul. Share it wide and far.
On February 2, 1941 was a normal day in the USA and a wonderful day for my parents. It was the birth of their 1st child, a sweet girl who grew to learn the salesman’s techniques so well she could have sold a freezer to someone living in an igloo.
Ten months after her birth, on December 7, the USA was rocked by the devastation of greed and destruction from another country who thought this was their path for world power. Why does anyone think this is a good choice to prove their dominance by killing many innocent people.
We as a nation, honor this Day of Remembrance, those servicemen and women and all current military for the protecting our country. We have many remembrances of this day still sitting on the bottom of the bay floor.
If all people of the world would realize the beauty of all of life, of all people and how we could all work together accepting each others differences and how to use them to make this a better world….wow. What a wonderful world this would be. Maybe someday…
Until then, I salute all of our military personal from the USA in hopes that they know how much they are appreciated and hoping that as this season approaches, many of them get the opportunity to get home, if just for the holiday.
And for other countries military personnel, may you all be safe this holiday season also with a chance to be with family.
If I could have my one wish for Christmas it would be the classic beauty pageant request for world peace, where we all live in love, gentleness and profound kindness. I am reminded of the wonderful concept of “RACK” – Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.
As you go through the season remember this concept and make someone smile.
I can see it…light at the end of the tunnel. I am optimistic I can make it. It has been a 5 month uphill battle of necessity but it is almost done. One last week of the knee cart, then one more week of walking in boot then on to real shoes. Yahoo!!
Left foot about 90% healed, Right foot soon to free of heavy boot. QC’s prompt on optimism is exactly where I am. I can see the end and optimistic that with therapy I will be back to normal…as normal as I can be at this point of my life. I am looking forward to spring where walks through the parks and forest can be done again.
I loved QC’s opening quote by Roy Bennett – “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett.
Life is a choice and life is what you make it. QC also stated the difference between optimism and pessimism and fully hit the nail on the head – Optimism is contagious while pessimism is infectious.
Think of how optimism can drive a car through rough times but pessimism will just deflate the tires.
The holidays is a hard emotional time for many. Recent tragedies can amplify those painful times. Reach out to those and give reason for optimism, give them hope to continue. Spread encouragement and kindness where you can as it breeds hope and optimism.
Do you ever really wonder what the Bible is? Where did it come from? Is it real, is it true? I have very strong, foot standing my ground beliefs to all of these questions and I think all of us need to think on these questions to figure out where we stand individually on these questions as it balances us on where our priorities lay.
My answers are – The bible is the very word of God, given to His prophets by God and the disciples to tell the world who He is, what His plans are, the history of His people Israel and how to prepare the entire world for His abundant love.
The month of December I am reading through the book of Luke and trying to stay to one chapter per night as there are 24 chapters which carries you to Christmas eve. On Christmas eve we as a family always read Luke chapter 2 to praise the birth of Jesus.
To help me not read too far ahead, I also add on the study notes at the bottom of the pages as they give you a way to wrap your head around what was happening then and how I can apply it to today. I use the NIV study bible, studying first the word and then referencing the study notes to help me understand what I am reading. And for me, each time I read the same passages I have read many times before, I get different insights depending on what is going on in my life at the time. The bible is a living document, ever teaching and ever loving.
Chapter 5:36-39 of Luke has the parable of the old wine skins verses the new wine skins and while I vaguely understood what they were saying I went to the study notes to see what they could explain to help me correlate to today. What the parable tells us is not to put new wine in old wineskins as they will burst spilling you wine onto the ground. We all understand that things get worn out but lets study that for a second. Wineskins were goat skins where the edges were tightly sewn together to create watertight bags. As the bag ages, the skin becomes hardened and less pliable. The aging process of new wine requires expansion from the gases created so you need a pliable bag, therefore, you need a new bag. If you put new wine in old bag, it will be stiff leaving no access or room for expansion and the bag will split spilling it contents.
What Jesus was teaching with this parable was the comparison of the Pharisees being too rigid to accept His new teachings of Christianity. The old teachers of the Law could not turn lose their traditions and rules to be able to accept the new approaches and structures Jesus was explaining to the people. How does that apply to us today? Well, we as Christians must always follow the word and be careful that our hearts don’t get so hard and rigid with our traditions that it prevents us from from accepting the new way of thinking that Christ brings. We need to keep our hearts soft and pliable, always ready to accept His teachings of life changing messages. You can never tell when he may drop an opportunity to share Him in your lap. Use wisdom, discernment and love in applying His truths so that others may want to come and learn.
Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that God’s love and showing of His love to all is compared in my mind like sweet succulent grapes hanging from the vine for all to enjoy and share with others – the Fruits of the Spirit. The top of the list is of course Love. Why love? Because God is love. My favorite of the fruits is kindness. To me you cant give kindness without love, so I always close with encouragements of kindness – for those needing it and for others to remember to share it.
Fruits of the Spirit = Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control