Who would have dreamed a matronly, middle-aged Scottish woman could have the nerve to leave all behind, forgetting her appearance and walk onto a stage to sing for a better life? Susan Boyle did. The sneers and raised eyebrows were quickly put to rest when she opened her mouth to sing. God had given her a great talent and she was going to let all know that what was under the facade was not what one could see…but if they listened, they could hear it.
Isn’t this so true of the way we look at people? We look on the outside, but God looks at the heart. He also bestows on people many gifts that can be used for His glory. Some people find that gift and use it wisely. Others never venture into the unknown possibilities…and the gift goes unused.
One day I drove to see a man that I had been told was a great stained glass maker. Wanting him to make something for me, I ventured out onto a long road that seemed to lead to nowhere. Soon I saw a little hut and a man who looked like “old father time” walked out. My first instinct was to just drive away. Had I done that, I would have missed some of the most beautiful glass work I had ever seen outside of a cathedral. When having a conversation with him, I learned that he prayed for his customers and God always brought him enough people to pay his bills and live comfortably. He loved his little place in the woods where he could produce for others beautiful glass art of which he had a great talent.
So it was with Susan. She never felt at ease with people, but she did with music. Her background had given her little self-confidence, but her music did. That was how she was able to rise above it all and face the audience with her talent on that first night on stage with the world watching. After the pressures of winning the talent show became too much, she had to back away for a while. Crowds of people, media comments and the burden of it all drove her into seclusion to find a renewed health. Once again she overcame and her albums of beautiful songs hit top sales.
Susan says, “ I’m a champion for those who don’t have the confidence to do things and don’t have a voice; the ones people tend to ignore…”
Find your gift…for all of us have something that God has given us. Seek it, pray for it…and use it.
It is my pleasure to present Susan Boyle in a tribute to her remarkable life. Enjoy!
Video Turn up sound
President George HW Bush called for a “kinder nation” and from time to time we will see evidence that there are many kind people in the world. The shame is that most stories we see on TV or on the internet are of the violent and outrageous.
I began looking for some actual videos of kindness…or pictures to prove that it does not matter to what nationality or race one belongs…KINDNESS is kindness…and it crosses all boundaries.
I read about a woman on an airline who had a crying 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. A woman offered to help and hold a child throughout the flight. The mother was so grateful.
I understand this well in that I had three children on an airline from California to Florida. My daughter, who was a baby, cried off and on the entire trip. My sons tried to ignore it and curled up on the floor to sleep. That, in itself, was a no-no. I’m certain the other passengers were beside themselves with hostile thoughts, but no one wanted to reach out to help and make things better. We all lived through it…but barely. One does not realize that it is sometimes impossible to silence a tired, upset child who is used to his/her routine, safely back at home in the bed.
Another act of kindness was a young 13-year-old who went outside in the rain with an umbrella to help an elderly gentleman get home. There is definitely hope for the next generation. This young man made his mother proud…and he should be also.
I happen to be an animal lover. It is easy to love all animals. It is not so easy to love the down and out who may or may not have made their own bed and are now lying in it. Nevertheless, these are exactly the kind of people to whom Jesus Christ reached out …the beggar, the harlot, the unclean and pathetic. He calls us to do the same…not just during Christmas when we have a warm, cheerful heart… but always. We may be the only face of “Christ” that they will see…or the only hands and heart that shows God’s love.
Below is a video that calls for people of all walks of life to reach out to a fellow human being…or an animal that is in distress. Saving a life or making one just a little better is what we need today…this Christmas…and always. Bring your kindness to someone today.
Mathew 25:40 “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
We often hear that a person who is creative is highly developed on the right side of the brain. An analytical person uses the left side most frequently, so science tells us. Hopefully, there are some of us who use both sides of the our brains. We are told that we use a small percentage of what the brain is capable. It would be fascinating to know what we really could accomplish…should we put our mind to it!
My talents, or lack of, are definitely in the organizational arena, but I know that I am the happiest when I am creating something special. This could be in the realm of art, design or simply setting a table for dinner. Food preparation is also a creative skill that many have developed to our culinary delights. Some of us dabble in many of these areas, but find that there are a few that give the most pleasure.
What are your skills and talents? Perhaps you should think seriously about what areas God has given especially to you , that others say they cannot attain. It would be a shame to waste these or not use them in the way our God, the Creator, wanted for you. You are a unique individual and in that way, you are quit special with many gifts and talents.
When we think of creativity, we also think of the word “creation” for the word actually means: “the action or process of bringing something into existence.” For God Created the World would be one example.
Recently I wrote a blog about a young artist in England who said that his biggest thrill was to actually put something on canvas and know that it is the only one in existence…for only he made it.
Recently, I set aside some of my writing and dived into learning more about video creation. I know that it is easy these days to whip out a camera and push the record button. Actually producing a video with special effects and creative skills is a challenge. Understand me, the video below that I’m sharing, is simply a use of a video producing program that I have been trying to understand. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will accomplish something more profound. I would love to learn animation, so I’m open to any suggested programs that some of you think are great for a novice.
In this video, I am showing some of my abstract art work, and also promoting the books that I have written over the last few years.
Thank you for sharing in this beginner’s efforts at video production:
Turn up sound.
Training of U.S. Navy Seals
Life is extremely hard at times. As shown above, the training of U.S. Navy Seals is some of the toughest in the world. Most people will not have to endure this type of hardship, but some things in life could parallel to what one has to do to survive physically, emotionally or mentally. Sadly, we find out too often that one of our Seals has been killed. All the training in the world can’t prevent such tragedies…whether Seals or other branches of military service.
Take a few minutes and listen to some excellent advice on how to face “the sharks” that come your way. It will not be easy. Life is not easy. Nevertheless, the rewards can be great. The character that is built can last a life time.
So…what does “making the bed” have to do with it? Listen to an excellent speech and find out.
Naval Adm. William H. McRaven
Are you running to the gym or cutting back on your calories because you have some special goals for the New Year? We are told in the Holy Scriptures that WISDOM is the thing we should most desire and seek for our lives. “That’s really odd,” one might lament, “I’m not certain I even know what wisdom is!” It is generally defined as “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.”
Read what Proverbs 8:4-12 says about WISDOM
…“To you, O people, I call,
and my cry is to all that live.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
acquire intelligence, you who lack it.
Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right;
for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to one who understands
and right to those who find knowledge.
1 Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold;
1 for wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
I, wisdom, live with prudence,[a]
and I attain knowledge and discretion…”
After reading this, it appears that a bank account or a super- fit body are not in the running for a happy life without wisdom. We are told to be prudent, which means to haveSo often we flirt with life without a serious thought to where choices will take us or deliver us in the end. Our resolves are mostly broken until next year, leaving us feeling empty and unfilled.
We will be wise as we consider our goals for the New Year by asking God to give us wisdom and prudence when dealing with life’s situations, our choices, and our goals. It is important to not only be given these qualities, but to have help in knowing when we have chosen wisdom in our decisions above all else. All in all, we are told that these attributes are better than “jewels” or riches. “NOTHING can compare” to having them in our lives.
Are you still saying “Really?” If we believe that the Holy Scriptures shows the right way to live and the goals we should seek in our lives, then YES, having wisdom in the New Year may be the best holiday gift one could receive. Silence your heart. Put aside all distractions and listen to that small, still voice of calm.
VIDEO: Let WISDOM speak to you. (Full message from Proverbs 8) Happy New Year
I have a blogging friend in the UK. We enjoy reading each other’s blogs and find friendly ways to agree and disagree. Stephen has nominated me as for a quotation challenge and I, in turn, have nominated bloggers who are worthy of note. (Thanks, Stephen)
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God. Hans Urs Balthasar (Priest from Switzerland 1905-1988)
- Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. Sir Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the UK. born 1874- died 1965)
- As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963 35th President of the United States who was assassinated at the age of 46.)
I always like quotations that are uplifting, challenging and inspirational. If they are politicians, I may not be on the same thought wave…but appreciate any words that have meaning to me personally or to this troubled world in general.
Here are the rules for the Quotation Challenge and my nominees, who have blog sites worth notation. If you have not seen these sites, please take a look. You’ll be glad you did.
1.) Either once a day for three days, post a quotation, or post all three quotations at one time. It is your choice.
2.) Nominate and notify three other bloggers of the challenge.
3.) Thank the blogger who nominated you.
The nominees are under no obligation to complete this challenge, but it would be fun if they do. Plus, this will introduce them to a whole list of new readers.
My NOMINEES for the Quotation Challenge are:
Over the last couple years, my husband has taken up woodworking. He’s getting quite good at it, having made a nice tray for his sister and smoothing down some beautiful old wood. I have been cooking and learning a new skill….home made dinner rolls.
Therefore, we thought it would be fun to combine the two things we both enjoy for your reading and watching pleasure.
Most of us do not have a great deal of patience. It is difficult to wait for a ride; stand in line; stand-by for a phone call…and much more. We want things to happen immediately…if not sooner. We have heard the saying “Patience is a virtue” and a virtue is defined as moral excellence.
Most people would not consider their morals as excellent….unless it is the fact that they take the high ground concerning violence, honesty, morality control and the like. Patience is not what we think of as part of being a moral person, but it is in many ways. Probably one thinks of it more as an attribute. The person who pushes the elderly lady out-of-the-way because he/she is impatient or belittles a child because one does not want to be interrupted is bordering on the immoral…because those very acts are closely related to a lack of patience and human selfishness and arrogance.
Our dog, Gracie, has learned patience. She knows that “You have to wait” means that she cannot go or do whatever it is she wants. Often on hearing these words, she will lay down but constantly watches to see if the time for waiting is over. If waiting becomes too long, she may raise her head; cast her eyes back and forth…and wait some more. Children have a harder time with waiting. This may be because the parent gives in to a look, a cry, or a whine. Actually, I sometimes have trouble with this myself where Gracie is concerned. There is something about those pleading, big eyes…well, you know!
Giving in, however, does not teach the patience virtue where people are concerned. We have much to learn from our animals. Oh, if it were easier. Perhaps blood pressures would be lower; stress would not be a problem and we might all live longer.
At this point, you may be saying to yourself, “When is she ever going to finish this writing?” Aye, my friend, your patience is to be rewarded a little further with a visual of animal’s patience with their human masters.