In All Things Give Thanks

In All Things Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think the real reason is because Thanksgiving is a simple gathering of loved ones counting their blessings. No gifts, no cards, no extensive build up to the day, merely a day set aside to be grateful. How refreshing! In all the hubbub of the season we sometimes lose sight of the meaning and the why of the holiday. But on this special day, we find peace and blessings amid the chaos with family and friends. So as we gather around the table, let’s remember that we are too blessed to be stressed. Here’s a simple Grace that your family might use that captures the reason for the season! Thanksgiving Grace (all join hands and) This is a day for thanks. A day in which we see or hear or feel the wonders of the other moments of the year. This is a day for time. A day in which we think of pasts that make our present rich and bountiful. This is a day for joy. A day in which we share a gift of laughter, warm and gentle as a smile. Above all, this is a day for peace. So let us touch each other and know that we are one. For these and other blessings, we thank Thee, God. (Daniel Roselle from Graces by June Cotner   Wishing you and your families all the love, light, and laughter of this special day of gratitude. Thanks so much for your support and...
Two “Musts” for Thanksgiving

Two “Musts” for Thanksgiving

If next month is the time to be “merry”, this is the month to be grateful. Gratitude, being the lynchpin for a happy life, is the official celebration kicking off this holiday season. We don’t build a happy life being grateful during the Thanksgiving holiday or when things seem to be going well. We must develop a “habit” of appreciation throughout each day and each event no matter how we evaluate the situation. To encourage this practice of appreciation we must remember: “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Author Unknown Here are two powerful exercises you can do to build your gratitude into an everyday practice. 1 ) List building. Making a list is a powerful tool. Think, meditate and let yourself be caught up in the emotion of appreciation recalling events in your life. Here are a few list-builder ideas to help kick start a disposition of thankfulness. Be sure to identify by name and mentally thank each blessing. -5 most important days in your life. -5 most influential people in your life -5 talents that you have -5 loved ones who bring you joy -5 hardships that you have overcome -5 most important lessons that you’ve learned Being able to name and identify all things as “blessings” will open our eyes to the miracles of every day. 2) Instead of counting sheep to help you fall asleep, try thanking the Shepard for the many gifts that you enjoy. But here’s the kicker: count your blessings in alphabetical order! Not only does this build thankfulness but also tires you out putting you to sleep with a grateful heart...
Doing Your Best?

Doing Your Best?

Recently I ran across a question posted on a FB page, “How do you know that you are doing your best?” One of the respondents wrote that a good nights sleep was an indicator. I used to measure my goodness by the number of thank you notes that I received! Some people judge their “best” by what others think of them, “Did I get a good evaluation?” In the end it’s not the opinion of others by which we are judged, it’s God’s review that counts. Remember the parable of the Talents? The Master entrusts a certain number of talents to his servants and expects a return. The parable teaches us that God has endowed us with certain gifts and talents and expects a ROI (Return On Investment). How did you spend your time? How did you use your talents? How did you make the world a better place? Besides giving us the talents, God also gives us the opportunities to use these talents. I call them G-vites. As each situation in life presents itself, we can respond with one of two choices. We can accept the invitation to change, give, evolve and move deeper into the human experience to meet God. Or we can remain on the sidelines in the safety of the status quo, afraid to risk, afraid to invest our talents and time. God gives us many chances to invest using our abilities. God is inviting us to step up to the plate employing our God-given talents. Leaving our comfort zones we can venture into bravery, compassion, honesty, perseverance, hope, resilience, forgiveness, patience, faith, gratitude and...
Formula For a Life of Happiness

Formula For a Life of Happiness

Do you get confused with the pressures of everyday life – family responsibilities, work overload, social obligations, and the growing worldly tensions? Many times I feel my head spinning. Numerous factors pull us away from our real purpose of this earthly journey. Sometimes we just don’t “get it”! How often do we have the best of intentions to have a wonderful day or meaningful life, and before we know it we have gotten lost, distracted, or confused and end up bungling the job. God knows this about us. Without God’s help we are never going to get the point of life, never going to “get it together”. But God is never going to leave us floundering. To make sure that we don’t miss the point of this life, God gave us the teachings of Jesus to use as our foundation, the “never-fail principle”.   His whole teaching boils down to two points. First if you want to be happy, love your neighbor as you love yourself. It’s the only way of living that brings happiness and ensures that we “get it” the real meaning of “why” we are here. This seems like a paradox: we get a life by giving life. We get love and happiness by loving others and reaching out to make others happy. This is the true and lasting happiness that doesn’t leave us, even in the face of trail and tragedy.   The second point is that if we want to be happy, and are willing to do all the tough things that real love requires, we have to stay connected to God, the source of...
The Pain That Just Won’t Quit

The Pain That Just Won’t Quit

In each of our homes, Joe and I have proudly flown the American flag. Following the protocol we lowered the flag to half-staff to honor the loss of life in the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. After two weeks we raised “Old Glory” to full height to symbolically get back to “normal”. But we, and especially the families who suffered these horrendous losses will never get back to “normal.” Grief weighs heavily on us. Even time fails to heal some grief. We can carry a huge hole in our hearts at the loss of family members or close friends. The sorrow can form deep scars. Grief is a part of the human condition. But in order to avoid losing ourselves in grief, we need to put adversity in its proper perspective. Father Richard Rhor, from the Center for Action and Contemplation commented in a conference that grief is a powerful portal into the soul’s work and transformation. He explained that grief is a time for waiting in the darkness for wisdom and hope. To get to this “wisdom and hope”, which seems like a total impossibility, a person works through the defined steps in the grieving process. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross these five steps are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. We as humans are all dealing with grief at some time in our lives, never knowing quite when. Progressing through these five steps takes time. There is no order, or time limit on each step and no guarantee when a person will finally find peace and acceptance. The only people who think there’s a time limit for...