Be that small thing in someone’s heart today…

October 17, 2016

From a recent post on the Jack’s Winning Ways blog come s this little gem –

“Sometimes, said Pooh, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”  (A.A. Milne)

Maybe it is just a smile or a quick gesture, or perhaps it is an act of kindness or a display ofhandshake affection. Often these are subtle, not grandiose, things that constitute a connection based upon live or concern and caring. You have hundreds of opportunities every day to do something or say something that takes up residence in someone else’s heart. The great thing is that you also get a small piece of that good feeling in your heart, too.

We live in a fast-paced world where taking that moment to open a door for someone or smile and let someone else go first is too often brushed aside and a waste of time or effort. looking-at-phoneThese days we may not even notice many of the opportunities, because we are “busy” looking down at our smartphones. We have become self-absorbed and self-centered to an extent that we are often by ourselves, even in a crowded room. It’s not that there isn’t room in our hearts for new things, large or small; it’s more that we aren’t paying enough attention to allow them in.

Perhaps, instead of hunting for Pokémon characters as we wander around the streets, we should instead seek out around us who could use a smile or a kind word or deed. Instead of being a Pokémon Trainer and battling against fictional characters we could become smile givers and see how many hearts we can reside in on any given day. Maybe we need an App to keep track of that.

One thing we don’t need an App for is living is such a way that we bring smiles to the faces of others. What we may need to focus upon is peeling away some of the layers of cynicism that we have developed as we grew and aged. One has only to observe small children playing together to see what the world could be like if we were not directed by learned prejudices and pre-conceptions of others. Children don’t see the differences in race or different peoplebeliefs as obstacles to just having fun playing with another human being. They just play. As adults we let all of our “knowledge” about the world – what we’ve been “taught” by others – get in the way, most of the time before the first word is even spoken. No wonder we have forgotten how to live together, much less to play together.

Maybe today, before you start out on your day, you can ask for God’s help to make you that person who brings a smile to someone else’s face and gets a place in their heart. It may help if you can start each day with this little passage from the Bible –

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32

Maybe you can ask God to make you blind – blind to the other person’s color or ethnicity being kind 1or life preferences – and open your mind’s eye, so that you can just “see” the person that is there in need of a kind word or gesture. Maybe He can help you overcome your preconceived notions and prejudices long enough for you to discover the kindred spirit of a fellow human being with needs and fears and beliefs that are shared with all others, including you. Maybe that will allow you to act and become that small something that they carry in their heart the rest of the day. You may also discover that they have taken up residence in your heart, too.

Make a difference – Be that small thing in someone’s heart today…


Do the right thing…

October 15, 2016

Two recent posts on the Jack’s Winning Words blog struck me as belonging together –

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”  (FDR)

And

“The difficulty in life is the choice.”  (George Moore)

right-and-wrongMost of us know the difference between right and wrong and we know that the choice is up to us. For most the choice to do the right thing is obvious; but, for some the other choice is just too tempting or too easy. For some, the shortcut seems to be the route that they always take. An when that fails. Those same people have another tendency – to try to blame their failures on others or on society, when the right thing to do would be to accept responsibility.

We occasionally see one of those feels good stories on the TV news about people finding a wallet or an envelope or bag with money in it and returning it to the rightful owner, even if they could really use the money themselves. There was recently such a story on the Detroit area news. Those people had a choice; and maybe it was a difficult one; but they did the right thing. What would you do if you found that envelope with $1,000 worth of bearer bonds in it?

We have hundreds of choices to make each day that involve right and wrong. Some may deviil-and-angelseem more difficult to us than others, but we know, in the back of our minds, what the right choice is. Perhaps it is there, in the back of our minds, while listening to those little voices (which cartoonists always draw as the devil and an angel), that we make or decisions. Make sure that you listen to the right voice. God may be whispering to you, even while the devil is shouting, but you know what the right thing is to do.

Have a great weekend Listen for God’s whisper and make good choices. Do the right thing!


Against the wind…

October 7, 2016

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind.”  (Henry Ford) – as seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Jack went on to write about the Wright brothers discovering that by facing against the wind they were able to fly, because the wind helped provide lift. He also mentioned liking the Bob Seger’s song Against the Wind.single mom

Everybody has instances in their lives when they feel like they are running against the wind; times when they are facing adversity or fears, uncertainty and doubts. Sometimes it’s hard in the midst of those times to hold on to the belief that those periods of adversity serve to lift us; that overcoming the lows in life allow us to soar to new heights.

There is the old medical saw – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. That is true in medicine and in life. In medicine one’s body develops immunity to certain diseases by surviving them. That is the basis for developing vaccines – using inactive or dead agents of the disease – bacteria or viruses – to cause the immune system to develop defenses well before it is actually exposed to the real agents that cause the disease.

There is a traditional Gaelic blessing –

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Sometimes, in life,  just the opposite is true …

bored2The road reaches a deep chasm or faces an intimidating hill.
The wind is blowing against you.
It is a time of cold darkness and storms beat against your face.
It is in those times that you really need to find shelter and help in the palm of His hand.

In life we are all exposed to situations where the wind is blowing against us, whether it is in job situations, our home life, or in relationships. We suffer disappointments, setbacks, failures and breakups. We are running against the wind. It is in those times that our faith lifts us up and allows us to soar above the adversity.

If you feel like you are running against the wind, seek the shelter and help that is alwayshelping hands there for you and feel the power of God lifting you up. Remember God’s promise in  Isaiah 41:10 –

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”jesus-as-light

Jesus reinforced that commitment in Matthew 28:20 – “I am with you always, even untothe end of the world.”

Perhaps the better song for those times when we are running against the  wind is the Josh Groban song – “You raise me up.”

Have a great weekend and turn into the wind with confidence in your faith .


How are your shoes?

October 5, 2016

“Between the saying and the doing, many a pair of shoes are worn out.”  (Iris Murdoch) old-shoe– as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently. Jack went on to mention the applicability of the skepticism expressed in that little saying, especially  as it applies to current politics.

Perhaps we have come to expect empty words from our politicians, promises not kept and bombastic rhetoric and boosts about abilities that they really don’t have; but, what about our own words and actions? Do people take what you say debaterswith a grain of salt or do they take your words as a commitment that they can count upon? Do you casually toss of commitments that you later find easy to blow off?  How many pairs of shoes do you wear out between the saying and the doing?

There is another, more optimistic way to look at this little saying and that is that one can wear out many pairs of shoes while doing what one has said they will do. In other words you are working hard to meet your commitments and expectations. It is from that more optimistic view that phrases like, “His word is his bond” came from. We all know people like that; people that you can count on when the chips are down and every day.

Jack posted another little saying some time ago, which I saved because I knew it would come in handy someday –

“If you’re not going to tell the truth, then why start talking?”  (Gene Wilder)

Jack posted that right after Wilder’s death. It certainly ties in well with the thoughts about saying and doing. If what we are saying is not the truth; but, rather, just something that we think the listener wants to hear, then why say it at all. That is especially true of making “commitments”.

It is all too easy to join in the chorus of those in a group who seem to be committing to do man with talk ballonsomething without any real sense that you are actually going to do it. It makes you feel good at the time that you “commit” – Yeah I signed up, I joined the group, I’m part of the “:in-crowd”. But, when it comes to actually do what you committed to maybe you are the one that always has that last minute conflict or change of plans that prevents you from being there.

Don’t think that others don’t notice. They may not call you out on it, but they do start discounting your commitments and you earn the label of unreliable. They know that there will be a lot of shoes worn out between your saying and doing.

On the opposite side of things is the person that everyone knows that they can count dependableupon; the person who is always there when needed; the person who is so reliable that we begin to take them for granted. Those are the people that hold things together when the going gets tough. That person wears out many pairs of show doing, rather than just talking.

About them Gretchen Rubin said –

“Being taken for granted is an unpleasant but sincere form of praise. Ironically, the more reliable you are, and the less you complain, the more likely you are to be taken for granted.”

People who are truly doers, instead of just talker, seldom worry about being taken for granted because they find inner peace from the satisfaction of accomplishing what they said they would do.

So, how are your shoes? Are you wearing them out doing the things that you say or do many pairs wear out between the saying and the doing? Can others count on you or do they discount your “commitments”?

Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” How will people know you? How are your shoes?