How to be thankful – empathy!

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I still remember when visiting friends in Sicily, after a long stay helping in a critical situation in  Greece concerning Kurdish refugees. Our host remarked how thankful and appreciative my kids were compared to hers. How did I do it? she asked.

I replied, when you don’t eat meat for months, have to bathe in a bowl of hot water, wake to freezing cold and fight constant mold on the walls and ceilings in winter and intense heat in summer, your home seems like paradise on earth by comparison!

Needless to say our conditions were much better than those of the refugees we were trying to help (we at least had a house!)

I thank God every day for my beautiful, warm apartment, pension and sweet supportive family. I am so blessed!

Want a changed life?

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Someone once said if you want to change your life start with you. I’d go one step further, when we change our perspective we change ourselves and our world. So much is in how we perceive things. If you think you’ll fail you probably will, and vice versa.

I heard a very inspired young man yesterday trying to express how he came to understand from certain verses that we are in God’s image, that our value comes from Him, and how realizing that gave him faith to pray for the sick.

I love to see young people inspired particularly, as in this instance, to be a channel for God’s healing power etc. My friends and I listening were in our sixties, had been through the lumps and bumps of life. We could have smothered his fire in “wisdom” and “experience” but no one did. He doesn’t need our perspectives, perhaps we need his (or a measure of the two). I remember when I too saw life as the great adventure with no impossibilities. Bathed in the knowledge of God’s love I feared nothing.

Now with age and responsibility comes caution, limitations, but in my heart of hearts I know these things to be illusions. Nothing is impossible if you can just believe it so (though some thing take longer to come to pass lol!) We warmed our hearts at his fire, remembering, but saying nothing of our own exploits content to enjoy the brilliance of his joyful flame of life.

 

Its all in how you see it.

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Hmmm… not a good start to my day I thought. It’s raining so no cycling we’ll have to leave early and walk (can’t have my poor grandson sitting in wet trousers at school all day) never mind I’ll take the bus back…

Hmmm… they cut the bus again! grrrr!!! Now I’ll have to walk back in the rain too.

Passing by the path we normally cycle through the lakes on a tinge of rebellion invades me. I turn off the faster main road. My pace slows. I notice how swollen the river rushing on its path as I cross the bridge into tranquility. At a slower pace I pause again and again noting the soft play of the remaining winter, yellow oche, stems against the new spring growth, catch the play of shadows shaping new contours

My artist’s eyes awaken from sleep, everywhere I look compositions leap out to me, the urge to paint, to capture the delight I feel surges through me like a flood tide. The world is transformed. I’m happy it rained, happy there was no bus, or I’d have missed these moments.

Bye Bye 2015 and Welcome 2016

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Great thought for years end.

A Small Act Of Kindness Can Bring Smile On Million Faces

We are left with only 4 days to welcome new year 2016. So, let’s finish off 2015 with sweet memories and welcome 2016 with the learning’s from past year.
I would like to share an Inspirational story to sum up the things.

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A famous writer was in his study room. He picked up his pen and started writing :

** Last year, I had a surgery and my gall bladder was removed. I had to stay stuck to the bed due to this surgery for a long time.

** The same year I reached the age of 60 years and had to give up my favourite job. I had spent 30 years of my life in this publishing company.

** The same year I experienced the sorrow of the death of my father.

** And in the same year my son failed in his medical exam because he had…

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A tricky question.

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Carlos McKnight, 17, of Washington, left, and Katherine Nicole Struck, 25, of Frederick, Md., hold flags in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Looking at social media I’m seeing so many radically opposing posts regarding to new US ruling on homosexual marriage (a very hot topic I’ve avoided so far!)

Reading through I can see both have good points. This caused me to ponder my own views which were a bit ambiguous. To my surprise I did come to a conclusion and one I’ve yet to see stated.

The thing that clarified things was picturing a homosexual couple and a right wing conservative Christian condemning them (understanding that aside from media paintbrushes most folks are somewhere in between on these issues).

I believe love between two men can be a holy and wonderful thing (take David and Johnathon for example where Johnathon loved David so much he was willing to give up his claim to the kingdom). The sexual act of homosexuality however is a far different matter and the two shouldn’t be confused. I think many supporters tend to focus on the love rather than the act itself which is (Christian principals apart) unnatural and therefore a perversion of nature (think over the nitty gritty details and you’ll see what I mean).

However that is not my main conclusion. To my mind as a Christian it is a sin, but so are a lot of other things done on a daily basis. There are no laws against several other things the Bible considers sin, greed, envy, lying, disrespect, even blasphemy so I have no problem with the new law, we enjoy freedom of religion even moral freedom to some degree (where it doesn’t harm others). Not only the state but God Himself gives us the freedom to choose.

It would not be my choice (I’m definitely a nature girl!) but to my mind it’s less hurtful than some of those other legal sins. Far more to be condemned are the folks behind the corporate giants who extort fresh water from 3rd. world communities, poison our food with additive ingredients, destroy and pollute the environment, and enslave poor workers in unsafe environments – greed is far more destructive than homosexuality! Then there are the power hungry politicians who start wars or oppression (again for greed) whipping out civilian populations, ethnic cleaning and child soldiers etc. My list could go on.

Then there’s the sin that tops my list and brought about the Devil’s fall and Jesus’ pain and crucifixion – self-righteous pride. I remember Jesus’ admonition, “let him that is without sin cast the first stone.”

ASSUMPTIONS. (From June 2014)

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rainbow light

(Flash fiction on the theme of “other worlds”)

Thomson reached out a roughened hand to touch the tiny pulsating lights scattered across the bridge. They quivered in response as if alive. The structure looked too flimsy to take his weight, should he cross? He felt strangely exhilarated by the scene before him. His  breathing quickened. Had he been right to come? Was this the time for this voyage of discovery? Perhaps he should have stayed with the others.

He took a step, the beams responding in vibration to the pressure of his feet. All nature was interacting with him like some drug induced trance. Another step; it held, not so much supporting him as enduing him with its own ethereal nature.  The light was dazzling obscuring the forms he glimpsed through luminous air.  Dare he go further? He could hear his colleges calling behind him like an echo in the stillness.

“Come back! Stay with us!” they yelled. But he gazed onward transfixed, as feet moved onward drawn by an unknown power, his body becoming ever more buoyant in the strange atmosphere. The voices became more urgent as he edged forward.

“Fight! For God’s sake fight!” they urged. He felt a sudden pain in his chest. For a moment he hesitated, then deliberately continued on, as his ears where captured by a strange and haunting melody. The pain subsided, the voices faded. The beings were coming closer now welcoming him. They were not unlike himself but infinitely more beautiful. Like the lights they pulsated with pure energy. He felt dirty, soiled, his uniform caked in dust and blood. They seemed not to care.

One thrust an arm across his shoulder seeming somehow familiar. Had he been here before? They led him stumbling across the remainder of the bridge as voices were raised in a cacophony of welcome…

“He’s gone!” a lone voice echoed from behind. Thomson turned for a moment.

“It’s OK. They’ll all come later,” the familiar presence said.

*

The medic pulled away. Moving on to the next casualty he brushed his eyes on the blood splattered sleeve of his uniform.

“I’m sorry mate. We were too late, he’d lost too much blood.” He muttered to the soldier bent down at his friend’s side.

“Why did it have to be like this?” he questioned. “Why hadn’t he gotten here faster and where was the dammed ambulance he’d requested. If only he’d had the supplies! No use getting upset,” he told himself, “go on to the other guy.”

“Dam mines!” the soldier swore his eyes flooding.” He was a good chap, deserved better.”

Battles With Shyness.

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(From June 2014

Song Bird Songs

shyness

I’ve always been shy. As a child I hid behind my mother’s skirts, turned every shade of red when spoken to (still do sometimes.) I’ve heard the term “painfully shy” – that says it all. It was certainly painful at school with its loud mouthed bullies.

At adolescence I learnt to overcome it, learnt not to care what people thought, defiantly going the opposite direction with my outlandish clothes and escapades. I decided “to hell with trying to be like my peers, I’d let lose my creative side and claim supremacy!” (There was of course a great degree of arrogance in this!)

Abandoning the perceived restrictions of my environment I learnt to aim high, miraculously gaining a fine arts degree in a low class neighborhood where kids seldom attained the modest GCSE level. I discovered strangely that my shyness didn’t extend to public speaking (I could act any role). Even…

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The Mountain.

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(Flash fiction from June 2014)

Song Bird Songs

mountain

Looking upward he adjusted the loaded backpack. The mountain rose majestic  before him its pristine slopes green in the early sun. Tilting his cap he set off.

By mid-day slopes and dappled woodlands lay behind, the path ahead was steeper, rockier. The occasional hikers had vanished along with his mobile signal.  A strange isolation seized him, fear nibbled. Was this wise? Should he wait, join a climbing party?

No, this was what he had wanted, alone, above the confusion. Rebelliously he consumed a sandwich and trudged on. He became increasingly conscious of his surroundings. The rocks were not barren, tiny plants grew. He was not alone for birds carolled in passing and rodents rustled from his path. This was their world always, but today he would partake.

Joyous ripples announced a stream, leaping towards the waiting valley, cool and sweet. He emptied his bottle replacing stale water. He felt a…

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