Archive | December, 2018

The Other Wise Man

30 Dec

The Other Wise Man…

As we put traditional Christmas away for another year, I’d like to add an interesting little story by Henry van Dyke titled “The Story of the Other Wise Man.” Born in 1852, van Dyke was educated at Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary. A noted educator, author, and minister, he wrote the lyrics to “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” that we sing to the tune of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

In “The Story of the Other Wise Man,” van Dyke tells about Artaban, his fictional magus who saw the star, sold his house and possessions, and bought three precious jewels — a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl — to present to the newborn king. Friends discouraged his quest, but Artaban listened to his oldest and best friend and set out to join the other wise men who followed the star. Along the way, he came upon a dying stranger and spent several hours ministering to him and reviving him. But the delay made him miss his rendezvous with the other wise men who went on without him. Needing a train of camels to cross the treacherous desert, Artaban bought them with his precious sapphire.

Arriving in Bethlehem with his ruby and pearl to give to the king, he discovered that the other wise men had been and gone and that Joseph had taken Mary and Jesus to Egypt. When soldiers stormed through the town killing the babies, Artaban used his ruby to bribe the captain to spare the baby of the woman who befriended him.

After 33 years of searching for the king and ministering to prisoners, the hungry, the sick, and the poor along the way, Artaban made his way back to Jerusalem at the time of Passover. Joining the crowd making its way to Golgotha, he used his pearl, his only remaining treasure, to purchase freedom for a young girl sold into slavery.

Following the star leads us, as it led Artaban, to the cross. Thinking he had failed, “A calm radiance of wonder and joy lighted the pale face of Artaban like the first ray of dawn on a snowy mountain-peak. One long, last breath of relief exhaled gently from his lips.” But not before he heard the soft voice of Jesus saying:

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me ( Matthew 25:40).

When we have nothing left to give, God gives us everything that matters! Christmas ends where it begins, with God giving us his most precious jewel.

Love always,

Ed

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He Closer Than You Think

29 Dec

He Closer Than You Think…

We all, at one time or another, find ourselves in a situation so dark or deep we just can’t seem to find a way out. Sometimes it could be critical and sometimes it’s just something that if we took the time to gather our senses we could see it was just a wrong turn.

Life is like that at times, ups and downs, bumpy paths and every once in a while a great big boulder blocking our way so big we can’t phantom our way around without help.

The next time you find yourself alone in a dark alley facing the undeniable’s of life, don’t cover them with a blanket, or ignore them with a nervous grin. Don’t turn up the TV and pretend they aren’t there. Instead, stand still, whisper his name, and listen. He is nearer than you think.

Prayer, yes I write about it a lot and this is why. God wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to ask for guidance in all things. We, as humans, have a tendency to only ask for help when the going gets so rough we have no other choice. Yet He is always there for the trivial as well as the hard and has made it clear there is nothing too small or too large for Him to handle. It is also why I always talk about being in continuous conversation with Him. He is always there to lend a hand and light the way for you.

So when you find yourself in a situation, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Look up and whisper His name… He is closer than you think.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Tornado Safety

28 Dec

Tornado Safety…

I live in Texas and, believe it or not, I’m told more tornadoes strike Texas than any other state. They can occur at any time of year, including winter, but are most frequent from mid-March through May. Tornados are also a common occurrence during hurricanes. I’ve put together the following precautions during tornadic activity

  • Seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of your home, such as a bathroom, closet or room without windows. Cover yourself with a mattress or cushions.
  • In an office building, go to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
  • If you are in a mobile home, get out and take shelter in a nearby building. If no shelter is available, lie flat in a ditch or ravine.
  • Never stay inside a car! Get out and lie flat in a ditch or a ravine. If a building is nearby, take shelter inside. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car.
  • At school, follow plans and go to a designated shelter area, usually interior hallways on the lowest floor. Avoid auditoriums, gyms and areas with wide, free-span roofs.
  • In a shopping center, move towards the interior away from exterior glass walls.
  • If you are in open country, take cover in a low spot away from trees.

Remember there is a difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. A Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar, and you must seek shelter immediately!

These are basic safety instructions for you to use. I feel I need to add just one more warning: Parking under a bridge to sit out the tornado is not really a good idea. The winds seem to multiply making the bridge act more like a wind tunnel. One of our storm chasers found this out and had one heck of a ride when the storm picked his vehicle up and threw it about 500 feet. Lucky he was not killed.

Thank you,

Mr. Ed

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

Merry Christmas…

Today a child is born on earth
Today the glory of God shines
Everywhere for all of the world
Jesus, born on this day he is our light and salvation
Jesus, born on this day He is the King of all nations

Behold the Lamb of God has come
Behold the Savior is born, sing of His love to everyone
Jesus, born on this day heavenly child in the manger
Jesus, born on this day He is our Lord and Savior

Today our hearts rejoice in Him
Today the light of his birth thrills us with hope and brings peace on earth
Jesus, born on this day He is our light and salvation
Jesus, born on this day He is the King of all nations

Today a child is born on earth
Today the glory of God shines everywhere for all of the world

He is light He is love He is grace born on Christmas day.

Jesus, the real reason for Christmas! Gods greatest gift to all mankind!

From my family to yours Merry Christmas to all. May your day be full of Joy, Peace and Love! Most of all be full of Jesus!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Battling Anger

19 Dec

Battling Anger…

After many posts about forgiving people for their transgressions, I have been asked how can I forgive someone when I am so angry at them.

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. And it can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.

That is the problem, anger can get so powerful it takes over your life leaving you feeling helpless.

Grandfather once told me: For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. That has stayed with me my entire life. There is so much more to life to be thankful for than let anger take control. This is why it is so important to forgive.

Fighting evil with evil won’t help anyone. You always choose how to react to something, it is called free will. When you can incorporate such a thought habit more and more into your life then you can react in a way that is more useful to you and others.

You realize that forgiving and letting go of the past will do you and the people in your world a great service. And spending your time in some negative memory won’t help you after you have learned the lessons you can learn from that experience. You’ll probably just cause yourself more suffering and paralyze yourself from taking action in this present moment.

If you don’t forgive then you let the past and another person to control how you feel. By forgiving you release yourself from those bonds. And then you can focus totally on, for instance, the next point.

If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old thought patterns.

And the problem with changing your outer world without changing yourself is that you will still be you when you reach that change you have strived for. You will still have your flaws, anger, negativity, self-sabotaging tendencies etc. intact.

And so in this new situation you will still not find what you hoped for since your mind is still seeping with that negative stuff. And if you get more without having some insight into and distance from your ego it may grow more powerful. Since your ego loves to divide things, to find enemies and to create separation it may start to try to create even more problems and conflicts in your life and world.

So there must be some action or effort on your part to improve your outlook on life. Without action you aren’t going anywhere.

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” Grandfather used that on me many times.

Without taking action very little will be done. However, taking action can be hard and difficult. There can be much inner resistance. So, to really get where you want to go and to really understand yourself and your world you need to practice. Books can mostly just bring you knowledge. You have to take action and translate that knowledge into results and understanding.

Take care of this moment!

I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.

The best way that I have found to overcome the inner resistance that often stops us from taking action is to stay in the present as much as possible and to be accepting.

Why? Well, when you are in the present moment you don’t worry about the next moment that you can’t control anyway. And the resistance to action that comes from you imagining negative future consequences – or reflecting on past failures – of your actions loses its power. And so it becomes easier to both take action and to keep your focus on this moment and perform better.

Remember that reconnecting with and staying in the now is a mental habit – a sort of muscle – that you grow. Over time it becomes more powerful and makes it easier to slip into the present moment.

Remember everyone is human and will make mistakes.

I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I know, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps. It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

I think it’s important to remember that we are all human and prone to make mistakes. Holding people to unreasonable standards will only create more unnecessary conflicts in your world and negativity within you.

It’s also important to remember this to avoid falling into the pretty useless habit of beating yourself up over mistakes that you have made. And instead be able to see with clarity where you went wrong and what you can learn from your mistake. And then try again.

Most importantly see the good in people and help them. I try to look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others. Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men. I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

There is pretty much always something good in people. And things that may not be so good. But you can choose what things to focus on. And if you want improvement then focusing on the good in people is a useful choice. It also makes life easier for you as your world and relationships become more pleasant and positive.

When you see the good in people it becomes easier to motivate yourself to be of service to them. By being of service to other people, by giving them value you not only make their lives better. Over time you tend to get what you give. And the people you help may feel more inclined to help other people. And so you, together, create an upward spiral of positive change that grows and becomes stronger.

By strengthening your social skills you can become a more influential person and make this upward spiral even stronger.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.

I think that one of the best tips for improving your social skills is to behave in a congruent manner and communicate in an authentic way. People seem to really like authentic communication. There is much inner enjoyment to be found when your thoughts, words and actions are aligned. You feel powerful and good about yourself.

When words and thoughts are aligned then that shows through in your communication. Because now you have your voice tonality and body language – some say they are over 90 percent of communication – in alignment with your words. With these channels in alignment people tend to really listen to what you’re saying. You are communicating without incongruency, mixed messages or perhaps a sort of phoniness. Also, if your actions aren’t in alignment with what you’re communicating then you start to hurt your own belief in what you can do. And other people’s belief in you too.

Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position. You can pretty much always improve your skills, habits or re-evaluate your evaluations. You can gain deeper understanding of yourself and the world.

Sure, you may look inconsistent or like you don’t know what you are doing from time to time. You may have trouble to act congruently or to communicate authentically. But if you don’t then you will drive yourself into a false position. A place where you try to uphold or cling to your old views to appear consistent while you realize within that something is wrong. It’s not a fun place to be. To choose to grow and evolve is a happier and more useful path to take.

These are a few points I have found to work in my life as I was growing up. My Grandfather was my teacher and has given me a true understanding of life and how my life affects the life’s of all I meet. My hope is that you find some wisdom in these words also.

It is also good to realize that when you hold onto anger you have locked yourself in life and can never move forward until you let it go and put it behind you.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Living A Better Life

16 Dec

Living A Better Life…

Many times I have been approached by someone with a checkered past wondering how he or she could get a break in life and make a new start. My response has always been the past will always be a part of who we are, it’s how we feel about it that moves us forward.

Believe it or not we are not tied to our past, when your past steps up turn it around and make a lesson of it. Every experience we have in life, good or bad, contains a lesson for us. It’s what we do with these lessons that make us who we are. Some have made bad decisions and have paid dearly for them, but that too is a lesson. You have the power to take that part of your past and make a positive lesson of it to your life. You may have to work hard to prove yourself, but remember the goal you are working for, that makes it worthwhile. Many times we get ourselves in trouble because we chose to take the easier path rather than work for the goal we sought. The easiest path isn’t always the best path to take, for anything good is worth working for.

It’s when we realize the past has no power over you, it’s what you do with it that matters that we start to grow. When we can take a negative experience and turn it into a positive outcome, we begin to shine our light. God gave us the power to make things right and He is there to help guide us in the right direction if we ask for His help. That is the first step, the second step is we need to listen to what He has to say.

What He has to say… How many times have you turned something over to God only to step in and take it back figuring you just may be able handle it yourself. God does things in His time and if we aren’t listening to His whispers in our ear we may step on our self by not letting Him handle it. Grandfather was right when he told me we are given two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen more – talk less…

The past has no power over you, it’s what you do with it that matters. Use the lessons you have learned to make a better life for yourself. Shine your light for everyone to see!!

Walk daily with God at your side!!

Love always,

Ed

What’s in a smile…

16 Dec

What’s in a smile…

Grandfather had a favorite saying for spreading joy and happiness with the family. You can see God in every smile someone makes because anything that makes you smile is God.

There’s a lot of truth in that statement for a smile will light up your world along with the world of someone who just happens to be on the receiving end of that smile. Not only that, smiles are contagious and seem to spread the light and love to everyone. There’s just something about a smile that makes another person smile back.

Imagine how peaceful the world would be if everyone could just be secure enough to share their light and love with everyone they met. That’s the magic of life, sharing your light and your love with your neighbors and since we are all neighbors in the world, there is a lot of love out there to share.

A smile cost nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes by a moment but that moment can last forever for someone who is need of a lift up.

None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature’s best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

So give someone your best smile today and have them pass it on.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed