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This Fascinating Experiment We Call “Home.”

June 28th, 2012 by stephanie

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our nation, this coming July 4 weekend, I have to admit, I never cease to be amazed at the miracle of America. It’s beyond the imagination that we, as 13 struggling colonies, ever made it to this fascinating experiment that became known as the United States of America.

Have you had the chance to read 1776 by David McCulough? If not, why not make it a goal of yours to accomplish that challenge by the end of summer. I listened to the book on CD during some of my commutes as well as a long road trip. I was glued! Story after story. Trust me, you won’t go to sleep on this one. And you’ll learn things you have NEVER heard before and details you won’t get in school.images

For exampe. The vote for independence came from the 13 colonies. 12 voted “YES” with one colony abstaining. Do you know which state abstained? Place your answer in the “comments” section! Let’s see who knows!

With that, here’s to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A very HAPPY 4th to you.

S.

Don’t Mess with Mister In-Between.

June 24th, 2012 by stephanie

Some of you may remember a very clever song that Bing Crosby made famous. If you haven’t heard it, try googling it and give a listen. It talks about getting rid of the negative in our lives. If you find yourself around negative people or downer types, you’ll very much appreciate the tune. The lyrics go something like this:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

All of us have those folks in our lives that seem to focus on the bad, or are judgmental and critical, full of gossip, or just plain seem to always find the sad side of life. They can really drag you down. (And in all honesty, be careful, in case that person is you…but I digress…) Spending time with people that are uplifting, fun and encouraging is just what the doctor ordered–if we want to live healthy and happy lives.

With that, here’s a thought. Take stock today in your life and see in just whom it is you are investing your time, energy and resources. Then notice if they fall into the negative side or the affirmative side. Once we do that little exercise, it’s pretty clear to see where the adjustments, if any, probably need to take place. Who is making YOU a better, happier, healthier person? “Latch on” to them…as the song says…and…
Don’t mess with Mister in-between!

Just my thoughts,
S.
Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Reality: It’s a bit of a risk.

June 20th, 2012 by stephanie

Reality. Sometimes you just wish it away. Or simply ignore it if you can.

It’s sort of like the way we get when we watch a production of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, or Titanic. Certainly, we know, that if we watch it one more time, this time, just maybe, our star-crossed lovers won’t have to die or be forced to part. This time, they will simply live happily ever after and all will be well with the world.

In the end, however, the inevitable happens. Reality sets in.  Like the greek tragedy scenario, no matter how hard we pretend, inevitably, what is written will be played out in whole.

It’s kinda like that with our own lives. The Bible is very clear about the fact that our time here is but a shadow in comparison to what comes after. It talks about heaven and hell and the paths that lead to both. And it encourages us to invest in the “then” more than our “now”. It’s a sobering truth, but one that we can’t just ignore or wish away. It’s important to see exactly where we are investing (when it comes to our eternal lives). There is a path that we are choosing. Inadvertently or not. And any path, always leads to somewhere.

The reality of mortality. Now there’s a phrase for you on this very pretty June day. But seriously, as we mark the half way point of our year, perhaps we might want to take a good look at where we are truly investing our daily lives up to this point. It’s always a bit of a risk to stop, evaluate and initiate change. But sometimes, you just have to. Here’s the thot:  Is our focus more on the here and now, or the life hereafter? Speaking as a mere mortal, of course, it is something to ponder.

Just my thoughts.

S.

Dig out that Flag!

June 12th, 2012 by stephanie

Flag Day is coming. Can you guess what day?
Not many folks are aware that June 14th is FLAG DAY. Maybe it’s because I grew up in San Diego County (a very military area) that I know about these things. I don’t really know. But I have to say, I have always enjoyed observing it. Even as a kid I stuck flags either in the yard, or my bedroom window, or somewhere in the house if I could get my hands on one.

I hope you have a flag somewhere. If so, now is the time to go and try to locate it and dig it out. Perhaps you have one that you hang out in front of your home, or, perhaps you prefer one in your window. Maybe you have one of those table top stands that make for setting a flag on your kitchen or dining room table or even your desk at work.

So, just where did this special day come from? Well, President Woodrow Wilson (back in 1916) is the man that issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. But it wasn’t until August 1949 (a few years after WWII) that National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Flag Day is not actually an official federal holiday. But good ole Pennsylvania made it a state holiday. Flag Day used to include parades and festivities.  The real question is, how will you celebrate it this year? My dining room table will be decorated, the door will have something too, and I think I’ll stick some flags in the grass again, just for old times sake.

Just my thoughts.
S.

D-Day: Here’s a bit on that.

June 6th, 2012 by stephanie

Sitting in a hotel room that lay on the coast of England, allied commander Eisenhower knew that a small window of opportunity was all that he had with which to work. Weather was terrible. But if it broke, as they had been notified it might, 150,000 Allied soldiers would be deployed to land on the shores of Normandy.

The General’s 5000-vessel armada stretched as far as the eye could see. Over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles were now making their way across the channel to France.
There were:

  • Six parachute regiments with over 13,000 men. These guys were flown from nine British airfields in over 800 planes.
  • More than 300 planes dropped 13,000 bombs over coastal Normandy before they got there to prepare the way.
  • Paratroopers would drop at 1am. But, would the weather hold? At a height of only 300 feet, in complete darkness, they would have think and move fast!
  • Men in PT boats were racing towards the shore as well. Many would get close. Some would fall short. As soldiers poured out into the waters, the 70 pound packs would sink and drown many who thought the sand lay directly beneath their feet.

By nightfall, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers would be dead or wounded, but… more than 100,000 would make it ashore! They would manage to secure French coastal villages previously held hostage by Hitler’s regime.

These were depression-era kids. Teens really. The scrappy boys that had learned to make it on their own. Those innate tricks of survival that only come through hard times. Could there have been any better training ground to prepare them for the day ahead? Horrible conditions, impossible orders, and a ruthless world tyrant to boot. Truly, an awesome task.

Today, survivors and those wishing to remember gathered once again on those French beaches. To honor. To think. It’s a very solemn day.

May we remember, as well.

S.

 

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