I just returned from watching the latest Top Gun movie, and really enjoyed this fast-paced version. It brought back memories of the original and my immediate reflections on how much has happened since then in my personal life and the world as a whole. Watching the aerial scenes in 1986 made me think how much my Dad, a WWII Army-Air Force pilot would enjoy the movie. I called him when I got home, and he and my mother watched it the next day. His comment to me was, “I was born in the wrong generation!” How he would have enjoyed flying those planes he watched in the movie.
My Dad passed away several years later, I completed my college degree, taught school for 18 yrs, and then my husband and I retired to help care for my mother and father-in-law in their final years. My life is so different now from the first time I watched those fighter jets soar. Our children are grown, grandchildren are in their teens, and I am approaching the time when I might need the care I once gave.
I guess this is “sunrise, sunset,” also known as the circle of life. I am thankful for my current blessings as I mentioned in my previous post, but in times like these I fondly remember those earlier years when life was busy, but seemed so much simpler. So my advice for the day is to treasure the important things – family, faith, and friends – everything else will take care of itself.
Feeling tired, depressed, or just plain “over it?” No nap, pill, or momentary distraction will help as much as realizing how many good things are actually a part of your life. I would like to encourage you to look around you, assess your life at this moment, and literally make a list of the good things you are experiencing.
Let me start: At my age (70s), the fact that I’m still here should top the list. Then I should add that I am healthy, walk and bicycle several times a week, can afford the ever-increasing gasoline prices and groceries, enjoy retirement by doing the things I enjoy, live close to our son and his family, and end each day as I begin it – with a prayer of thanksgiving. I truly believe that my faith is a big part of my inner contentment in a world that daily tries to strip every good feeling away from me.
There’s a song I remember from my childhood – I know, a long time ago – that has a verse that goes like this: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost. Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
Ok, you have your assignment. Get pen and paper ready and make that list. Put it where you will see it every day – maybe the bathroom mirror. May God bless and encourage you day by day.
Everywhere we look there are people who have needs. It could be physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, or monetary. Those of us who are blessed to have a home, a job, enough food, money to pay the bills with some left over, family and friends around us or within reach of a phone call, and free time to spend with them are so blessed. The most important blessing for me today is the relationship I have with God through His Son, Jesus. The spiritual grounding it gives me is the most important part of my life.
Today’s world is filled with so many challenges as evil doesn’t even hide any more, but rears its ugly head in defiance of what God has told us is right on so many levels. Every day is a struggle for some, but most days leave us shaking our heads as another shocking story is reported on the news. We are left with no peace unless we know the Source of our peace. (John 14:27)
Those of us who are fortunate enough to know the Lord – the God of the Old Testament who sent His Son in the New Testament – are indeed blessed. In the pages of the Bible, Jesus shows us His love, and serves as an example of how we are to live. We are blessed to know and understand that no matter how difficult the times become, God is in control and is with us. We are not alone.
Don’t keep this blessing to yourself. Share it with as many people as possible. Life is hard; day by day we need Him in our lives so much. Be a blessing to others by sharing Jesus.
Over the years Memorial Day has traditionally been the long weekend that begins summer for many people. Growing up, I don’t remember doing anything memorable other than enjoying the warmer weather and possibly having hamburgers and/or hotdogs on that special Monday.
Once I experienced life as a military spouse and endured Vietnam-era losses, I began to appreciate the true meaning of this day in May, remembering those who gave their lives fighting for my freedom in wars that had been described in my history books. People who many times never got to live past their late teens or early 20s, coming home to their families in a flag-draped box. One boy who sat near me in a high school class was lost in Vietnam and I remember a field trip to Washington, DC, where my eighth graders and I searched for his name on the Vietnam Memorial wall. Once we found it, two students made an etching of it for me to take back to my social studies classroom. War and loss became reality for some of them that day.
My most favorite memory of Memorial Day are the patriotic assemblies that I planned at my middle school for 6th – 8th graders. These occurred in the years after 9-11, and included power point slides, music, dance, poems, drill team presentations, and the meaning of the triangular folds of the U.S. flag. It was an enjoyable, entertaining, and hopefully, memorable experience for the student body.
However you choose to spend this holiday, I hope you remember the cost of your freedom for so many who never got to enjoy it.
I woke up this morning to news from Buffalo, NY, about a mass shooting at a grocery store. Fueled by radical teachings and hate, one person took the lives of ten people and injured others. My heart hurts and my prayers are lifted for all those who are affected by this tragedy.
Once again we have proof that evil exists in this world, actively seeking to divide and harm us. The One I follow teaches me to love and serve others. He will make all things right one day and prepares a place for me to be with Him forever.
Do you know Him? His name is Jesus and He wants a relationship with you. When I don’t understand the bad things that happen to me, my loved ones, or others I don’t even know, I can trust His words – “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John. 16:33
Please join me in prayer for those who are hurting, and trust God in these times that sometimes overwhelm us. He is in control.