It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 17, Book 14

Finally some signs of Spring are popping up everywhere!


Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. 

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. 

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

 Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. 

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. 

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. 

Especially, do not feign affection.
 Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. 

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. 

But do not distress yourself with imaginings. 

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. 

You are the child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. 

Be cheerful. 

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

Today’s focus:

Give up giving up----hang in there!

I used to keep a copy of the Desiderata on the wall right in front of my computer so that I’d see it every day.  I worked at a very fast paced job where problems seemed to be around every corner.  Reading this good advice seemed to calm me and put me in a place where I could tackle the stress of the job.  

Years later, long after I left that job and went to another one, I kept it right there in front of me because it was still good advice and even now after I’ve retired, It is still the best of advice for my everyday life.

When something is good you keep it.

It's not the outlook but the UP look that counts. Keep looking up friends

When you reach the bottom, there is only one way to go, UP

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 16, Book 14

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When cares are pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Author Unknown

Today’s Focus:  Give up giving up----hang in there!

These last few days before Easter will be all about hanging in there!

Don't give up! Don't give in! You hang in there! Because if you quit right now, you ain't never gonna see it! You ain't never gonna get it! 

Eric Thomas.

Challenging, difficult times bring about opportunity.  Opportunities to grow, improve, and build strength and character.  Realizing dreams requires, drive, determination, and commitment to do whatever it takes.

The old saying is about when the going gets tough the tough get going.  It’s really true.  Focusing on a problem will only serve to energize the problem, causing it to become bigger.  We have to get tough and keep on going.

When you think you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on

God is the one who helps me tie the knot to hang on, because He is holding the rope. He gives strength to hang onto the dreams .
Persevere; hang in there and keep the faith

When you get to your wits end, you will find, God lives there.  

Author Unknown

Where there is a will, there is a way

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 15, Book 14

The 7-Ups

Wake Up - Decide to have a good day. 

Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it
Psalms 118:24 

 Dress Up -The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.
 Man looks at outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart 
I Sam 16:7

Shut Up - Say nice things & learn to listen. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. 

He who guards his lips guards his soul
Proverbs 13:3 

Stand Up - For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything. 

Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…
 Galatians 6:9-10
Look Up - To the Lord. 

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength
  Phillipians 4:13
Reach Up - For something higher. As Jiminy Cricket sings High Hopes! Always try to better yourself. Have FAITH. 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 
 Hebrews 11:1

Lift Up - Your Prayers. 

Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING
Phillipians 4:6

 Author Unknown 

Today’s focus:  Give up sin----turn to virtue.

The sin of pride and virtue of humility

Matthew 5:5 

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

It is often said that Virtue is its own reward.  Virtues are important because they are antidotes to the root causes of our suffering and delusions.  Virtues are the essence of the human spirit and the content of our character. 

Meekness and humility are closely related, but not identical. You cannot have one without the other, but they are not precisely the same thing. Meekness is not weakness. It takes a strong person to be meek. 

Uncertainty is a sign of humility, and humility is just the ability or the willingness to learn. 

 Charlie Sheen

We need to let go of the feeling that we  know it all and be ready to learn something new every day.  Having to say the last word on a subject, even though we may be right, is also something I need to let go of too.

Humility overcomes the sin of pride.  Humility is the virtue that recognizes our 100% reliance on God for all that we have, or ever will have. Everything on earth is on loan from God, including our good looks, our money, our house, etc. Those who think that they got all of these things on their own are in for a big surprise. 

Pride moves us to love ourselves. Humility moves us to assess our motives carefully. Pride leads us to love our thoughts and to blur the truth when it challenges us. Humility leads us to listen humbly and judge the truth on its own merit. May we always choose the humble path and not allow ourselves to become puffed up with self love

Swallowing your pride seldom leads to indigestion

Let someone else blow your horn, the sound will go twice as far. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 14, Book 14

Do not be too moral.  You may cheat yourself out of much life so.  Aim above morality.  Be not simply good; be good for something.  

Henry David Thoreau

Today’s focus:  Give up sin----turn to virtue.

The sin of envy and virtue of kindness

When we are kind we are being good to those around us and when we are envious we can be harsh and negative to and about those around us. If we show people kindness the world would be a better place. Kindness can destroy envy in our hearts by us acting in big and small ways to those who we know and do not know.

Kindness may just be the greatest virtue of all. The dictionary defines kindness as the virtue of showing love and the qualities of having a sympathetic, affectionate, warmhearted and considerate nature. Any virtue can be considered as the power to accomplish good, often in the face of obstacles and at the cost of sacrifice. Virtues enable us to establish and nurture life giving relationships with God, others and ourselves.

Brotherly love overcomes the sin of envy. This virtue involves being genuinely happy at everyone’s success, even those who we don’t particularly like.  We know we have this virtue if we do not ever badmouth someone who has obtained something that we think we deserve

Kindness begins in the heart. In fact, many languages have words that are translated as loving kindness or kind heartedness, which is kindness that goes beyond the basic requirements of civility.

Kindness can soften hearts, lift spirits and mold relationships. The value of our lives is best measured not by the material possessions we’ve acquired, but by the hearts we’ve touched, because who we are is far more important than what we have. 

Being kind is not hard to do. When we are being kind, do not expect anything in return but you are doing it from kindness of your heart. 

Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues.  

Hugh Prather

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 13, Book 14

Thoughts To Ponder

 Anger is a condition in which the tongue, works faster than the mind. 

You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.
 Love ......and you shall be loved. 

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him. 

All people smile in the same language.
A hug is a great gift, one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it's easy to exchange.
Everyone needs to be loved, especially when they do not deserve it.
The real measure of a man's wealth is what he has invested in eternity.
 Laughter is God's sunshine. 

Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it. 

It's important for parents to live the same things they teach. 

Thank God for what you have, TRUST GOD for what you need. 

If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for. 

Happy memories never wear out.... Relive them as often as you want. 

Home is the place where we grumble the most, but are often treated the best. 

Man looks at outward appearance but the Lord looks within. 

The choice you make today will usually affect tomorrow. 

Take time to laugh for it is the music of the soul.
 If anyone speaks badly of you, live so none will believe it. 

 Patience is the ability to idle your motor, when you feel like stripping your gears. 

 Love is strengthened by working through conflicts together. 

The best thing parents can do for their children, is to love each other.

 Harsh words break no bones but they do break hearts.

To get out of a difficulty, one usually must go through it.

We take for granted the things that we should be giving thanks for.

Love is the only thing that can be divided, without being diminished.

Happiness is enhanced by others but does not depend upon others.

You are richer today if you have laughed, given or forgiven.

For every minute you are angry with someone, you lose 60 seconds of happiness that you can never get back.

Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have, and where you are. 

The best gifts to give:
To your friend, loyalty;
To your enemy, forgiveness;
To your boss, service;
To a child, a good example;
To your parents, gratitude and devotion;
To your mate, love and faithfulness;
To all men and women, charity;
      and To God, your life.

Author Unknown

Today’s focus:  Give up sin----turn to virtue.

The sin of wrath and virtue of patience

We often lose our temper because we believe that things should be perfect. However we would grow calmer and more forgiving by getting more realistic about how things actually tend to go.

Many of our social problems stem from moral choices. Things like crime, and drug abuse   From the beginning of time, problems have resulted in moral choices .

Perhaps the single most important lesson in life would be that we must learn what matters most to us! Temperance consists in finding out the proper limit of a particular indulgence and adhering to that. But charity means pardoning what is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all.  Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all. And faith means believing the incredible, or it is no virtue at all.

The virtue that opposes the Sin of Wrath is Patience.  Patience isn't just an overly idealistic concept that means resting on your laurels and waiting.  It's a measured reaction to stress that requires forgiveness, inner peace and a strong desire to thrive, not merely survive. When we decide to replace our anger with patience, we can begin to peel back the division that our wrath creates between our true selves and the rest of the world

I found the definition of patience to be rather interesting. The definition is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance or anger in a negative way.

 Patience can stop us from saying and doing the wrong thing. When we take the time to cool down and let the dust settle we can see more clearly and act with understanding

He who is always blowing a fuse is usually in the dark

One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life. 

Chinese Proverb 

Patience carries a lot of 'wait’. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 12, Book 14

A Woman's Thoughts On Life

Your secrets are safe with me, and all my friends. 

 I don't repeat gossip, so listen carefully. 

If I can't be skinny, let all my friends be fat. 

My idea of cleaning the house is sweeping the floor with a glance. 

 I cleaned my house yesterday, sure wish you could have seen it. 

 This isn't clutter, these are my antiques! 

If you don't like my attitude, call: 1-800-Who-Cares. 

Discover Wildlife!   Have Kids! 

Genuine Antique Person, Been there, done that, can't remember! 

Our policy is to always blame the computer. 

I'm not aging, I just need re-potting. 

Take my advice, I'm not using it! 

 Okay!   I love you!   Now can we eat? 

You know you are getting old when you stop to think and forget to start again.
Mom, I'll always love you, but I'll never forgive you for cleaning my face with spit on a hanky. 

I love to give homemade gifts ... umm, which one of the kids would you like? 

I have a million dollar figure -- but it's all loose change! 

By the time you find greener pastures, you can't climb the fence! 

This house is protected by killer dust bunnies. 

Every time I get the urge to exercise, I lie down till the feeling passes.

Author Unknown

Today’s focus:  Give up sin----turn to virtue.

the sin of greed  and the virtue of liberality

the sin of sloth and virtue of diligence

Virtue is like health: the harmony of the whole man.

Thomas Carlyle

Diligence is the virtue that tells us to fulfill our duties in life, even if they get to be tiresome.  The thoughts above are humorous, but there are also some that might be considered slothful or greedy.  

Generosity is a virtue that  overcomes the sin of greed. This virtue can involve donating money, or giving up our free time and talents for the less fortunate, or even giving our possessions away.  It is a great way to detach ourselves from the things of this world

Some of the world’s most miserable people have the most impressive bank balances. Despite their monetary net worth, they lack the riches of love and the gifts of joy that others gain from simple pleasures.

Never under estimate the value of all that you have.

Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.

Samuel Johnson

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 11, Book 14

This is one of my favorite pictures of one of my grandson's whom I call our Prince Charming, taken several years ago.

While forbidden fruit is said to taste sweeter, it usually spoils faster. 

Abigail van Buren

Today’s focus:  Give up sin----turn to virtue.

The Seven Deadly Sins - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride

The Seven Heavenly Virtues -Chastity, Abstinence, Liberality, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility
Since the lists above show 7 sins and 7 virtues I thought I’d take just a few of each at a time to explore.  Some of these are really hard for me and I’ve attempted to put them into perspective.  I am not an expert on anything, but I am only a sinner who strives to do a little better each day with a lot of help from our good Lord.

Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising. 

John Lahr

The sin of lust and the virtue of chastity, and the sin of gluttony and the virtue of abstinence

Lust and some gluttony often involve coveting, wanting to enjoy something to which one has no right or privilege or a food that belongs to another. Lust and gluttony may also express greed: an insatiable appetite for more.

 Lust enslaves one to her or his passion, often causing a person to do acts later regretted.  Gluttony has a similar effect on the glutton. Eating becomes the driving passion.  The lack the self control.

Gluttony is sheer defiance of reasonable and balanced behavior

Benjamin Franklin

Too often  the person trapped in a life defined by lust, envy, or greed, what began as an over indulgence can become a pattern over which the person has no power or control. That is why we have organizations like Over Eaters Anonymous with 12 step programs are popular.

There are also many religious congregations of all major religious traditions  that have provided countless people essential lifesaving assistance in coping with deadly sins, helping people to regain their humanity by focusing on God and others.

To overcome either, one must accept personal responsibility for the choices made.  Our choices are so important.  

Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderated use rather than total abstinence.

Samuel Butler

Abstinence simply means saying NO. It means avoiding certain things that we know are not allowed or that are not good for us. Abstinence says, Don’t do it, for a variety of different reasons, in regard to a many different issues.

Chastity is a positive message. It doesn’t tell us, don’t do it. It tells us there is an appropriate time and place.  Chastity is closely related to the the moral virtues of modesty and humility.  This virtue gives us self control, spiritual strength and is a certain path to happiness.

Forbidden fruit is responsible for many a bad jam