At the end of the devastating Civil War, Lincoln called for a spirit of reconciliation and an end to animosity.
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Second Inaugural Address (delivered March 4, 1865).
Hopefully, we as Americans can listen to his wise counsel and find ways to stop the violence. Listening, learning and loving . . .may be good for starters.
One of my favorite pastimes is swimming laps at our nearby community pool. Early morning is my favorite and when possible bringing an inspirational book and a cup of coffee or water.
After swimming a few laps and treading water, as well as greeting other swimmers, relaxing in a comfortable lounge chair and reading is delightful. Usually it is easy for me to shut out the activities and conversations of those around me. But not always.
Kids playing “Marco Polo” and other water games often get a bit rowdy until told by parents to “calm down”. Conversations between youngsters and their siblings can be interesting, as are interactions between children and parents. Most children especially enjoy playing in the water with their mom and dad. Some children wistfully watch as parents of other kids join in the fun, while theirs do not.
After finding a set of 5 squirt guns on sale, I offered them to my granddaughters. Three brothers arrived at the pool and noticed the squirt guns. “Wow, first time I ever saw girls with so many squirt guns,” the oldest loudly said. Soon all had one to use and they played well for a long time at the end of the pool.
One warm evening last summer, a large family including a mom, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins played energetic games of volleyball. All the other swimmers at the pool were invited to join in. It was very inter-generational, as well as inclusive. Surprisingly, not even the oldest people at the pool complained. It was refreshing to see such fun among several ages. It doesn’t happen often enough.
I live two blocks from the beach and one block from our pool, and have found being near the water soothes my soul. It is a good place to pray and think.
Jesus often walked along the Sea of Galilee as he taught his disciples. He even prepared a breakfast of fish and bread for them.
Once when His disciples thought they were lost in a sudden, strong storm, Jesus walked across the sea to help them.
One thing leads to another. After I posted about hearing Maria Von Trapp speak, then I remembered hearing Corrie ten Boom speak. Finally, I remembered briefly meeting Joni Eareckson Tada, so I decided to write about her on the 50th anniversary of her diving accident.
What came to my mind is how distinctly each of these wise women communicated a strong Biblical principle they chose as their personal bottom line.
Also amazing is how clearly I remember their bottom lines, a lesson to me in my own communicating. But, what is my bottom line, my take home message? Several Biblical principles quickly come to mind, yet if I had to choose the most important, what would it be?
Then I remembered a poignant book I read as a young girl. It was The Diary ofaYoung Girl by Anne Frank. In fact, I read it several times. Anne’s short but intense life was memorable because she wrote down her feelings as she described her difficult situation. She had been given an autograph book with a small lock on her 15th birthday, shortly before her family went into hiding. She used it as a diary which was discovered in the attic of the home where they had been hiding. It was given to her father, Otto Frank. His wife and two daughters died in Aushwitz concentration camp.
When Otto Frank read the diary his younger daughter kept and realized she wanted to be a journalist, he decided to get it published. Her writings have educated and inspired countless readers. From Anne we learn it is good to put our thoughts and ideas in writing. Anne kept her faith in God and believed most people were “good at heart.”
As I put in writing my strongest beliefs, I am centering on the love of God and the inner peace of trusting in His Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior. To clearly define my own bottom line, since the name of my blog is “Heresyourhope,” it is essential to begin with “hope.”
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.“ Hebrews 11:1
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5
Living in the North Woods of Wisconsin was exciting, exhausting and challenging. It was not easy with three youngsters who were absolutely full of energy and always ‘raring’ to go do something. Especially during the cold, early winter months, before the snow falls. We lived on a lake and once it was frozen the fun began.
Until then, however, we all suffered from cabin fever. Our log home was rustic and not too big. We played games, read books and did creative art projects. But my children all seemed to have very short attention spans. Some days I felt like I was at my wit’s end, trying to entertain my family.
One day, the wall phone rang and since this was before portable or cell phones, I had to answer it in the kitchen. Although I did have a very long cord, my ability to watch what the children were doing was limited. That call was important. I was trying to listen and sound professional while worrying about what was going on in their play area. Sure enough, the middle child, my most rambunctious one, had got into mischief. As I hung up the phone to survey the damage, I muttered, “You guys are going to drive me to the funny farm.”
Big mistake! Not recommended positive reinforcement.
“Can I go with? Please?” My middle son kept begging for a very long time.
“Me, too, me too,” sobbed his younger brother, while their older sister looked confused. It took much too long to explain. I doubt they ever realized it was just a silly comment.
Finally, a few days later, it began snowing and soon we were snowed in. Now we were in a winter wonderland and the fun began. There was lots to do and the price was right!
We ice fished for supper and enjoyed healthy hot cocoa out on the lake. One has to drink it rather fast, of course, before it froze right before our eyes.
So much fun in the snow. My daughter spent hours building sturdy igloos. One day I was pulling my young sons on a toboggan across the lake and met another woman walking over to my side. We became lifelong friends.
Then came the day when I suffered from frost bitten toes. Really suffered when I got stuck driving on a stretch of road the snowplow had neglected to clear. It wasn’t long before Florida began sounding wonderful. I have been here now 30 years and it is wonderful.
Those memorable days in a winter wonderland are permanently etched in my heart. My daughter and her family spend a lot of time snowmobiling in Wisconsin and sometimes send me photos. I enjoy seeing them all bundled up when i am relaxing on the beach or at the pool.
It was evening on July 4th several years ago. My delightful 90 year old friend, Dorothy, had invited me to come watch fireworks from her balcony overlooking the Halifax River. I knew she wanted company but I was taking care of my young granddaughter and had promised to take her to watch our community fireworks display.
So I asked Emily, who was five years old, if she cared if we went to be with Miss Dorothy instead of going to the big park to watch the display. Emily liked Miss Dorothy, so agreed to go to be with her. We all enjoyed a strawberry ice cream bar, then went out to the 5th floor deck to get ready and comfortable to watch the fireworks.
Soon we heard the sounds of fireworks, and exclamations of delight from the crowd. But we were unable to see a thing. We were confused because Miss Dorothy kept saying, “I don’t understand. We used to see them perfectly.”
It turned out that she had not watched them for several years, since her husband died. A new building had been put up since then, that robbed the people living in the center building of their once perfect view.
As I tried to decide if there was enough time to go downstairs and walk around the south building, Miss Dorothy told us to go ahead but she wasn’t up to going. Then sweet Emily said, “Oh, no! We are not going without you.” She ran over and hugged our elderly hostess. I was so relieved and proud of young Emily.
So we went indoors and watched Macy’s fireworks on television. And we enjoyed a second strawberry ice cream bar with a glass of apple juice.
The next year, Emily and her baby sister went with their mom and dad to the community display. They arrived early to get a great view. I went to spend the evening with Miss Dorothy. We again watched the Macy’s fireworks display. But that year we had vanilla ice cream bars (instead of strawberry) with our apple juice.
I was reminded how we all have times when things do not go as we planned. But time often gives us a second chance. As has been said in Israel, “Maybe next year.”
It happens to most of us, from time to time. The older we get, the quicker we recover, usually. Yet, it kinda takes the wind out of us for a while, especially if we have no way of proving we meant well or did what we hoped was the right thing to do.
The secret of “getting over” such situations is to forgive ourselves for not being a mind reader and forgive our accuser for misunderstanding our good intentions. No one said that would be easy. It isn’t easy! Yet, with the help of our Heavenly Father, it is possible!
If anyone suffered greatly because many misunderstood him, it was Jesus Christ. There are no Scripture verses that discuss His hurt feelings or His being resentful. He spent much time in prayer and received power from His Father. We are offered the same option. It isn’t always a “quick fix,” but give it a little time and it works well.
As I investigated up to date information about voting irregularities, recent research by JustFacts,A Resource for independent Thinkers, provided proven trustworthy statistics.
I found myself chuckling at a few of the findings . . . statistics that reported true cases of towns where more votes were recorded for one party than their actual population. Other strange irregularities surfaced as well.
My point, however, is that there are many legitimate sources to investigate in one’s search for truth and accuracy. No reason it can’t be fun, too. Always thought it would be fun to be Nancy Drew, girl detective. Never too late to become an investigator. Certainly no age discrimination.