Nevertheless

To live today, despite our loss, we have to begin to replace the regretful words “if only” with the grateful words “nevertheless”.

Nowhere in the Bible does it speak in the language of “if only”; however frequently the Bible uses the language of “nevertheless”.

We cannot change the painful past or bring back our loved one; nevertheless we can live with gratitude for the love we had and for the life we shared – even though that love and life ended too soon.

How will we live with the grief that has rocked our world? Will we get stuck in yesterday with the words “if only” or will we move ahead toward tomorrow with the word “nevertheless?”

We do grieve our loss; nevertheless life must go on.

Will our loss lead us to be open to God? When God is mentioned in connection with our loss, most of us immediately want to ask: Why? Why, God? Why did this happen? Why did you allow this tragedy?

I believe that my tears and my pain over my loss are exceeded by God’s tears and God’s pain over my loss. God knows, for God has been there where we are in our loss.

Tragedy can drive us away from God in bitter disappointment or tragedy can lead us to God in longing hope. The choice is ours! For me, a change occurred in my grief as I change my thinking.

Grief is an experience common to us all. We all lose someone we love sometime, somehow. All of us grieve but not all of us grieve with hope. The basis for my hope, even in my grief, lies in this faith claim: in life and in death we belong to God

Hope thou in God My Soul.

A Tale of Two Pots

A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.

Choices

Today I met my Teacher, He said “Be still my dear,
Your thoughts are causing aching, Your suffering brings me here.”
I stopped and faced my Teacher, So I could hear the words he said, How did he know my turmoil?
Thoughts running through my head.

I saw the pain across his face, The sadness in his eyes,
It hurt to think my turmoil, Was affecting one so wise.
I placed my hand upon my heart, For there lay all my pain,
Was then he made me realise, Suffering was my choice again.

Why did I do this to myself?
And choose to hurt inside, Hadn’t I suffered long enough?
Why did I choose to hide?

I knew inside I had the strength, To rise above all pain,
I knew the choice to suffer now, Had been mine once again.
I knew the choice of happiness, Lay there within my soul,
I’d only got to choose it, And once again feel whole.

The Teacher smiled so broadly, As he wiped away my tears,
For he knew I’d found the answers, Hidden behind my fears.
He placed his hands upon my head, And with Love began to heal,
All my scars from suffering, The pain I’d chose to feel.

Joanne Finwall

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

May You Be Blessed

May you be blessed with all things good,
May your joys, like the stars at night, be too numerous to count.
May your victories be more abundant than all the grains of sand
on all the beaches on all the oceans in the entire world.

May lack and struggle be always absent from your life
and may beauty order and abundance be your constant companions.
May every pathway you choose
lead to that which is pure and good and lovely.

May every doubt and fear
be replaced by a deep abiding trust
as you behold evidence of a Higher Power all around you.
And when there is only darkness and the storms of life are closing in
May the light at the core of your being illuminate the world. 

May you always be aware you are loved beyond measure
and may you be willing to love unconditionally in return.
May you always feel protected and cradled in the arms of God,
like the cherished child you are.

And when you are tempted to judge
may you be reminded that we are all ONE
and that every thought you think reverberates across the universe,
touching everyone and everything.

And when you are tempted to hold back,
may you remember that love flows best when it flows freely
and it is in giving that we receive the greatest gift.

May you always have music and laughter and may a rainbow follow every storm
May gladness wash away every disappointment
may joy dissolve every sorrow
and my love ease every pain.

May every wound bring wisdom
and every trial bring triumph and with each passing day
may you live more abundantly than the day before.
May you be blessed!

And may others be blessed by you.
This is my heartfelt wish for you.

May you be blessed!

God Loves You

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on the ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. “Leave me alone,” he growled….

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. “Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. “Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked..

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head. “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted. “I don’t want to go in there!” Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it..”

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived…

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”

“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business..”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled……. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?”

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh.”

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.

“That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. “Jack, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said.. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble… Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet… If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus…… He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways….

“Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And.. And thank you for the coffee.”

God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor.

If you believe, send it.

If you don’t believe, delete it.

God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can close..

If you need God to open some doors for you…send this on.

Dear God

Dear God

I know you’re watching over me
And I’m feeling truly blessed
For no matter what I pray for
You always know what’s best!

I have this circle of E-mail friends,
Who mean a lot to me;
Some days I “send” and “send,”
At other times, I let them be.

I am so blessed to have these friends,
With whom I’ve grown so close;
So this little poem I dictate to them,
Because to me they are the “Most”!

When I see each name download,
And view the message they’ve sent;
I know they’ve thought of me that day,
And “well wishes” were their intent.

So to you, my friends,
I would like to say,
Thank you for being a part;
Of all my daily contacts,
This comes right from my heart