Words from a Simple Heart

A day that dawns bright and optimistic, can unravel as quickly and completely as one that begins with a tangle of trouble.

Whether I see it coming, or not, whether the undoing is of my own doing, or not, there are days when I find myself on the backside of the bright side.

Life sends everyone for a ride on the backside. People let you down. You disappoint yourself or someone else.

Things hoped for, don’t materialize. Jobs disappear. Finances escalate. Health deteriorates. Loved ones pass away.

Unless you live in an insulated bubble, a ride on the backside is inevitable.

Experience on the backside has taught me not to run to the company of misery — those faithless, open, outstretched arms of self-pity and hopelessness. I am not pitiful.

I am not without hope and I am faith-filled. I have returned, victorious, to the bright side after every experience on the backside.

Where I am, is never as important as, who I am, while I’m there.

I can sit in darkness and I can despair over being there. I can moan and groan, pick up the phone and wail about my troubles to everyone who will listen.

I can pound people with my problems every chance I get. I can seek out the company of those who enjoy misery’s embrace and learn nothing from the Experience.

 

Or…

 

I can poke a hole in the veil that separates the backside from the bright side and create a small stream of light to serve as reminder of the victory ahead.

I can pray, and I can work my way through trials with ever increasing patience and ever growing strength of endurance.

I can pay attention to the parts of my character that show up during difficult times and acknowledge the areas of weakness that need building up.

I can stand straighter and taller each step of the way, until the day I can rip the veil from top to bottom and claim my victory.

Even when life is at its darkest, you are never on the backside of nowhere.

The bright side is always there, waiting for you to step back into it and experience your victory.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is the bridge to love, peace, happiness and well being.

It allows us to say good-bye to guilt, blame and shame. It purifies the heart and soul and puts us in touch with all that is sacred.

Through forgiveness, we connect with that which is greater than ourselves and become the person God intended us to be.

The key to forgiveness is the willingness to make the effort. How long it takes depends on your belief system.

If you think it can’t be done, it won’t happen. If you believe it will take years, that will be your experience.

But if you are willing to believe that it can be done in an instant, that is all it will take.

 

The Stepping Stones to Forgiveness

  1. Be open to the possibility of changing your beliefs about forgiveness  and recognize that forgiveness is an act of strength, not weakness.
  1. Be willing to let go of being a Choose to believe that holding on to grievances and unforgiving thoughts is choosing to suffer. Find no value in self-pity.
  1. Remind yourself that your anger and judgments can’t change the past or punish someone else, but they can hurt. The events of the past cannot hurt you now, but your thoughts about the past can cause you immense distress and pain. Recognize that any emotional pain you feel this moment is caused only by your own thoughts.
  1. See the value of giving up, not some, but all of your It is no coincidence that the happiest people are those who choose not to judge and know the value of forgiveness.
  1. Recognize that holding on to anger will not bring you what your truly want. Ask yourself this question, “Does holding on to my justified anger really bring me peace of mind?” Anger and peace; judgment and happiness do not occur at the same time.
  1. See that there is no value in punishing yourself. Once you truly recognize that your angry, unhappy thoughts about the past are poisoning your life, you will embrace forgiveness and know the meaning of love.
  1. Believe that forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past! Accept your past, forgive your past, and embrace the present and future with hope! There is no law forcing you to remain a victim of the past.
  1. Choose to be happy rather than When we stop trying to control others and focus instead on our own thoughts, we give ourselves the gift of freedom and peace.
  1. Believe that you have the power to choose the thoughts you put into your mind. Perhaps the greatest gift we have been given is the power to choose loving thoughts rather than angry ones. Your mind is not a dumpster that will remain unaffected by the trash you put into it. Treat it like a garden and it will blossom.
  1. Be willing to make peace of mind your only goal and believe that forgiveness is the key to happiness.Regardless of the chaos around us, we can know peace if that is our single goal. Choose not to let outside circumstances or people decide whether you will be happy. Anger, judgments and unforgiving thoughts make suffer, and releasing them brings us joy.

It truly is that simple!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Christmas Message – video from Rev Roy Watson

I have just uploaded Rev Roy Watson’s Christmas Message video which I invite you to view by visiting:

 

Roy is a Methodist Minister in the Gwent Hills and Vale Methodist Circuit.

Happy Viewing

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Should Do Today!

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible. How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed?

Does the word “refrigeration” mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television? I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, “How about going to lunch in a half hour?” She would gasp and stammer, “I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I Wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, it looks like rain.”

And my personal favourite: “It’s Monday.”

She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together. Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Stevie toilet- trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college. Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer.

One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of “I’m going to”, “I plan on”, and “Someday, when things are settled down a bit.”

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now…go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to……not something on your SHOULD DO list..

If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask “How are you?” Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head?

Ever told your child, “We’ll do it tomorrow.” And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say “Hi”? When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift….Thrown away… Life is not a race. Take it slower.

Hear the music before the song is over.

Thanks for being my friend.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Sandpiper

She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sandcastle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea.

“Hello,” she said.

I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. “I’m building,” she said.

“I see that. What is it?” I asked, not really caring. “Oh, I don’t know, I just like the feel of sand.”

That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by.

“That’s a joy,” the child said. “It’s a what?”

“It’s a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy.”

The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, Hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance.

“What’s your name?” She wouldn’t give up. “Robert,” I answered. “I’m Robert Peterson.”

“Mine’s Wendy… I’m six.” “Hi, Wendy.” She giggled. “You’re funny,” she said.

In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me.

“Come again, Mr. P,” she called. “We’ll have another happy day.”

After a few days of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater.

I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.

The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed.

“Hello, Mr. P,” she said. “Do you want to play?”

“What did you have in mind?” I asked, with a twinge of annoyance. “I don’t know, you say.”

“How about charades?” I asked sarcastically.

The tinkling laughter burst forth again. “I don’t know what that is.” “Then let’s just walk.”

Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. “Where do you live?” I asked.

“Over there.” She pointed toward a row of summer cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter.

“Where do you go to school?”

“I don’t go to school. Mommy says we’re on vacation.”

She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed.

Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home.

“Look, if you don’t mind,” I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, “I’d rather be alone today.” She seemed unusually pale and out of breath.

“Why?” she asked.

I turned to her and shouted, “Because my mother died!” and thought, My God, why was I saying this to a little child?

“Oh,” she said quietly, “then this is a bad day.”

“Yes,” I said, “and yesterday and the day before and–oh, go away!” “Did it hurt?” she inquired.

“Did what hurt?” I was exasperated with her, with myself. “When she died?”

“Of course it hurt!” I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.

A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn’t there.

Feeling guilty, ashamed and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-coloured hair opened the door.

“Hello,” I said, “I’m Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.”

“Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I’m afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies.”

“Not at all — she’s a delightful child.” I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said.

“Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn’t tell you.”

Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.

“She loved this beach so when she asked to come, we couldn’t say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly…” Her voice faltered,

“She left something for you … if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?”

I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for something to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with “MR. P” printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues –a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.

Tears welled up in my eyes and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy’s mother in my arms. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” I muttered over and over, and we wept together.

The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words — one for each year of her life–that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand — who taught me the gift of love.

This story serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less. Life is so complicated; the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary setback or crisis. 

This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment…even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses. This comes from someone’s heart, and is shared with many and now I share it with you.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

YOU ARE A SURVIVOR

I want you to know that if you are reading this, YOU ARE A SURVIVOR !!

Just about now, you may feel like giving up and you’ve gone the last mile……

The fact is, you haven’t given up and you are still on life’s journey.

Or you may be contemplating ending your life, but you know that you didn’t go through everything that you have gone through just to end it like this.

Or you feel weak and tired and maybe even a failure,
but what you haven’t realized is that all your experiences are making you stronger … not weaker.

Think you’re at the bottom and there is no where else to go? Wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrong!!
Dust yourself off, shake your body a little doing a little jiggle and stand up!!

Put one foot in front of the other and start taking steps going upward …… remember, there’s nowhere else to go!!

Feeling alone, unloved, defeated or hung like the Salem Witches or maybe in the Lion’s Den or even nailed to a cross? Your trials and tribulations are crushing you and you can’t breathe, you can’t move … you can’t…..?

You are reading this, so you survived!!

Looking for a job, the pieces to a lost marriage, raising children that think they are already grown, suffering from an illness that hangs over you like a dark shadow, grieving over a loss of a friend, of a child, of a parent or grieving over loosing yourself in despair?

Recovering from a long bout with alcohol, a disease or an illness? Or preparing for your very own transition and you haven’t made peace with it yet?

Searching for life in all the wrong places? Unable to see the light at the end of your tunnel?

Stop trying so hard….. it’s there. You just have to go a little further.

It’s as close as the beating of your heart.
Unable to find love or a place to call your own? Or you need and or want people to know and understand you and unconditionally love you?

Stop searching … and learn to love yourself.
How can anyone love you if you don’t love yourself?

Think about it.
Think about it.
Think about it.
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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

My Walk With God – Volume 2

I know that many of you with Kindles have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of My Walk With God – Volume 2.
Now, the wait is over! For, if you go to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Walk-God-Geoffrey-Keyte-ebook/dp/B00Q1N81FG/

 

you’ll be able to download Volume 2 for only £3.29.

N.B. Profits from My Walk With God – Volume 2 will help to publish future print-formatted books (for people who are not able to read our books online).

Read and enjoy!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Lord’s Baseball Game

Bob and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord’s team was playing Satan’s team. The Lord’s team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the 9th innings with two outs.

They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love. Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails.

The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love.

The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch. Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because Godly Wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases were now loaded. The Lord then turned to Bob and told him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Bob said, “He sure doesn’t look like much!”

Satan’s whole team relaxed when they saw Grace. Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen.

But Satan was not worried; his centre fielder let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run!

The Lord’s team won! The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game. Bob answered that he did not know why.

The Lord explained, “If your love, faith, and wisdom had won the game you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base but only My Grace can get you Home.

Psalm 84:11, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

None So Blind!

This teenager lived alone with his mother, and the two of them had a very special relationship. During school sports events, even though the son was always on the bench, his mother was always in the stands cheering.

She never missed a game.

This young man was the smallest of the class when he entered the school but she also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn’t want to. But the young man loved football and decided to hang in there. He was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he’d get to play when he became a senior.

All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game, but remained a bench warmer all four years. His faithful mother was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.

When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a “walk-on.” Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul into every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed.

The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his mother. His mother shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games.

This persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in the game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram.

The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, “My mother died this morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?”

The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, “Take the rest of the week off, son. And don’t even plan to come back to the game on Saturday.

Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the side-lines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful team mate back so soon.

“Coach, please let me play. I’ve just got to play today,” said the young man.

The coach pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man persisted. And finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in.

“All right,” he said. “You can go in.”

Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him.

He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you’ve never heard!

Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, “Kid, I can’t believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?

He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Well, you knew my Mom died, but did you know that my Mom was blind?”

The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, “Mom came to all my games, but today was the first time she could see me play, and I wanted to show her I could do it!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

I am Blessed

Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl, I envied her:-
She seemed so happy. And I wish I were as fair.
And then, suddenly, she rose to leave, and I saw her hobble down the aisle,
She had one leg and wore a crutch, But as she passed, a smile.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two legs,
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine!

Later, walking down the street, I saw a man with eyes of blue.
But he just stood and the watched the others play.
So, I stopped a moment and then I said, “Why don’t you join the others, sir?”
But he looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears,
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine!

And later, I stopped to buy some sweets,
The lad who sold them had such charm,
I talked with him. If I were late, it would do no harm.
But as I turned to go, he said to me, “I thank you sir. You’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see”, he said, “I’m blind”

Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes,
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine!
With legs to take me where I want to go,
With ears to hear the things I need to know,
With eyes to watch that radiant sunset glow,
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I am blessed indeed! The world is mine!

We live to Learn And Learn to Live!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey