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Archive for the ‘giving’ Category

     Ok, ready for some more, I can’t believe it…what were they thinking kind of blog post?  It is better to give than to receive (as long as you are going to KEEP receiving bailout money).  Outrageous news reports of an alledged 12 day trip to Vegas for the top employees for Wells Fargo & Company. 

     In the past years, this has been an alleged tradition of all expenses paid which included many different extravagant perks such as helicopter rides, private concerts, food and entertainment…etc.  While companies are made to look good to their employees by giving away so much; to the rest of us…the companies who do this kind of thing are making a mockery out of the purpose of the bailout money for those companies who have been failing to be financially responsible. 

        How can these corporations, banks and such that have been receiving bailout money from taxpayers still be so blind?  Can they not understand the depths of the resentment of the American people for this financial chaos that we have all been plunged into?  Surely, if these behaviors continue…they will go out of business and deservedly so. 

        The thing is…today’s news of the 12 day planned trip was defended by the company…until there was an uproar and they cancelled the trip.   If that is what it takes, to prevent further financial misuse of the bailout funds, negative peer pressure and pressure from the media, to change their behaviors; then, we are just going to have to be more vocal when we are made aware of an abuse of the American’s financial investment in their companies.

          Let the other industry leaders be forewarned…American tax payers are fed up with the mess that has been made.  I think those at the top of the companies that have received bailout money should be legally responsible for any misuse of those funds.  Let’s see some accountability here by our leaders!

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     Do you ever wonder what your personal responsibilities are?  I mean, most people understand that they must work, take care of their children, nuture their personal relationships, and pay their bills; what else is there?  Being a responsible person is a way of life; are you required to take care of others outside the close personal limits of your immediate family?  Who and what are you responsible for?  Are there limits to your responsibilty legally, physically, spiritually, emotionally or morally? 

      Have you ever heard the saying, “Are you your brother’s keeper”?  Human beings are complex creatures.  We have layers of self, one upon the other…each with their own wants and needs.  For those who are spiritual seekers of truth; there are teachings which encourage us to reach beyond the demands of our own personal flesh-n- blood, wants and needs.  My road map is the Bible.  Everything i need to know to be a successful and fulfilled person is included in that instruction manual.

       God wants us to follow his leading; we are to grow and learn how to praise him and serve others.  This is not always convienent in today’s society,  according to the world’s values. That attitude of becoming a servant requires a bit of sacrifice on our part.  Many people run from their own responsibilities and refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to reach out to others.   And there are others who do not consider themselves spiritual beings who still manage to be service minded…realizing that there is value to connecting with and recognizing need in others. 

      Understand, I am not talking about enabling others to continue to be irresponsible…but instead, teaching and inspiring others to take up the challenge of  meeting their own obligations when they are able.   To do that, they must be inspired, they must have knowledge, skills, opportunities and funding…once that happens, they too can become a servant to pass it on to others.

        Responsibility is something that we must strive for.  When everything is going smoothly…it is because we have acknowledged our responsibilities and have submitted ourselves to the service of God. 

        God says that we are to take care of the widows and the children; we are to befriend the poor.  When we see suffering in the world and we have the ability, the skill, the opportunity to help ,then we must consider it a priviledge and a responsibility to do so.  What are you willing to do for those around you?  Do you know someone who has a need? Can you listen when someone needs to talk, can you spend time with someone who is lonely, are you capable of performing a chore that someone else cant do and needs done? 

      There are so many ways to be of service to another fellow human being…it is simply a matter of being aware and observing those around you and being willing to be helpful.  People in need are all around us…it will change your life to see the world through the eye and heart of a servant of God.

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         Dr. Susan Love has started a massive undertaking to understand the complexities of breast cancer by organizing an army of women.  She has partnered up with the Avon foundation to get an army of women to sign up to do research on a large  cross section of women to get accurate information on genetic links as well as environmental links to help the medical community understand breast cancer better…so that we can more effectively treat and PREVENT breast cancer.  Check them out: http://www.avoncompany.com/women/avonfoundation/overview.html

        She made an announcement on Good Morning America with Robin Roberts (cancer survivor) interviewing her in October of 2008.  You can see the interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6118891.  

           I sort of envision an army of women all decked out in pink camouflage uniforms as they take up the challenge.  Breast cancer has stolen too many wonderful people from our world.  We have lost sisters, mothers, friends, lovers,aunts, daughters, grandmothers; as well as sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and friends!   If we can understand how it starts…then we will be able to figure out ways to prevent it.  If we can prevent it…maybe we won’t have to subject our loved ones to such difficult times during treatments.  It is a win-win situation.   You can learn more about Dr. Susan Love and about breast cancer by going here:  http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=1&SID=119

        Many people want to help…but, if they dont have money to give; they may say how can I possibly help?  This is an excellent way.  You can sign up to be a part of the army.  If nothing else….you can get information to help arm yourself in the war on breast cancer.  You can go here to sign up:  http://www.armyofwomen.org/  Surely you would like to see an end to breast cancer as we know it!

See possibly related stories here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/stand-up-to-cancer/ or, https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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       Got a call for a prayer request today for a young woman, recently married, who is 5 weeks pregnant and having severe pains.  Of course that is never good when you are expecting.  In the last several months, we have known several women who are expecting who were in the same situation.  Their pregnancies were in jeparody. 

         My own daughter has been in that situation twice now.  It is a fearful thing to have to be on bedrest….trying to buy more time for the child in the womb…just to get them to a safe time in the pregnancy to be born.   God is the giver of life…and he is the protector of life.  We dont know the mind of God regarding these things.  But, it is a miracle that from the time that the mother is aware of the life inside her…she has the ability to bond with that child; sight unseen.   Why are some children conceived and are miscarried or lost shortly after birth?  I don’t know.  Why are some people allowed to carrying a child to term only to abandon it or abuse it?  I don’t know.  Why is it that some people who desperately want a child are denied the opportunity due to infertility issues?  I don’t know.  Why are so many babies lost to abortion?  I don’t know.  Why are some children unwanted?  I don’t know. 

         I have pondered the mysteries of such issues when my husband and I lost two pregnancies ourselves.  Those are questions that we just don’t know the answers to at this time.   All I know is that God loves us and wants the best for us.  I pray for this young woman and her child…I know the fear and anxiety.  I also know that she wants to bring this child into the world.   Let’s hope that she gets to greet this child at his/her moment of birth and is able to give thanks to the giver of life!

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        When you have given your all and feel like you have nothing left to give…that is a great time to do a little Rest & Renewal.   Stop, don’t make any decisions; or, take any actions when you are feeling burned out and overburdened.  Stop, take a few deep breaths and re-evaluate the situation when you are feeling more refreshed.   Rest, eat healthy, drink water; ponder the blessings in your life and be thankful for them. 

         Don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negatives.   It is too easy to feel discouragement or weariness in that frame of mind.      When your vision is clear you will be in a better position to see things as they really are…assessing both the positive and the negative; allowing you to act accordingly.

        Emotions and physical limitations can blind you to your actual situation.  Give it a little time and remember to recharge your batteries.   No one says that you have to do all and be all things to everyone around you.   It is a wise person who takes the time to make sure that their own physical, spirtual, and emotional needs are met…then, and only then, can you continue to pour yourself out, or give to others in a real purposeful way.  

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       It is a new day, the beginning of a new week; and soon, it will be the beginning of a New Year.  It is easy to get caught up in the ugliness in the world.  The financial crisis, the rising cost of food, gas, oil, health benefits…you name it.  Crime is rampant.  Each news day is filled with violence, with fear, with selfishness.  I try to wrap my mind around the possibilities in each new day. 

       Today is a fresh start…a do over…a new beginning.  It is not that the things that went before don’t exist; it is that they do exist, and because they do…things must start anew.  Otherwise, it would be nothing but a downward spiral into a cesspool.  There has to be hope.  There has to be a promise that things will get better.  There has to be a chance to change the course of evil.  Each new day brings an opportunity to break away from the things that try to drag us down.

        So here is to a renewal in the spirit of mankind, a breath of kindness, a balm of healing attitudes, the pursuit of goodness over evil, the heart of a giver over those who express greediness in our cultures, the potential of each step forward…let these areas of opportunities be contagious; and, an encouragement of others to infect every person that comes into contact with the idea of improving the world we live!   

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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       Baby don’t cry…it is not your fault.  When you are old enough to know your story…know that it is not your fault.  It has happened for generations…people abandon their children.   It is wrong, but they do it for many reasons…all sad reasons, all heartbreaking…but, what it comes down to is a lacking.

        A lacking of something that is required to parent you little one.  Some parents are lacking money, some are lacking appropriate housing or clothing, some are lacking parenting skills.  Even worse, some are lacking a very basic, important connection…a bonding of parent to child; it is called love.  This is not normal.  This is not your fault.  The lacking is theirs and theirs alone; don’t let it define you.  Their failure to provide what you need does not wipe away your right to have those things that children need to grow and be whole.   You deserve to have what every child should have…love and acceptance. 

       There are many who would adopt you; love you and give you everything you need to be successful in life.  It is sad that your birth parents could not for whatever reason of lacking, be the people to give you what you need.  However, when you are able to read and understand it all…hopefully, you will have been adopted and cared for appropriately.  I hope that you received that love; and, now know that you are part of a family who wanted you, and needed you to be part of them.  The parts of you that feel empty or unfulfilled, because of the unknowns about your birth family, probably will never be fully satisfied.  Let it be enough to know that the circumstances that lead to your being abandonned are not a statement of anything that was wrong with you as a person.

         A small newborn child was abandoned in Charlotte, North Carolina in the last few days.  Children are being abandoned all around the world.  There are many who would love these children were they to enter into the foster/adoptive legal system in the right kind of way.  Why are parents dumping their children?

        When you are able to read this, or some other piece that addresses such issues…and  you have learned about your abandonment; don’t try to seek further information.  It will only hurt you more.  There are no answers that will satisfy your heart’s desire to be loved and accepted by the people who gave you up.  For each answer that is given to justify such actions will just trigger another “what if you had done this or that…could you have kept me then” question.  It is a never ending circle of emotional hurt.   

        It is not a reflection upon you…babies and children are easy to love.  You have done nothing wrong to be rejected…it is a fault inside of that person that by some miracle was able to give you life.  Unfortunately, abortion (infant death) is an option in today’s world..so, choosing life was a very positive thing.   Maybe that is the most that they had to give you; LIFE, it IS an important gift. 

       Your true source of life comes from God above.  You are here in this world because he values you…you are here for a purpose.  Discover what your purpose is and live it to the fullest…do not be destroyed by feelings of rejection or inferority.  You are worthy of all the best that life has to give you.   Your beginnings do not have to set a  negative standard for the rest of your life.  Take your gift and all that you have been able to receive and enjoy since the time of your birth and make something of yourself.  Be a giver, be an encourager…be the embodiement of what your birth parents lacked.  Be a giver and a receiver of Love.  Do you think that the impact of your birth can make a positive difference in the world?   I do, every life has value to offer the world.  Reader, do you know someone who has been rejected or abandoned…were they able to turn their difficult beginnings into a positive, productive life?

      

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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        Bravery is doing things you don’t want to do, facing things you don’t want to face, feeling things you don’t want to feel, taking a risk, acknowledging that you aren’t in control of all things related to you and yet, putting one foot in front of the other, regardless.

         Being brave doesn’t just apply to the larger things in life that we all have to deal with…bravery is applying the aforementioned things to the everyday, mundane events that take place in our lives and not giving up! 

          In both big and small moments we are brave…sometimes we are timid; that is ok.  Life is all about support and knowing where to get it when you need it.  You don’t have to be brave alone.  🙂  Was today a timid day or was it a test of bravery?  Big moment or small?  Did you reach out for support when you needed it?  Your timid day might be someone else’s brave day and tomorrow might be your day of bravery!  In the area of encouragement…be a giver and a taker…life will open up to you when you do so.

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