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Sunday, October 20, 2019
Chaplain's Corner: 2015 Archives 

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Heart Song

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and you are not able to stop hearing it? The best I am able to do is change to a different song. What about a song that lies deep in your heart. These are the songs that can transport you to a different place and time. A heart song can hold very strong emotional feelings and memories. Today’s world has so many sources of input into our lives, we seldom get to replay the depths of our heart.

What is your heart song? When was the last time you listened to it? To listen you need to shut down all the noise and input, even if for a moment. Then listen close to the music that the Creator of heaven and earth placed within you. This will not be easy during the holidays, but try. Like the television it is always playing, but we must listen.



Inventory Time Again

There was time in my life when the fall season was also the time of preparation for a pending inventory. We had to get both the products and paperwork ready for the pending counts and recounts. It was always a mixed blessing. The sales force was required to clean out their backlog, and the warehouse had to be organized.

I still use this time of year for inventory. The difference is now, I count blessings and things for which I am thankful. It is easy to see the problems in life. The blessings however can hide behind the pains we face each day. I challenge you to look close and see what blessing you are thankful for.  




Honest Friendships

There is something special about a beautiful flower garden. They often contain lots of color and add greatly to any landscape. I respect anyone that is successful in maintaining a flower garden. True friendship is like a flower garden. Friendship is a rare gift in life. A true friend will plant fragrant flowers of praise and encouragement in your life. They will also be willing to point out when weeds become rooted, purely out of love and concern. 

It is always easier to plant praise than pull weeds, but friends know both are required. So if you have true friends in your life, add them to your list of blessings from God. If they live in your household, your blessings are doubled. 




Life's Battles

Some of them are external and very evident. Others are internal and hidden from anyone to see. Guys brag about them. Some are on the surface and others are deep and painful. I am speaking of scars. There is no one that I have met that has gone through life without receiving scars. They occur from the time we are born until the day we leave this earth.

What scars do you have? Are they physical, emotional or both? How long have you had them? I want you to now look at those scars from a different angle. See your scars as a mark that was left from a battle you won. 




Where is the Reset Button?

There seem to be several items in my life that require being reset. My router, phone, and wireless printer all require hitting the reset button on occasion. When you turn it off and back on everything should work. What about you as a person. Do you need to be reset at times? We each find different ways to reset our lives. Vacations, staycations, or not setting your alarm on the weekends.

What about your spiritual side? Do you ever consider the need to refresh the person within? There is a reset available to each of us, it is called prayer. I challenge you with however you understand prayer, to see what the resetting of your spirit can do for your daily life. 




Allergies

If you suffer from allergies you know what frustrations they can bring. Medication for some allergies is available but that does not cure the allergy, it only masks the symptoms. By taking your medication it makes you feel better about having allergies.

The same is true with doing what is right and what is permissible. Even when we do what is considered best practices by society, it may not be the right thing to do. Do our actions really meet the criteria of the Golden Rule? Doing what is right is often not what is easy, and can even require sacrifice on our part.



Enjoy the Warmth

Have you ever watched a fire? Not one with gas logs, a real wood fire. It is mesmerizing to watch the dancing flames and glowing embers. When an ember falls away from the fire, it is not long before its glow is replaced with a dull gray appearance. The longer it stays away from the fire the cooler it becomes.

People like an ember we need to stay close to the warmth of others. We are not made for continual solitude. We were created for the community of other people. Family, co-workers, friends are just a few sources of warmth. Like the ember, once we are reconnected to the warmth, our glow will quickly return. So reach out to others and enjoy the glow of friendship.



Silence Can Be Deadly

A lifeguard watching over a group of swimmers is there to help those who are struggling and in trouble. They watch from their location far above the swimmers just waiting to help those in need. They know that the Hollywood version of someone in trouble is not truth. Reality is that a struggling swimmer is most often silent.

There are never enough lessons in life that prepare us for the difficult currents we sometimes face. Often our strength is far less than needed, and we are just trying to keep our heads above the water. The Creator of heaven and earth is the ultimate lifeguard. Look up and reach out when you are in over your head. 



New Beginnings

Spring has arrived and has brought with it the beautiful colors and singing birds. It is a time for new growth to emerge and flowers to express their beauty. We can open the windows of our homes and change the air that has been trapped all winter. It is a time for newness and rebirth.

As spring arrives, my challenge for you is to allow yourself a new beginning. Many of us carry the same issues and history year after year. Try to start new and leave the old issues behind. They will control your future if you allow them to. Forgive yourself and move forward.



It Is All In The Brine

Pickles are great, and there are so many different varieties. Eating them on their own, or in a sandwich the options are endless. What creates the different varieties of pickles is determined by the brine a cucumber is immersed in.  Bread and butter pickles have sugar, where dill pickle brine does not. So where am I going with this illustration?

The cucumber has no choice in what brine it is immersed. As people, we choose who we surround ourselves with. If all those around us are negative, we will take on that flavor. On the other hand, if those around us are encouraging and positive, we will have a different outlook. I challenge you to take an inventory of your surroundings and adjust your brine so it will create your desired result.




Slow it Down

What is your reaction when you are driving down the road and cars traveling the opposite direction are flashing their lights? Do you slow down and become hyper vigilant of your surroundings? You can never be too safe; after all there might be an animal off the roadway. That warning is great for when you are driving, what about life in general? Do you have someone that warns you of speeding through life?

Life moves so fast and it is easy to get caught up in the fast flow in all areas of life. We were not created for this fast pace all of the time. In the word of Mac Davis, ‘Stop and smell the roses.’ Slow down and spend some time with your family, friends, and Creator.



We Are Designed For Giving

We are now leaving the time of year where we have most likely done a large amount of giving. We give to those people that we love, and we even give to those we have never met. Some of the giving is done with full knowledge of who gave the gift. Other giving is done anonymously. No matter the gift we are designed for giving.

As this New Year starts I challenge you to continue giving. This giving is at times more difficult to offer up. I challenge you not to just give, but to forgive. When we forgive the giver is the true recipient. When we forgive we release ourselves to move out of the stagnant place of anger and frustration. Forgiveness is actually more of a gift to your own spirit than it is the one that is forgiven.


        
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