Sunday, July 10, 2011

FREEDOM
The first amendment of the Bill of Rights states:
 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
We have many freedoms in this country, many of which are taken for granted.  The most important, at least to me, is freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Just imagine if we were bussed to a place of worship, one that was dictated by the government – or, when writing our blogs, emails, letters, books or educational materials, they would have to be censored.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot even comprehend having to live under these conditions, as many people do.
When I sit down to write my blog, or my notes which one day will be miraculously transformed into my memoir :>) , many times I have no clue what I’m going to say after the subject line is written. I had planned to write about ‘how we know when it’s God’ which I will at some point, mainly because with all that’s happened in the last 2 or 3 weeks regarding my move, there is no doubt that He has been in control.  But, as I said, that’s for another day.
Freedom comes in many forms, and most likely we all have our own appreciation and definition of the various freedoms we enjoy.  There is always that chance that one or more of our freedoms can be taken away, especially as we get older – older I said, not old – there is a difference, you know.  As I write, I am answering my own question as to why this subject?  I see the words and realize that this is a subject closely related to my present circumstances – not that any of my freedom is being taken away, but that a new season in my life is beginning – decisions are being made regarding what is really important, how much is enough and how will I spend my remaining years.   
Living in America, freedom, for the most part, is a choice. We can be free physically, but at the same time, we can limit our freedom by the burdens and baggage we choose to carry – whether real or imagined.  I think of my Mother, gone now for 14 years – she lived alone and had the freedom to do whatever she chose after retiring – but although she had this gift of freedom to learn, travel, volunteer – whatever – she chose to do none of these. She became an agoraphobic in her last few years – fear of the outside world robbed her of her freedom and quality of life. It saddens me that so many, whether due to their choices or their circumstances, are not free but are limited because of health, finances or that old enemy, Fear.
I thank God every day for my country - for the freedom it offers – for health and being of sound mind – I know, some of you are frowning and shaking your head at this remark – but most of the time it works okay.  The Lord has blessed me far beyond anything I would have dreamed – my family and friends who make life’s journey worthwhile and interesting, not to mention Maggie, my dear little four-legged companion who brings so much joy. And now as a new season begins, I look forward with anticipation to whatever is in store – to embrace and explore the gift of freedom that opens the door to unlimited opportunities and possibilities.
God Bless you and yours.

   

 

  


Friday, July 1, 2011

Friendship





What a blessing - the gift of friendship.

The Lord knew we would need someone to lean on, someone with whom we could share, not only our sorrows and disappointments, but our joys and achievements as well.  One may have numerous acquaintances during their lifetime, but  true friends are counted among life's greatest blessings.

From the beginning, the Lord knew our needs. He knew there would be the darkness of the valleys - those times when a kind word can be so reassuring and a strong hand  taking hold of ours to steady our walk. Most of all, He knew we would need those who would accept us as we are, giving us companionship and love unconditionally with nothing expected in return.  These, I believe, are the qualifications of a friend.

The Lord brings people into our lives for different reasons and different seasons. Some are with us for just a season, while others remain, steadfast and true. During my lifetime countless people have walked with me, encouraged and endured the trials and tribulations - many were not destined to remain and have gone their own way - but those that the Lord chose for my long term friends have been and are among my life's greatest blessings.  Those are the ones who accompanied me through the darkest times, as well as those who shared the awesome view from the mountaintop.
Time spent there is like no other - a place to be refreshed, renewed and restored.

Thank you, Lord, for friends - for these special blessings in my life.
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"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"  Eccl 4:10