Scrooged

jez-timms-177420I’m no Scrooge, but lately I feel like the main character of that movie. I certainly was not a fan of his eccentric behavior. He was unkind, grumpy and nothing  excited him about Christmas. 

Christmas Past

Sometimes I wish Christmas felt as magical and spiritual like it was when I was a child. My parents would celebrate the birth of Jesus by having us attend midnight mass. Then we would come home and enjoy all kinds of goodies while preparing for Christmas day. Spending the day with our family and opening up our presents was very special.

Christmas Present

Today, I spend my time working ten to twelve-hour days wishing the season was over. Holidays like Christmas has become a tradition and as such is related to more stress than pleasure. People are so busy rushing around to buy that perfect gift for family and friends that they forget about the real meaning of Christmas. What if giving gifts was not part of this Holiday? Wouldn’t it be nice to celebrate the birth of our Lord spending quality time with family and friends?

The Public

I have had the opportunity to deal with the public for several years during various holiday shopping sprees. Working for a very large retailer, I formed many relationships with my customers and got their views on shopping for the holidays especially at Christmas. Besides listening to stories of fights in the parking lots, lost wallets or missing packages and more we can chalk it all up to unnecessary aggravation.

Christmas future

Where did we go wrong? Shopping has become more of a chore at Christmas. I have met some incredible people who have been duped into this shopping extravaganza. They are so relieved once their list is completed.  Rushing through the season of what should be a time for joy and celebration, has left most of us tired and broke. Maybe Christmas future should be based on a revolution of change.

Think about creative ways you can reduce stress by opting out of giving presents to people who really don’t need more than they already have…

Finding new ways to celebrate the season will bring more joy into you life. Get out of the guilt trap and remember if you must share gifts, make it magical for the children.

What do you think?

 

 

Wake up!

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Wake up!  It’s more than time to give thanks and praise

to our God who helps us in all our ways.

The season of giving and receiving unfolds,

so let us relax, go forth and be bold.

This holiday comes at the end of each year

So let us shout for joy and be clear

Wake up

Remember it’s all about our Lord and those

really in need,

so let’s forget about ourselves, there’s

no time for greed.

We keep giving to people who have more

than enough, come on look around

do you really need all that stuff?

Shopping for presents is a yearly tradition

Wake up

It’s time to change this compulsive condition

Stressing and frustrated from all the rush

Spending money we don’t have

until we’re crushed

Wake up

Living paycheck to paycheck to pay all the bills,

believe me when I tell you this is no thrill.

At the end of the year when you think

you’re ahead, the Santa syndrome

Hits you hard on the head

Christmas music entices you to

shop till you drop

As you shop for the season and you

Just want to stop.

Our lives are not defined by how much

we have, but how much one gives to those

who are sad.

Wake up

It’s time to change our obvious response

to a life filled with desires and wants

time to change our conclusion

Get out of this illusion

Place a limit on your family and friend giving

So you can really start living

Stay alert find the charities who are truly

Reaching out

Make a switch, change your life

Remember what life is really about.

 

Pat Fagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is leading the charge?

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Who is leading the charge of mankind into battle? The battle for our hearts and minds have been going on for centuries. There is so much hatred in our world today against mother, brother, sister, and friends. Who or what is leading this charge? What are we watching and listening to which shifts our consciousness from love to hatred. Think about it, for in the beginning we were united in love from the first human beings, Adam and Eve. Now we are divided, misled and deceived by the world around us which is constantly changing. So, who is leading this charge of wars, greed by our corporations and deception by our politicians? Continue reading “Who is leading the charge?”

Life is Precious

The Gift of Life

family-1428181_1280“Everyday above ground is a Blessing”

Life is precious and the more we realize the gift that’s been freely given by our creator in spite of our ups and downs, the better we’ll feel. Living a life full of real intention whether at work, home, or play will improve your mood and provide a spark of passion. I know you don’t always feel that way, but you can try to improve every aspect of your life by learning valuable lessons, while transforming like a caterpillar in a cocoon who goes through the necessary changes in order to convert into a beautiful butterfly.

The Matrix

If you ever saw the movie called The Matrix, you will understand the illusionary world that the humans are living in day-to-day. People are going through the motion, but like the main character, they feel like something is wrong, but they can’t figure out what it is which makes them so uncomfortable. In our present world, there is so much going on in our personal life as well as the world outside our window. Some people are getting more and more depressed and in some cases willing to take their own life. However, life is precious and we can’t allow it to beat us down as we stand defeated.

Building Relationships

Find people in your life you can lean on for support in times of sadness. We all need someone we can talk to who will help us through the tough times. Good relationships start with good people skills, so listen effectively and develop empathy. Be positive and appreciate others who may also turn to you in times of trouble. Life is precious and a gift therefore we need to connect with each other and invest our time to build each other up rather than tear each other down. Whenever possible spend more time with family and friends away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Start off each day with a song

Jimmy Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor. He wrote a song which touches my heart every time I hear it. Life is precious and how you choose to see and live it makes all the difference in the world. His words of wisdom are very inspiring as it gives us a reason to start our day each morning with a smile on our face and a song in our heart.

Start Off Each Day With a Song

You gotta start off each day with a song

Now even when things go wrong

You’ll feel better

You’ll even look better

I’m here to tell you that you’ll be a go-getter

Now the way you shake my hand

Will tell me how I stand

Now isn’t it better to go through life with a smile and a song

Than walking around with a face 11 miles long

Now you know you can’t go wrong

 If you start off each day with a song

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone has a Story

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I met a stranger in the most unlikely of places who began to tell me her life’s story. She started by asking me my opinion of a designer fringed handbag she was thinking about purchasing. Her personal style is to dress more like the 60’s, a Hippie era of peace signs, bright colors and bands like the Beatles and Jimmy Hendrix. She wanted to stay true to who she is regardless of what’s going on in the Fashion Industry even if fringe was going out of style.

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We were able to connect on an emotional level and she felt quite comfortable opening up to tell me her story. She started by sharing the fact that Jesus is her lord and savior and that he saved her from many negative life experiences.

Her Story

At a very young age, she was placed in a mental institution for a short time. As she grew older, she was in an abusive relationship and finally ended it in order to save her life.  To add to her tragic life story, she was almost raped by a complete stranger. She asked me to open my mouth and share her story because she attributes her new-found life of happiness due to the saving grace of Jesus.

I felt so sorry, as I listened to her story, but there is hope in the end, she found Jesus and was happy filled with life again.

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We are not alone

Everyone has a story to tell, a tapestry filled with pain and suffering and some experiences we would rather choose to forget. We believe we are the only ones having such a difficult time. However we are not alone in the agony of life. When you hear another persons story, worst than what you’re presently experiencing, I don’t know about you, but I just want to shut up, no need to complain and thank God for his unmerited favor.

There is another side where love and happiness abides woven in the midst of all that we’ve experienced along the way. But although this tapestry is tattered and torn and perhaps weathered from the many storms, it survived and made us all into the persons we are today.

We are men and women of character not defeated by our stories as we continue to endure our life experiences. There is always a new chapter to be written of hope, lessons learned and change that brings light in spite of darkness which will lose in the end.

Nuggets of Truth: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

Are you living on empty?

img_2861There is a beautiful pristine lake nestled near a small town not too far from where I live. Last fall, due to the lack of rain, it started to recede and the water level was very low. There were patches of land peaking above the water, also in areas near the shore.

img_1120Fast forward to the winter rain and snow which increased the water levels revealing a lake filled with fresh water reaching normal levels.

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Living on Empty

Are you living on empty? When I thought about the lake, I started to think about our spiritual life. It’s so easy to live in a way where our spiritual side is unbalanced and slowly drying up like the lake above. At that point we start to lose the “fruit of the spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The darker side of life slowly seeps in and before you know it, life slowly begins to take a nose dive. Living your life with joy is beginning to be more of a chore than pleasure. That’s because you’re running on empty.

Filling your spiritual Tank

We can’t wait till our spiritual tank is near empty before we begin to fill it with the things which makes life worth living. Besides our day-to-day life of work, and family, we need to take the time to nourish our spirituality. Otherwise, we will begin to feel unhappy, depressed, with very little energy. When was the last time you had a spiritual check up? Are you on life support? Or are you operating on normal levels?

Filling our spiritual tank starts by living each day to the fullest while practicing and living in the “fruit of the spirit.” It is also getting in touch with our inner man deep within and connecting with who we really are as an individual. Do the things which makes you happy. Take the time to recognize all that’s going on around you, good bad or indifferent, and yet realizing it’s what made you the person you are today.

Your spirituality also consists of accepting yourself with all your imperfections, knowing we are here to learn from our mistakes. Connect with nature whenever possible which will bring more clarity to your mind. Think about going on spiritual retreats which will help you focus on the positive aspects of life. As I’ve said in, previous blogs it’s very important to have time spent alone to think, breathe, pray and connect with your Creator.

Nugget of Truth: “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

John 6:63

 

 

 

Rough Times

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When the storms of life are raging

“When it rains, it pours.” Lately I’ve been going through a lot of downers. I felt like I took a wrong turn and life was moving in the wrong direction. My mom was in the hospital, but thank God she recovered. Now dad just had a major procedure and is now recuperating. I thank God for his blessings through these difficult time.

Taking a Deep breath

When your parents are at a certain age, every time the phone rings, you breathe deeply and pray for good news. What makes it more difficult is their location in another country. At the same time I was experiencing some other personal crisis. Dear lord, what are you trying to teach me through all this pain?

Gaining strength in rough times

Why do we go through rough times? I am not quite sure of the answer. But my mom who is a prayer warrior believes through the tough times, we are being refined like silver. Having had many of these moments over the course of my life, I believe there is a lesson to be learned in everything we experience in our life.

When you get through the tough times, you realize you are stronger having gone through the fire. We are designed to go through our battles rather than going around it. As we are told in a popular song,” Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

I have just experienced several weeks of a living hell and I can tell you, I am a survivor. Thank God my parents are well. However, the other personal issues I alluded to is going to take time. I believe God will get me through it as he has helped me so many times in the past.

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I pray faithfully for God’s blessings, and I ask that he help you when your storms of life are raging. Be strong and believe, he will get you through it. Press on and go through the storms knowing their are sunny days ahead.

Nugget of Truth: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Romans 12:12

Prayer, patience and hope will help you through tough times.

When life is beating you down, how do you go about handling your situation?  Please leave a comment below.