(Photo credit-Ella’s Voice)
Gordon Parks, the famous Life Magazine photographer, composer, and film maker once said, “I think people can do a whole awful lot more if they just try.”
Powerful words from a powerful man.
When I read his quote, I asked myself, what about your life, Paul? What are doing to really make a difference? Sure, I’m busy, just like everyone else. But how long was I going let my life go on without fulfilling what I truly wanted to do?
For too long I allowed my goals to be pinned up, pushed back, and put on the back burner. NO MORE!
According to Parks, the reason why people don’t do more is because “they just don’t have the confidence that they can write a novel, or they can write poetry, or they can take pictures, or paint, or whatever, and so they don’t do it.”
Wow! After reading that, I began my lifelong dream to publish my novel, LIFE: AS FRAGILE AS DUST, which I did this year. Bitten hard by the bug of effort, I invented a new board game. This year, I trademarked numerous phrases and started an office supplies and T-shirt business and we produced a short film.
If I hadn’t done this, I would have continued to put my life on hold. And I would have, as Mr. Parks said, been one of the many people who “leave the planet dissatisfied with themselves.”
For our GOOD FRIDAY, start the dream that burns in your heart today. We need your paintings, your novels, your inventions, your poems, your view of the universe.
Your life matters. I believe it and so must you. And as always, keep your head up.
Look at the above picture. Do you find it amusing?
What about this one?
And this one?
No? Then you are part of a small minority. There are many who find these pictures hilarious. Why? The victim is a man.
Why is there so little attention given to this horrible crime compared to the massive attention given when a woman is beaten?
Could it be because a man is perceived to be weak if he becomes a victim of domestic violence? Yes, without a doubt.
Domestic violence against men is under-reported because of the stigma associated with men being abused by their female partners. Most men keep a low profile and do their best to escape the shame.
Consider this story: Susan towered over Dave like a building over a flower. He loved her, she him. They married and before long had a brood of three, a girl and two boys. They were happy.
Without notice their marital bliss came to a screeching halt. Soon Susan began to take out her frustrations on Dave. Daily he endured verbal abuse, before long she began punching him.
Her attacks increased and Dave began making excuses for his many cuts and bruises. One morning after many years of abuse Dave decided to end his suffering.
He waited for Susan to get home. As soon as she entered the house she tore into him with verbal attacks that were quickly escalated into a beating she swore he would not forget. As she slapped him throughout the house, it was into the kitchen that she finally met her match.
From the utensil draw, Dave pulled out a .357 Magnum and fired. The round hit Susan in the chest. She fell and with the last of his strength he dragged her down to the basement and hid her behind the furnace.
The screams of “Daddy!” came from the children upstairs.
Later, Dave stood trial on attempted murder. He lost everything as most victims of abuse often do.
For our GOOD FRIDAY let’s remind friends and family that October is Domestic Violence month for both men and women.
If you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence please share these numbers:
The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men: 877 643-1120 and entering PIN number 0757
For women: The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Chances are you won’t even see it coming. Long before you can recoil, it has you. At first you make little of it, and why shouldn’t you? The pain, if any, is mild, so you brush it off as nothing, just a little bite. Big mistake.
Those old shoes tucked away in the back of the closet. That winter coat you put away last summer. Maybe it was when you lay sleeping and felt something crawling over your face. And when you brushed it away…WHAM! “Something bit me!” You turn on the lights, and you see this little guy.
You watch him scurry away. “Stupid spider.” No, not stupid – deadly, very deadly.
In homes these guys seem to favor cardboard. But have been found in dressers, toilets, clothes left lying on the floor, gloves, infrequently used beds, and etc.
(Photo credit eMedicine Health)
Its venom, according to eMedicineHealth, is more potent than that of a rattlesnake in ratio to its size. One bite, if left unattended according to the University of Minnesota, can in rare cases cause LIVER failure. Its bite can destroy tissue at an alarming rate. The following photos are shocking but very real.
(Photos credit- About.com)
In ten days this man’s life changed forever. The symptoms usually develop two to eight hours after a bite.
What should you do if the Brown Recluse bites you? eMedicineHealth advises you take the following step.
GET TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY!
The home kit pictured contains glue traps and a charcoal power to help soak the venom out of the tissue, thus preventing further damage.
(Photo credit: www.brown-recluse.com)
The states in the map below are where the brown recluse makes its home.
(Photo credit BrownRecluseSpider.com)
For our GOOD FRIDAY, inform someone of this dangerous spider. Have you ever encountered a brown recluse or any other deadly species we should be aware of? Tell us in the comments below. And as always, keep your head up and your eyes open.
Why have you let the hardships put distance between you? Sitting on the same sofa, you’re light-years from each other. What happened?
How did she become an umbrella tucked in the closet only to be appreciated on rainy days? And sadly for you, he became as a throw pillow that decorated your life.
Are you going to toss away all the years you built together just because you’ve forgotten how to express love? Please think before you answer – how will your response affect the other?
Can you look at her? Can you look at him? Are you going to remain silent and let fear and stubbornness take authority over your lives? Is it worth leaving your precious marriage in ruins?
STOP, PLEASE STOP!
I heard a man pleading with my parents like that many years ago. Unfortunately, they didn’t listen. They didn’t make it.
I want to make it. I want to stay married to my beautiful wife forever and a day.
For our GOOD FRIDAY, my wife and I saw a movie without the kids. To her amazement I wanted to see ‘Hope Springs’.
“You don’t like romantic comedies.”
“I don’t, not really. But I love you and I think it might be funny.”
I won’t spoil the movie, but it was more than just amusing, it was truly a reminder that from hope springs love.
What did you do this week to remind your loved one you only have eyes for them? Leave your reply below.
And remember, you can and will make it if you don’t quit. And as always, keep your head up.
You pursued her with unbridled passion. Your love burned endlessly. With a love only reserved for her you gazed into her eyes, and spoke so reassuringly, “I only have eyes for you.” In that moment you could have asked for the world, and she would’ve given it. Instead she gave you more-she gave you her heart.
Job loved his wife so much he made this covenant with God: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.”
How many men today could make such a pledge? For that fact, how many women? Very few.
Imagine if one stolen lustful glance would blind you for the remainder of your life. I have seen many gorgeous women, but not one is worth my sight. I need my vision. I want to spend the rest of my life gazing on and lusting for my wife.
Truly, it’s a challenge not to let one’s eyes go astray. However, daily, I remind myself that I am an old raisin; what sense does it make for me to try to bundle up with a plump grape?
When I have a sexy, beautiful, mature, experienced, luscious, and intelligent raisin that’s raisin’ our children?
Hang with your wife, as you age you’ll be glad you did.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever, I only have eyes for you.
For our GOOD FRIDAY, let’s remind our someone special that we still, after all these years, only have eyes for them. Remember, this is for the young and old alike, male and female-this philosophy starts when you’re young. And come back on Friday and tell us your story in the comments below. And as always – keep your head up.
You never know where you’re going to be when compassion sneaks up on you and wraps your heart in its warm embrace.
For me, it found me sitting in front of the TV. During the commercials, an ad for Christian Children’s Fund flashed on the screen. As always, it’s difficult seeing so many kids living in extreme poverty. Many times, I watched for a while, and then slowly turned the channel. I turned, not because I didn’t care, but because, “What possible good could an average guy like me do?”
In the spring of 2001, I called the number the next time I saw Christian Children’s Fund flash on the screen (now Child Fund International). It’s proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. Why? I got to know and sponsor Erimias.
After the sponsor package arrived, I saw he was a young boy, age eight. Seeing those bright eyes, his brave stare, I felt honored to be his sponsor.
Many letters later, so many filled with joy and accomplishments, some with filled with sadness; since my sponsorship, Erimias has lost both his parents.
He continues to be an outstanding student and is now age 19.
Six years later, my family and I were leaving a Christian concert. Near the exit, two women stood at a long table. On the table sat rows of pictures of young children with their bio’s attached. We saw Trishna’s picture right away and said to each other, “She’s the one.”
Over the years I’ve been blessed to receive encouraging letters and as you see, beautiful pictures. As of today Trishna and family are doing well.
It’s been a privilege watching these children grow and being able to contribute in improving their lives in a small way.
How was your GOOD FRIDAY? How do you like to show compassion to others? Leave your stories in the comments below. And as always – keep your head up.
However, these pictures are no laughing matter.
(Photos courtesy of Family from Afar)
One of the most effective ways to change this is to get to the root cause. And making huge shoe donations isn’t the answer.
Consider this: “After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Honduras was flooded with shipments of donated goods. They clogged ports, overwhelmed military transport, and made it nearly impossible for relief agencies to ship in the things they really needed. Those donations did harm, not good. Expired drugs had to be carefully disposed of. Inappropriate donations had to be transported away and discarded. All of this wasted time and money. ” Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti.
Sometimes the donations aren’t of any real use for the area. As one one-time islander in Honduras explains about the shoes… “I lived through Hurricane Mitch on a little Island called Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras. So much devastation. The Islanders were quite confused about the container that arrived on a ship to Utila full of high heel shoes. Yes, high heel shoes, the entire container!” A Day Without Dignity.
Many times our good intentions can cause more harm than good. Donating Shoes and Other Aid Fads.
However, I know how a charitable heart works and I totally understand the urge to send shoes for these needy children. But let’s find another way to help. As one emergency relief workers states: “Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem in emergency relief. Only the people on the ground know what’s actually necessary.”
One sure way to offer your assistance is to give to charities that get at the root cause. These impoverished families need programs that fund money to families in search of a better life through education and self-sufficiency.
For our GOOD FRIDAY, let’s help kids all over the world get new shoes. Consider donating money to a local charity or an international one like Childfund International or Compassion International. Both these charities help the child by providing their parents with means to buy goods that are local (including shoes). Come back on Friday and tell us what charity you chose to help. And as always, keep your head up.
After an early morning shampoo you discover your hair has turned bright green. Many shampoos and rinses later, you face the fact that it’s permanent.
Do you go to work that morning? If you do, how would you deal with the stares and the constant question, “What happened to your hair?”
What about the snickering? Or the direct insults? Could you bear under such pressure?
Most adults would find it difficult to go through life with green hair. But why would life under green hair be so hard to manage?
Perspective. Other people’s perspective, that’s why.
For our GOOD FRIDAY this week, we were to watch a movie with our children, a movie that would inspire them to newer heights. The movie I picked was The Boy with Green Hair, made in 1948. In the movie a war orphan, after washing his hair, discovers he will have to spend the rest of his life with green hair. Ostracized and pressured to no end to cut off or dye his bright green hair, he runs away and collapses running through the woods. There he has a revelation in the form of poster war orphans who help him see the purpose of his sudden green hair.
After the movie I asked my son would he be embarrassed to sport bright green hair.
“Embarrassed? I already have the longest hair than all the guys in my school. If my hair was green too, I would be the coolest kid in school.”
How was your Good Friday? What movie did you decide to watch? Leave your stories in the comments below. And as always – keep your head up.
Junk food can and does wreck our bodies. But movies and television shows filled with senseless violence or warped messages destroy our minds.
Many parents have taken a stand, refusing to let their young children watch the likes of a RATED R movie because most of these films lack any real morals.
Bravo! One giant step for parents and one small step the children.
What? Wait – why is it only a small step for children?
Think about it…
Parents (some, not all) don’t let their children watch movies with moral decline – a good aim. But these same parents have little to no concern watching those movies while their children are only an earshot away in the next room or upstairs.
These youngsters who aren’t permitted to sit and watch useless entertainment many times are subjected to it audibly.
I know, I know. Parents should have and do have the right to watch whatever they want. While true, consider this. You confuse your child when you say, “You’re too young to watch those kinds of movies. Only mommy and daddy are allowed to see these types of movies.”
For a child, that kind of logic is confusing.
The fact of the matter is this:
You can’t place an age limit on morality.
Yes, there are many things that should be left out of the reach of small children. Movies are just one of many that have, of late, got under my skin.
Please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m a parent also struggling to find that ever moving line of decency etched in the sand. One only has to look at the latest fare in movies and see there’s a need to closely examine what we let entertain us and unwilling let poison our children as well as ourselves.
We can make a change. For our GOOD FRIDAY, watch a movie with a child or take your child to one – something that will not only entertain them but will inspire them to new heights. Or check out RandomFilmBuff for good suggestions. On Friday, come back and tell us your experience. And as always, keep your head up.
Where is the Wealthiest place on earth?
Many believe it’s in the oil rich reserves of the Middle East. Or the diamond mines of South Africa. There are even those who tell you it’s in all the cemeteries of the world.
None of those answers are correct, not one.
Of the three places mentioned, why would people believe wealth could ever possibly be in the grave? You no doubt heard this overused and under-thought excuse: “Many people in cemeteries died before their treasures could be realized.”
A treasure that can’t be accessed isn’t a treasure.
No, there are zero treasures in the cemeteries, none of which are of any value to us.
So where does all the wealth of the world lie? Where it’s always been, right here.
Our true wealth is in the living. So, instead of focusing on what could have been, let’s gear our hearts and minds on what can be.
Case in point:
An eight-year-old boy turned in filthy homework every day. It had soot all over it, smearing the pages with dirty smudges. It smelled of smoke, and so did the boy. The kids would laugh, and every time he handed it to his teacher, she begrudgingly accepted it; for a week this went on. Finally at end of the week she said: “meet with me after class.”
“Why is your work like this? Don’t you care enough about school not to hand in work like this?”
With his head down, the boy answered. “Our house caught on fire. Our furniture was ruined; there was water everywhere, and we had nowhere else to go, so we had to move back in. All of the lights won’t work, so I have to do my homework by candlelight.”
With tears in her eyes, she gladly accepted the homework and told the boy he could do his homework after class in her classroom.
That’s why I believe the wealth of the world is in the hearts and minds of our children and the people of all nations, who have the fortitude to not give up. Period.
If you’re not familiar with our Good Friday, please read: Good Fridays. If you like, please join us for this Good Friday.
Our Good Friday: Read a book to a child before Friday, then come back and tell us how it went. And as always, keep your head up.