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I Don't Have To Look Far For Inspiration

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our son Tim’s nickname is “Tails.” It’s an abbreviated version of “The Tail End.” He’s the youngest of six and one of his brothers dropped that moniker on him about ten years ago. Time will soon be twenty five and his lifelong ambition is to brew beer. Yup, you read it right, Tim wants to brew beer. When you have three older brothers and two older sisters who work in shall-we-say more traditional careers you get a lot of advice about being a brew master isn’t a very stable career.

Tim works for a micro-brewery. He cleans barrels and bungs. He sweeps up. If there is an over flow or a mess Tim generally takes care of it. He changes light bulbs and generally does what needs to be done. He’s paid minimum wage. The brew master told him if he can hang in there for a year he will begin teaching him the brewing arts.

Tim has had a lot of jobs in his short life. He’s left himself open to a lot of criticism at times but it’s never seemed to bother him. He’s been to Europe, Mexico and Canada. The two phone calls I’ll never forget came from LaGuardia Airport in New York City; “Hey dad, I’m in New York and I’m okay and all just let mom know I’ll be home Sunday.” And. “How old were you when JFK was shot? I’m standing on Deeley Plaza with a friend……”

Tim has lived life the way you are supposed to. You live it on your own terms and make sure you don’t hurt anyone in the process. You are always there with a helping hand and man-o-man do you have stories to tell about every place you’ve been. I used to ask Tim to go to the grocery with me when he was in town but he would always run into someone he knew from somewhere and we’d end up standing around for a while. Tim is not in a hurry to get anywhere.

I envy Tim. If he weren’t my son I’d want him to be my friend. He has stuck to his dream, never wavered when other people, including his mom and dad have tried to convince him otherwise. If he weren’t my son I’d want him as a friend. There is nothing loud about him. He just knows what he wants.

Tim’s in Chicago this weekend. The brew master let him come along to a beer tasting contest. They are hoping to win and award. He was pretty excited about it when he called yesterday, but then Joan and I have come to expect that. Tim seems to be excited about life all the time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 12/19/2011 11:07AM

    Tim sounds so cool...but what can you expect with you and Joan as parents?

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NASFKAB 11/13/2011 3:33AM

  Tim sure has awesome parents envy him there

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LYNMEINDERS 11/12/2011 11:14PM

    Awesome blog...thankyou for shaing about your son....
I love him without meeting him....
It is so the way to live life....
i think folks need to take lessons form the Tim's in this world....I am sure we would be a lot less stressed and a lot happier with our selves if we did

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HDHAWK 11/12/2011 10:23PM

    What a great son you have. I have one that isn't afraid to "do his own thing". He is able to speak his mind when need be, something I'm still working on. He's got his tattoos, sometimes shaves his head, and is going for a career as a motorcycle tech. He's found something he loves to do and that is worth a lot. The same goes for Tim. I'm sure they are happy being their own people.

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SPARKENISTA 11/12/2011 12:34PM

    Tim is already a huge success on so many levels. He knows his mind. He has the inner structure to carry out a plan to fruition--like his travels. People who do the unusual on the outside have to have a strong constitution, inner moral compass and values on the inside to be successful.

He is able to delay gratification and do the routine work in the brewery--@ minimum wage--to prove to his boss that he is serious and to ripen his skills. Those are no small things in a world where so many people want instant gratification.

I want to add that chances are that his boss is a wise man to test his protege's metal and see what he's made of before giving away his "secrets". Those "secrets" will very well make up for lost time in the minimum wage category.

Kudos to mom and dad (and sibs) for growing this unique and fabulous son!


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MKPRINCESS007 11/12/2011 9:35AM

    John...........this is wonderful! Tim sounds like an awesome guy, an "out of the box" thinker for lack of a better term. I feel the exact same way about my son, Kevin. I know that he is going to live life to the fullest and enjoy it all the way. He wants to see the world, and at 12 he is already on his way. He went to Canada last summer with an organization called People to People, and this summer I will go in debt to send him to London and Paris.

You truly have a blessing in your son. It is so wonderful to hear how you embrace him and the life he is choosing. He is truly blessed to have you and your wife for his parents as well.

Thanks for sharing!

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GEEMAWEST 11/11/2011 9:48PM

    I'm sure that Tim considers you not only a good father but a good friend.

You done good!

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CARTOONB 11/11/2011 9:01PM

    Sounds like you did something right. You're letting your son be himself. Time sounds like a great person.

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TIME4AFITME 11/11/2011 4:29PM

    How awesome that is to live your life on your terms! What a nice blog about your son

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FLGIRL1234 11/11/2011 3:03PM

    What a fantastic tribute to the man your son is and what a great way to express your love for him. You are blessed but then again so is he by having you as a parent.

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/11/2011 1:14PM

    Isn't that the way it should be--living life in a way that you're excited about it and willing to take a chance at doing what you really want?

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GIRANIMAL 11/11/2011 1:13PM

    Sounds like I could learn a lot from Tim. This is the way I envisioned living my life -- on my own terms -- and I never have quite figured out when and where and why I dropped that ball. What a smart guy! Must get it from his parents. emoticon

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KKINNEA 11/11/2011 1:09PM

    That is the best - your son sounds like a joy and an inspiration. Sounds like you really enjoy him.

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KIN59VARA 11/11/2011 12:20PM

    Oh what a wonderful blog, thanks for posting in and thanks for being the kind of parent you are!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/11/2011 12:08PM

    He sounds like an awesome young man! Heck, I wish he were my close personal friend . . .

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PGNBRI 11/11/2011 10:31AM

    I hope Tim knows how proud you are of him! He sounds like a great person.

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TRISTAROSE 11/11/2011 9:18AM

    I envy your son John for living each day to the fullest and for having such great parents that stand by him in whatever he does .... Great blog !!


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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/11/2011 9:01AM

    Good for you for standing by Tim. Ugh to the booze. LOL.

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MIZZSB 11/11/2011 8:45AM

    how awesome is that John... the way you talk about him with so much love and admiration ...
I bet you are very proud of him! I was always tought that is better to be at a job or somewhere in life that you enjoy than that you are somewhere that pays a good wage but your dont enjoy it...

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TERRIPAL1 11/11/2011 8:29AM

    This is a beautiful blog John ,we should all live life like Tim.Some of us want to but can't and for some it takes our whole life to live like your son, in the present because every minute is a gift! Thanks for writing it and,you and your wife did a great job, to have raised a wonderful happy kid like Tim! Way to go!

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/11/2011 8:24AM

    Your Tim sounds like a wonderful young man.

There's something special about people who just "go for it." And it's nice to see as a parent when your child seems to be well-adjusted and has friends everywhere.

We could all learn a lesson from Tim.

Tell him I say, "Thanks."

P.S. I'm sure you tell your son the same thing I tell mine, "Just make sure you love what you do for a living because you'll probably be at it for quite a while. The worse thing in the world is to dread getting up and going to work every morning."

Comment edited on: 11/11/2011 8:26:09 AM

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NANCYBOAT 11/11/2011 8:23AM

    What a great to your son. And to YOU for raising him!

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Who Do You Talk To At 6:00 AM?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I have been an early riser since I was a child. My mom says it’s because I was born at seven in the morning. My brother could sleep until midafternoon. I usually get up with the sun or shortly before hand. Because I am moderately obsessive/compulsive by nature I function best when I adhere to a routine. It can be very daunting when you have this amazingly creative mind that wants to bust free of all restraints that has to live in the same body with an emotional need for well-defined order. (And people wonder why I talk to myself….)

But I digress

Most mornings I am in the car, dutifully waiting in line at McDonalds to purchase a large, unsweet iced tea. (Cost $1.06) You’d be surprised the people in line purchasing breakfast at that hour. This morning I counted ten cars ahead of me, so I sorta slouched down in my seat and stared off into space. I have come to cherish my quiet time, any time I can be alone and reflective. Despite my need for order I can bend enough to realize I can’t always make the world stop so I can take time to reflect.


I am staring off into space and a lady in the car in front of me catches my eye. She is having a rather animated conversation with someone on her cell phone. I wonder who you talk to at six am. It’s not a judgment just a curiosity on my behalf. As I’m pondering this eternal mystery I realize that of the ten people or so ahead of me in line six of them are on the phone. Now the people pleaser within me, the man who must be loved at all costs starts to get insecure!!! Everyone is on the phone at six am but me.

When I arrived home Joan was awake and making her coffee. (She gets up when she is no longer tired. Sometimes it drives me nuts!!!) I tell her about the people on the phone and wonder why no one calls me. She looks over her cup of coffee thoughtfully and says “Most likely because you don’t turn your phone on until eight.”

I thought for a few moments and smiled…………… Crisis averted

Have a good Thursday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 12/19/2011 11:04AM

    Thank God nobody calls me at 6 a.m. I enjoy my morning quiet time, too.

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MKPRINCESS007 11/12/2011 9:42AM

    I can't think of a soul I want to talk to at 6am either. Or for the times that I have been out with my DH for a long overdue night out, and people are on the phone at midnight or 1am. What the heck??????????

I personally HATE the phone. I love email because that is my preferred mode of communication. I like to be able to reply to someone when it works for me. Otherwise, it is pretty certain that I am going to get 6 calls at once! Ever have that happen, like one person calls and then it seems like everyone tries to call you then too? Odd, no?

Anyway, be glad you don't have anyone to talk to at 6am. You like your quiet time in the am!

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SKINNYMINIME22 11/11/2011 8:38PM

    Hi, John. I stumbled across your blog and had to comment since I seem to be the odd one out. I work from 7-5 (or 6 or 7) every day then, like everyone else, balance exercise/dinner and then everything else that needs to be completed after work. It's incredibly difficult for me to find the time to connect with my friends in the evenings and at night given everyone's own personal hectic schedules. And sometimes (ok, maybe a few times a week!) the best and most convenient time for me to chat with 2 of my closest friends is between 6-7 a.m. (hands-free, of course) while we're both making the morning trek into work. Maintaining those friendships is important to me, so I make time for it when I can. Just like exercise ;)

Comment edited on: 11/11/2011 8:40:21 PM

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FLGIRL1234 11/11/2011 2:13PM

    I'm with you. I don't think I'd have anyone to call at 6 am. My friends and family would ethier be A. Whats the matter? Are you ok???? OR B. What is wrong with you, its 6 am. lol

Comment edited on: 11/11/2011 2:13:46 PM

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GIRANIMAL 11/11/2011 1:07PM

    I love Joan.


So funny how ingrained our concepts of time and our innate fears are! Who you can possibly talk to on the phone at 6 a.m. seems like a totally valid curiosity to me. But like your insecurity about no one calling you that early, it occurred to me that whenever my phone rings or I get a text before, oh, say 8 or 9 a.m., my heart rate quickens and I immediately panic for just a moment, just as I would respond to a middle-of-the-night phone call. Obviously something must be terribly wrong!

And then, of course, it rarely is. Once it was my baby cousin sending me a random "hello" text before school. How terrible! LOL emoticon

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MIZZSB 11/11/2011 7:46AM

    hihihi John..

well 6 am is freaking early!!!
When it drives you nuts that Joans sleeps when she is no longer tired.. it drives me nuts that i can be awake before my daughter wakes up in the morning between 06.30-07.00 AM. While my boyfriend can sleep in till 11 am without a problem.. Some people need more sleep ;)

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NASFKAB 11/11/2011 2:40AM


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KENDRACARROLL 11/11/2011 1:12AM

    Wow! I think I forgot to turn on my phone today altogether. I'm always glad when nobody calls me :)

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GEEMAWEST 11/10/2011 10:37PM

    OMG! That's too funny!

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AIRPEACH 11/10/2011 7:44PM

My answer would be this: The cats. Or maybe I just think they talk to me. :D

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/10/2011 5:03PM

    Leave the phone off, John. There are already enough phone whores in the world already. emoticon

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LORI-K 11/10/2011 3:38PM

    Funny story!
I'm a morning person too, and can't think of a soul I can talk to at 6am! Who are these people talking to??

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HKARLSSON 11/10/2011 3:22PM

    emoticon Oh, that's funny! I can't stand talking to anybody before 10am. Oddly enough, I was born at 9:30am. Guess I need that half an hour to collect myself? Have a great afternoon and rest of the day, both you and your lady wife!

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CARTOONB 11/10/2011 1:57PM

    Your wife is a wise woman.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/10/2011 1:02PM

    Classic Joan!!
Crisis averted, indeed.
Enjoy your Thursday John and each day there after.

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/10/2011 12:12PM

    I was born in the early morning too and have spent a lifetime trying to avoid the a.m.!

I can't stand talking to anybody that early in the morning-only my dog. No noise, no TV, no conversation, nada....leave me be!

Your wife is obviously very astute...and probably quite droll too I bet you guys are great together!


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HAPPYSOUL91 11/10/2011 11:40AM


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GETFIT2LIVE 11/10/2011 11:39AM

    That put a smile on my face this morning, John--leave it to your wife to put things into the right perspective. She is a very wise woman, I hope I get a chance to meet you both in person some day!


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GAL7288 11/10/2011 11:28AM

    lol that was funny! Makes me think i don't get many calls either, huh. I often joke that i can go without a phone for weekd with no missed or received calls.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/10/2011 11:18AM


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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 11/10/2011 10:56AM

    Funny. Sometimes I look around to see who is on their cell phones when I am waiting different places. I was shopping the other day and this woman and young girl (I would say maybe 9-10) were in the store. The girl was on the phone the whole time! Start them young.
The problem I have is that a good friend of mine drives truck and he gets done around midnight...sometimes we talk while he is driving, but I don't like distracting him so I have left a standing order that he can call me and wake me up to talk. He has a problem with this sometimes because he doesn't want to disturb my sleep, but I tried to explain to him that my best sleep time (do not disturb time!) is between 3-5 am. It is nice to get a "good morning" call sometimes!

So glad that your wife could put it all in perspective for you, though. You would have fretted all day otherwise! LOL.

Have a great day, John.

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PGNBRI 11/10/2011 10:54AM

    Ha Ha!! Hope you have a great day John!!

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LUVMYK9S 11/10/2011 10:01AM

    Thanks for the smile this morning! I wonder myself why so many people have to be connected all of the time. I suppose I am just old fashioned, I have a cell phone, but only use it rarely, whereas I see many people that can't go 5 minutes without chatting/texting on their cell phones! I guess I just don't feel the need ... especially at 6:00AM!

Good blog!

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WALKAWAY 11/10/2011 9:55AM

    LOL, that would be called the do not disturb function.

Have a wonderful day John! emoticon

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LISA01605 11/10/2011 9:43AM

    I get up at 4:30 every day (week days) but if anyone called me before 8 AM (week day) or 10 AM (weekend) they better have an emergency or I will likely tear their head off. I've learned to be an early riser and I am really productive in the morning but I am not ready for people that early in the day.

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ZMILENA 11/10/2011 9:17AM

    I liked your blog.
A word of advise.
Go to your local herbal store and buy herbs for tea.
It takes only 5 minutes to make it, a lot less than your line at McDonalds.
Real herbs are very good for your health in every aspect, and making your own tea is the only way to know it has no sugar added.
Try natural herbal tea with honey.
You`ll be surprised by how different it is from all the powder things they sell in McDonalds.
PS: Don`t turn on your phone at 6am. Treasure the time you can give only to your self.

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HAPPY-DESTINY 11/10/2011 9:16AM

    I know to whom they are NOT talking to at 6AM...You and Me! emoticon

Nice blog...Have a 'Happy' Day!

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HDHAWK 11/10/2011 9:07AM

    I'm an early riser too and the last thing I want to do is be on my phone at 6 a.m. That's about the only quiet time I get all day!

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CINNAMONCAT9 11/10/2011 9:03AM

    Ha ha! To be honest, I have a great deal of admiration for people who know how to be alone gracefully. Your writing is beautiful too; good thinkers make good writers.

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BEATLETOT 11/10/2011 8:51AM

    Very well-written and thought-provoking! Thanks for posting!!! =)

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 11/10/2011 8:51AM

    Lol. It does make it hard for people to call you if your phone isn't turned on at 6. Now I work on the theory that anyone calling me before oh say 7:30 has bad news. Never mind I'm up at 5:30 getting people off to school and work so I could talk but nobody I know is social at that time of the morning.

Have a great day!

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But What Can I Do..........."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

In a word……… A Lot!!! (Ok that was two words.)

You may be challenged by your situation or circumstance. Exercise may be painful or challenging and you sit there and you feel helpless and useless. You see yourself coming to the potluck of life with an empty dish. You see team mates and friends and former exercise partners scaling new heights and you sorta hang your head. “What can I do? I am have no value!!!”

You can send someone you’ve lost touch with a Goodie, an email, or simply put one of those goofy emoticons on their Spark page. I have learned that very small acts of unsolicited kindness produce amazing result. Sometimes I’ll troll my friends list and realize I have lost total and complete touch with someone, so I send them a Goodie. Quite often I get a response that says something like “Thank you so much. That note of encouragement came just when I needed it. I was having a bad day and your silliness put a smile on my face.”

We underestimate the amazing power to help someone heal an issue or problem by honestly and sincerely letting them know we are thinking of them. Sometimes a person simply wants to know there is someone out there who holds them in their heart and thinks of them often.

Despite what we have come to believe our journey towards health is supposed to be enjoyable. Otherwise when we reach the goal we worked for so very hard long it’s a sorta hollow victory. How do we share the joy? It reminds me of the story of the teacher who received a note from a student. The note simply said “If you are happy would you please notify your face.” This journey should have a huge dose of joy and when last I looked joy has no caloric value. You can ingest as much of it as you like.

You can do a lot simply by recognizing the most amazing example you set for other people by the very fact you were created and are loved. Share that hope, share that often frustrating climb up the mountain and when you do I believe your effort equals that of a marathon runner.

During my quiet time the other day a thought rumbled through my brain. ‎"When you stand before your mirror in the morning and you realize you are standing before a miracle, it is then and only then, that your perspective on you and the world around you will change."

There is a lot you can do for someone simply by holding them in your heart. If you’re reading this then you know that right now, I’m holding you there and will continue to do so.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANDKATZ 11/13/2011 12:43PM

  Great reminder; thanks John. emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 11/12/2011 9:46AM

    As always, you are a joy and blessing to me. I hold you in my heart too, John, and thank you for sharing this wild ride of a journey with me!


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NASFKAB 11/11/2011 2:39AM

  Thanks John

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/10/2011 12:09PM

    Thanks, John, for being the great caring man that you are...

Have a great rest of the day!


emoticon-he's goofy too!

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TRACEY5280 11/9/2011 3:05PM

    This one must have touched a spot deep within as it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing rather than hiding it. It brings hope and helps so many. Even in those times you struggle. emoticon

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    I totally agree. We are meant to enjoy life and to find joy in all of our circumstances.

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SILLYHP1953 11/9/2011 1:19PM

    I had never heard the one about notifying your face if you're must have made me happy cause I smiled. It is the community on here that keeps me coming help and be helped.

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/9/2011 1:13PM

    I really believe in what you said. " Despite what we have come to believe our journey towards health is supposed to be enjoyable"

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KKINNEA 11/9/2011 12:35PM

    Amazing thoughts - love them!

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SHERRYJVP 11/9/2011 11:30AM

    I think that is one of the best of the best blogs. Thank you always.

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TRISTAROSE 11/9/2011 11:28AM

    Thanks John and I hold you.

emoticon emoticon

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GRAMLORI 11/9/2011 10:28AM

    Thanks, John. I needed that!

(Remember the OOOOOLLLLDDDDD commercial for....Hai Karate aftershave that slapped people? I remember a baby saying "Sanks! I needed dat!"


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SPARKENISTA 11/9/2011 10:19AM

    John--I am one of the luck recipients of your trolling. You are so right. I have been reading Louise Hay and others about meditating, re-thinking our mental mindsets and releasing old ideas and feelings that are holding us back. I have even worked on this with clients.

Yet, I have a hard time clearing time for quiet time each day. How do you do it? Speak to you soon!!!

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ATHENA1234 11/9/2011 9:44AM


Great Blog and very true! I don't know you, but I just want to send you a huge hug with lots of support.
You take care, and stay positive! You can do it!


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FROGGERHKC 11/9/2011 9:34AM

    Great blog! emoticon emoticon

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EUPHRATES 11/9/2011 8:16AM


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God In Action ...... A Meditation

Sunday, November 06, 2011

In 1986 a good friend gave me a copy of a book titled God Calling. The book is authored by someone simply referred to as Two Listeners. My original copy is held together with tape and rubber bands and to be quite honest it rarely comes off the shelf for fear it will crumble. Thank goodness for the internet. The book itself is a series of daily reflections and meditations. They aren’t really long. In past blogs I have shared a line here and there but this morning I’m going to share the entire text because it spoke to me on a number of different levels.

"God In Action
Power is not such an overwhelming force as it sounds, a something you call to your aid, to intervene in crises. No! Power is just God in action.
Therefore whenever a servant of Mine, however weak he humanly may be, allows God to work through him, then all he does is powerful.
Carry this thought with you through the days in which you seem to accomplish little. Try to see it is not you, but the Divine Spirit in you. All you have to do, as I have told you before, is to turn self out. A very powerful axe in a Master Hand accomplishes much. The same in the hand of a weak child, nothing. So see that it is not the instrument, but the Master Hand that wields the instrument, that tells.
Remember no day is lost on which some Spiritual Truth becomes clearer. No day is lost which you have given to Me to use. My use of it may not have been apparent to you. Leave that to Me. Dwell in Me, and I in you, so shall ye bear much fruit. The fruit is not the work of the branches, though proudly the branches may bear it. It is the work of the Vine, that sends its life-giving sap through those branches. I am the Vine and ye are the branches."

It meant a lot to me so I thought I’d share it with you. Have a good Sunday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MKPRINCESS007 11/12/2011 9:48AM

    Beautiful. There is a comfort and joy when you believe.

Thanks for sharing!


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    This is excellent advice I can use right now. Thanks for posting it.

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SILLYHP1953 11/7/2011 1:45PM

    Profound words.

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NASFKAB 11/7/2011 1:09AM


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SHERRYJVP 11/6/2011 6:58PM

    that is really great and went right along with the sermon we had today. (my husband, a layman actually preached it). It was about all our gifts our not really us, but God working through us.

Thank you.

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LYNMEINDERS 11/6/2011 3:03PM

    Thankyou again for your are awesome....

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CARTOONB 11/6/2011 2:30PM

    Thank you for sharing!!!

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My Definition of Success, Well At Least One of Them

Friday, November 04, 2011


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 11/5/2011 3:39PM

    If I'm ever somebody's boss I hope I'm like Don...and you look great in your grey sweater!

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HDHAWK 11/5/2011 12:27PM

    I have to say that my current principal is successful because he presents new ideas, asks good questions, and helps each of us become the best teacher we can be. He makes suggestions without telling us what we have to do.
You look great in your gray sweater John!

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NASFKAB 11/5/2011 12:37AM

  Great blog thanks to you & Don if he is around

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CARTOONB 11/4/2011 10:52PM

    Your boss' approach can be applied to all relationships in our lives. Hmmmm...something to think about.

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TERESAKLE 11/4/2011 7:50PM

  Super blog John. Just stumbled onto it. You have a way of getting your point accross without any BS.


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GIRANIMAL 11/4/2011 12:28PM

    Wise and timely as ever! "Have I done everything I can do to help you?" Guess who's going to go home and ask her dear BF a variation of that question ("help us") and see if it won't cut through some of the god-awful tension we're battling this week. Thanks, John! And if Don's still around, thank him for me too. ;)

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