What would David Michael be doing now?

I was three years old in 1961. My family lived in Barnesville Maryland in a small farmhouse at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain.

My little brother, David Michael was born on August 22, 1961.

David Michael died in October of the same year. Just a little more than one month old.

I don’t remember my little brother, however, I often wonder, if he were alive today, what would he be doing.

Here is a good guess as to what David Michael would be doing today.

He is 52 years old today (August 2013). He is living in a nice house in the suburbs of Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

David Michael’s wife is Samantha. They have 3 children who are now between 24 and 29 years old. All of the children have moved out of their parent’s home and now live with their respective partners in the Philadelphia area. Samantha and David Michael often cajole their kids for grandkids.

Samantha is a successful real estate broker, who loves her business. David Michael has his own business management consulting business. He is very successful and enjoys his work.

David Michael loves spending time with his wife, children, and their partners. Regularly all of them gather at one of the family members homes. Each gathering is a party because they enjoy each other’s company, laughing, cooking, dining, telling stories, discussing current societal topics, watching movies and playing card games together.

David Michael is a community leader and active civic volunteer. He loves to help others and enjoys seeing good people succeed when they try harder than they thought they could and by accepting a compassionate tug up from someone with a caring heart.

David Michael and Samantha travel frequently and enjoy the vineyards of California, the lakes of Minnesota and Blue Ridge mountains.

David Michael and I don’t talk very often, we are both busy with our own respective families, communities, and businesses. When we do talk, we pick right up where we left off.

Often when I imagine what my little brother is doing now I can clearly see that he is in love with his wife and kids, happy in life and knows that he lives a blessed life.

I compensate for never knowing my little brother by imagining him as a happy, successful, imaginative, passionate, giving and loving person.

I am comforted for the death of my little brother by my imagination and my belief that God is caring for David Michael as his child in heaven.

Are you with the Right Partner?

ARE YOU WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER?

During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?”

The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered, “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind replied the author.

Here’s the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept off my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships break down.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found.

People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.

Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.

I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is, therefore, a “DECISION”. Not just a feeling.

Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO! ♥

Author Unknown

Thank you to my daughter for sharing this article with me

Why is your burden too much to bear?

Awesome!!  We complain about the cross we bear but don’t  realize

it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we can’t.

Whatever your cross, whatever your  pain,
there will always be sunshine, after the rain.

Perhaps you may stumble,  perhaps even fall;
But God’s always ready, to answer your call.

He knows every  heartache, sees every tear,
a word from His lips, can calm every fear.

Your sorrows  may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish dawn’s early light.

The Savior is waiting, somewhere  above,
to give you His grace, and send you  His love.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

And you question   God -why me?
Always look at the bigger picture.
A day without the Lord – Is a day wasted.
God is going to shift things around for you today
and let things work in your favor.

I got this message from an email to me. I can not find the original source, so here is Thanks to whoever created it.

Happy Fathers Day 2012

Before they are born, a father prays that his children will grow up to be happy people.

He carries his babies and never lets harm come to them, striving to make them happy, often to no avail as a baby is supposed to cry.

A father prays to God that his babies will always be safe and happy.

A father works long and hard every day to put clothes on his children’s back and food in their belly.

A father will praise his children’s accomplishments and accept their mistakes, not without a tear or two, as his children travel thru those often tumultuous teenage years.

A father will guide his children thru the developing years as they reach forward into life as teenagers.

A father will pray to God that he has shared enough wisdom, morals and instruction for his teenagers to grow up and be happy.

A father will encourage and guide his developing young adult’s passions and dreams as they ponder what the next steps of life will become for them.

A father will support his developing young adults as they bang, scuff and scratch their proverbial knees, elbows and toes of adulthood, often with a tear, but always with a firm, steady hand when requested or needed.

A father will pray that the work he did as the father of a baby, a young child, a teenager and then as a developing adult will have been enough for his teenager to grow up to be happy.

A father will lend an ear, a shoulder even a needed dollar to his grown children, (aka friends).

A father will be involved in his good friend’s (aka children’s) life, caring for them as a good friend (aka father) should.

A father (aka friend) will listening to the stories of become a contributing member of society, professional, a business person, involved in the community and father or mother themselves. He will proudly watch them become all this, only giving guidance when asked.

A father will work, laugh and play with these friends (aka children), as he would with any other good, trusted and loved friend.

A father will smile when others speak of his good friends (aka children), and proudly admit to them, “That is my child!”

A father will always give thanks to God that the work he did as the father of a baby, a young child, a teenager, a developing adult and adult has created a happy person and a good friend.

Happy Fathers Day to me and all of my other father friends!

 

A Prayer for Courage

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
But to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
But for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield,
But to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
But hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward,
feeling your mercy in my success alone,
But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Consider this . . what are you praying for?

Courtesy of Motivational Moments by Nigel Alston

My journey of giving back

On 4/5/2011, I visited the First Prebyterian Church Jobs meeting in Greensboro, NC

The speaker was Bishop Chip Marble of the Episcopal Church of North Carolina.

Chip felt led to share Psalm 23 (written by King David) with the group. As he read it out loud, I realized that this Psalm was speaking to me and the journey I am on now. Listen to the words:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Chip had another version of verse 4 that I really enjoyed.

“Yea, though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, cause I’m the meanest SOB in the Valley.”

I asked Chip for permission to use his quote. I think he heard me, I think he said yes. (lol)

As I listened to Chip’s reading of Psalm 23 and later as I read it to myself, it really seemed to me that these words are very relevant to my previous life, current life, as well as my future.

Here is how I compare these verses to my life:

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
As I have mentioned before in my post titled, Why Me Lord?, I have always been able to provide for my family. I always managed to pay my bills, put a little money away and even buy just about any new gadget, tool or toy I wanted. I know that this was because a) I worked hard and B) God was there to help my family thru life and especially when times were tough.

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
Again, I have been saying all along that my life is good, easy, comfortable and safe. A) This is likely because I rarely put myself in situations or environments where I could not manage to achieve success or happiness. Also, my wife always offers me “input” that kept me in line, even if I did not think I needed it. B) God always seemed to point me in the right direction, even when I thought differently at first. I generally strive to live in line with God’s desire for me.

“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
I normally don’t talk about the mistakes I have made in life. I could tell you that this is because I have not made any mistakes, but too many people know this is not the truth. The honest truth is that I have made many mistakes in life. Some trivial, others not. A) I know how to discern right from wrong and strive every day to be sure I am doing right by everyone. Again, my wife and even my kids help me with this regularly, not that I need their help. B) I know that God loves me enough to forgive me for my sins, as long as I always strive to do better, and I work hard at doing this.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
Yeah, no way am I the meanest SOB in the valley. Actually, I try hard to live safely. I have been in a few dangerous situations and even feared for my life on at least a few occasions. In each situation I felt the urge to quickly ask God for help, and without fail, God felt that I have enough value to Him, and likely others, that he protected my life. That’s very obvious to me since I sit here today writing this story after some very precarious situations, now long past. A) Again, I do not purposely put my life at risk, either physically or emotionally. I also have a wife who councils me regularly when she feels I am doing something dangerous. B) I trust in God to protect me and to keep me safe while I am doing what he wants me to be doing. For many years I knew my task was to provide for my family and to make sure that my daughters had the guidance and support necessary to get them to the point in their lives where they could provide these things for themselves. I did this and while I did, God protected me. Now, I believe that God wants me to start focusing my time and energy to help others, and if I do this, again, I will fear no evil.

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”
I have always felt that there is really no one out there who is an enemy to me and my life. Maybe people who don’t understand me or wish I were different, but no enemies. A) I don’t try to please everyone, but I do try reduce the risk of confrontation with others. This helps me limit the number of enemies I may have in life. B) Being a Christian, I learned to treat others as I want to be treated and to turn the other cheek when necessary. This attitude is likely the real reason I have no enemies.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
I have never been one to wear my Christianity on my sleeve. That being said, I am very happy that my religion has guided my life significantly. I understand and believe in the value of the 10 Commandments, the Golden Rule and many other common sense (to me) rules of a good life.

On my new journey to start giving back has made me a little less guarded with what I wear on my sleeve. I have found myself comfortable telling others about my faith in God and belief that as long as I am doing good, God will take care of me.

Like Chip, I too morph good statements to fit my own personality as well.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, as I continue on my journey of giving back and befriending the meanest SOB in the valley.”

Teddy