a tickle of words to create smiles

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

Fresh Start

It is never too late for a fresh start. Every moment is a good time to start over if we can give ourselves permission. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Who says you have to wait until the beginning of a new year, month, week or day for a fresh start. Why not start fresh right now? The moment is now! And, wow! it feels great to start fresh. It is like giving yourself hugs and kisses.

It is a deep sigh of relief. It is a deep breath of fresh air. When you  permit yourself to have a clean slate,  you begin to see all the events, challenges, blessings, and issues in your life more clearly. You are giving yourself a second chance.

We would do it for a child, wouldn’t we? We would give our loved ones second chances, right?  It is time we grant ourselves permission to start over.

And, why not give yourself this loving opportunity, this do over? God through Jesus Christ gave us this gift. Who are we NOT to allow it! Forgive yourself. Let it be. Embrace this fresh start and you heart will feel free.

Practicing Patience

A gift of love and kindness is made when practicing patience, especially with children and those with less experiences. ~Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

There are times in our lives when holding our actions and our tongues are easier, but there are many times when it is harder. It is important to take a few moments to remember who we are, who they are and what kind of outcome would we like to see during these harder times. It takes self-discipline and patience.

Children and many adults can try our patience, but when we choose love, compassion and understanding, the outcome of the situation raises our level of energy to one that is more positive. Being love for each other is what Jesus would have us do because ultimately it brings out the best in everyone involved in those trying situations in our lives. It creates a life with little regret. It creates a joyful existence for ourselves where we bring joy and happiness to others through the practice of patience.

This brings to mind one of my favorite Bible verses:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Consider mentally stepping back from any situation, whether sitting in heavy traffic, in the office with a menacing co-worker or with your more petulant than usual loved ones at home; and, take ten seconds to breathe slowly, and tell yourself, “I am where I need to be; worry and other negative feelings is not going to change the situation; choosing love and joy will make me feel better and may make the situation better for others, too.” Mentally rehearsing these statements in neutral/positive times will make it easier to put it into action during those negative times when you need them the most. Practicing patience truly is one of the best gifts we can give each other (and ourselves).

We Are Relatives

With all things and in all things, we are relatives. ~ Sioux

Every living being is connected to each other. We affect each other in many different ways and in so many levels. When people become aware that when their thoughts, emotions, words and actions truly affect everyone, not just to whom or what they were directing their thoughts, emotions, words or actions, then love and kindness can start to grow and prevail. Furthermore, these things come back to affect ourselves. Joy begets more joy. Sadness and anger tends to beget more sadness and anger.

If people can truly see that we are all connected, then we can become compassionate. Would you pass your loved ones on the street if they were in need? No. But, many will pass by those whom they feel no connection, right? The road to enlightenment and true Christianity is being able to see everyone as Jesus does, as beloved friends and family. The question we must continue to ask ourselves, can we and will we do that? It is truly up to you and me.

“Don’t worry about telling God how big your storm is…..”

“Don’t worry about telling God how big your storm is…..tell the storm how big your God is!”

My sister shared this quote with me, which came from her co-worker, Randy who can’t remember from where he heard it. You know, Jesus Christ has our backs. He will get us through any storm. We just need to remember how powerful our God is! And, it is awesome to know that God is within us!

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16 NIV)

It is empowering to know that God is with us always. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you…(James 4:8) Faith and love sustains us, as it is the God in us that gives us the fortitude to get through the largest of storms in our lives. It is God and the Love in our hearts that allows us to see the blessings in those storms. Happiness and joy need not be elusive. We just need to remember we are not alone and that happiness has never left us.

Another thought that has crossed my mind today, “Why is it that sometimes we wish to be something we are not instead of wishing to be who we already are?” We are exactly who and where we need to be. The thoughts in our hearts become reality. It is only when we believe we are exactly the person we want to be that we are joyful. What are you telling yourself and your storm today?

Gifts of Love Update 15

I have 51 Gifts of Love completed! I am over the hump just in time for Hump Day! (Warm laughter.) The weather today was quite stormy with severe lightning and thunder. We even received a flash flood warning for the area in which I live. I am grateful to God that the warning was unfounded; our yard is saturated and at one point the deluge of rain was creating pools of water, not just puddles that flooded my vegetable garden, but not our home. My husband and I took a few precautions and moved all items of importance a couple of feet higher. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Below is a slideshow presentation of the latest Gifts of Love. Make sure you leave a comment if you want to win a Gift of Love. Each week a winner will be selected from a random drawing of all those who have left comments during the week.

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Loving Yourself to Love the World

How many times have we called ourselves a dork, a bonehead, fat, ugly, stupid?  We are bullying ourselves; and, this hurts our heart just as much as, if not more, if someone else did it.  It is time we love and practice exquisite care of ourselves. Go to a mirror, face yourself, and look yourself right in the eyes. Verbalize how wonderful you are . Say it with meaning and conviction. Point out how loving and caring you are. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle to your soul and love your very essence.

Embrace your beautiful life as if today is your last day to live; then glorify each moment.  Experience every little thing you do with all your senses.  Make your bath a cleansing ritual that erases all the negativity and let the water positively cleanse your heart and soul.  Feel the warmth of the water playing on your skin as it splashes down.  Smell the fragrance of the soap as it bubbles around you.  Observe the steam misting around you. 

During mealtime, as you are eating visualize each bite of food nourishing each cell of your body.  Savor each flavor as it dances on your tongue.  Take great delight in every little thing that you do.  Learn to appreciate and value everything that is you and everything that you do in your daily life.  As we start taking exquisite care of ourselves, we become our own best friend.

It is when we can be our own best friend that we can be friends to others, love others and love the world. If we are empty vessel, how can we love others? Taking care of our needs, not just our physical needs, but also our emotional and spiritual needs allows us to be whole and complete for others. As a we approach and connect with other people, we can do so without question or fear or insecurities. We can be completely present for our family,  friends and peers; furthermore, we can be a source of love and light because our spiritual self is whole.

Today, I completed more Gifts of Love. We are halfway there! Yes, 50 Gifts of Love are completed! I will be able to photograph them tomorrow to share with you. The winner of last week’s drawing for a Gift of Love is wfedan. Congratulations! Remember, the only thing you need to do to be included in the drawing for a Gift of Love, is to comment on my blog anytime during the week. The more you comment, the better your chances to win. If you do not wish to be included in the drawing, just add “omit me” after your comment. I do love feedback. It is the best way for me to learn, develop and evolve as a writer and artist. Thank you all so much for all of your support. I am so very grateful!!! Together we can make positive changes in this world. 

Gifts of Love Update 13

Today I spent much of the day painting more Gifts of Love. I will share those images tomorrow. More importantly I had the opportunity to give “Gift of Love #9” to a dear friend who I learned is moving. What is amazing about this is I did not know she was moving until after I gave her the gift. My heart (as inspired by God) urged me to give her one. 

The story behind this gift presentation is as follows. Earlier this week I reconnected with some friends from a church in which I was a regular member years ago. This transpired during a special service that honored the recent death of the founding reverend pastor of that church. I was close to this pastor and it was a bittersweet event. I carried a heavy heart, but he wanted us to celebrate his passing. After this special service, many of the regular members of the church wished me to return to the parish, especially one of my dearer friends.

So, my husband and I planned and went to this evening’s church service. I felt compelled to give my one dear friend a Gift of Love. She was absolutely delighted. This is what I love about her, she always values and appreciates everything and everyone! This is when I learned that she and her husband are moving at the end of this month. I am both sad and happy about this. I will miss her and her husband; but, she will be closer to her children and grandchildren. The Gift of Love was perfect! 

I also was given the opportunity to speak about my Gift of Love campaign and the importance of addressing bullying. I felt so much support from my peers at this church as we discussed the timeliness of my campaign and the importance of addressing bullying… empowering and equipping parents and children with the emotional tools they need to survive bullying.

I truly feel that I have been Divinely led tonight, which has again renewed my already profound faith in Jesus Christ. This is what I need to be doing; this is my purpose and calling. I have been chosen to be an advocate and inspiration of love and kindness as the way to address bullying and negativity to create positive changes in my community and in our world.

My friendly challenge to you is to find a way to spread love and kindness this weekend, not just to those who you feel deserve it; but, see if you can be especially nice to those who may be gruff, persnickety, prickly or even a bully. 

A Challenge is a Gift

All day I have been getting the message  from various sources that challenges are blessings in disguise. Challenges are a gift and an opportunity to learn. Hard experiences leave lingering memories and prepare us for opportunities we could not even begin to comprehend or grasp. 

One e-mail I received today stated (paraphrased), “If you understood the extraordinary gifts every single challenge in your life makes possible, even inevitable, you’d celebrate your challenges as the foresight that they are of new beginnings, spectacular change, and enhanced superpowers. ” The radio station I have listened to on and off all day, also relayed a very similar message, not just once, and not the same disc jockey!

In another e-mail I was told, “…that nothing has to happen immediately, this minute, or right now. It’s okay to pause for just a moment. Just take a breath. Then go quietly inside (to reflect and meditate). Ask Life Itself (God) to lead you to your best outcome. There is nothing you have to do, really, except to get out of your own way.”

Challenges remind us that we need to let go of our own self-reliance and ask for help. It is beautiful when hardship is met with care and kind people who truly wish to give love and support. Challenges remind us that we are not alone and that we can lean on God and people with whom Jesus and the Holy Spirit work through to help us in our time of sorrows and challenges.  All we need to do is ask. 

Dawning of the Age of Aquarius ~ 2012

I am not one that follows astrology with any conviction; but, I am intrigued by its influence on personalities of people and eras/ages. As it turns out, each of the twelve different (western) astrological signs has an age associated with it. These ages change over time depending on which of the signs appears during the morning of the spring equinox. I discovered tonight that we are currently in the Age of Pisces and shall soon enter the Age of Aquarius.

It’s assumed that we shall bid farewell to the Age of Pisces and shall welcome the Age of Capricorn/Aquarius compatibility during the year 2012, a lot more specifically, on December 21. The Aquarian age is thought to begin in 2012 and to last till 4172. (Ages span for 2,160 years; so if you start the calendar at the birth of Jesus Christ, then the Age of Aquarius would start in the year 2160; so all this information may be viewed as speculative.) According to the Mayan calendar we will have come a full circle of 25, 625 years. When you multiply 2160 years with the 12 astrological signs you get 25, 920 years. I find that interesting. Most of the information for this article came from: (Spiritual Growth Prophecies); I am sharing those things in their article about “our times” (as explained through the lens of astrology) that intrigued me. 

The more dominant core values of the Piscean Age of money, power and control must go to make room for the Aquarian Age values of love, unity, brotherhood and integrity. Pisces is the ruling constellation in the eastern pre-dawn night sky. But, the effects or influences of the Aquarian Age have been felt powerfully for as much as 800 years. The influences of Aquarius began around the French Revolution when their slogan was “freedom, equality, fraternity.” These values represent the Aquarian Age. (Spiritual Growth Prophecies)

Change in Astrological Ages is gradual, but the push comes to complete the change long before the next Age begins. Our technology booms, especially in electricity, are actually spawned by the Age of Aquarius to come. Modern man thinks it’s because we are so much more “advanced” than our ancestors. Technology went into an unprecedented trajectory in the Age of Pisces. It will continue to escalate; moreover, methods that are in harmony with the Earth will become a prerequisite to all new inventions. Harmony and for the good of the whole will be mandatory and innate. Nothing will flourish unless it satisfies the values of the Aquarian Age.

The Age of Pisces is – The Age of Monotheism (one God), Spirituality, and the Fish. It is characterized by the rise of many religions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. This represents the “spiritual” nature of Pisces. Throughout most of Pisces though this spiritual side is for the most part seen as the truth hidden behind the five senses. Spirituality was seen in relation to the world, not through an innate knowing of divinity.

The Fall of Rome began at the beginning of this Age. As with all great cycle changes the Age of Pisces began with chaos. Rome fell and chaos was rampant as the great change of power began. It was the birthing of the Middle Ages. The Age of Pisces is considered the Age of Jesus. Egypt’s Isis was dropped and Mary mother of Jesus comes into being replacing her near the close of the Age of Aries. Jesus is said to have been born of the Virgin Mary. Virgo is the polar opposite sign of Pisces. The Age of Pisces represents charity, mercy, sacrifice, compassion and pardon, which are the virtues taught and lived by Jesus.

Water played a prominent role in the teachings of Jesus, and Pisces is a water sign. The fish is the symbol of Pisces. Many of Jesus’ gatherings were near lakes and water. Fish were a big part of the diet of Jesus, his disciples and the multitudes. Water was used to baptize the people. Jesus was sacrificed because he was the “Lamb” of God. This represents the sacrificing of the RAM of Aries, which ended the Age of Aries the astrological age before Pisces.

Pisces marks the merging of east and west to give birth to the New Age of Aquarius. In fact that’s what has happened. Earlier on in the Age of Pisces, the Europeans, the Vikings, and more integrated with other cultures on mass. In recent history, China, India and much of the East have found their economic might and now the economies of the West are totally reliant on this trade. The East and West have merged as never before making it difficult for wars and other negative activities to continue.

The Piscean Age is a time of gentleness, materialism and artistry, but also it’s impracticability. This is possibly due to the rise in the European empires. To the spiritually undeveloped person Pisces represents “servitude.” To the disciple or aspirant, the vision of “service to humanity…world savior” as Jesus, came to the forefront. Good examples are Mother Theresa and the Dali Lama.

During the Age of Pisces, we were TOLD what to believe through religions, authority figures, dictators, etc. These powers have lost ground and the shift is now away from “power over others.” The emphasis will now be “power over self.” This debacle of power will escalate as we near the end of the Age of Pisces. The dawning of the Age of Aquarius encourage us to look beyond the five senses and experience true living by relying on guidance from the creator. Aquarius will be an Age when we truly realize that the love we show towards our brothers is the love we feel towards ourselves. This represents the oneness of all things which fosters unconditional love.

Science and technology will be used to improve human and environmental situations on earth, and not for monetary gain. We will finally know the true meaning of “progress.” In the Aquarian Age progress will represent decisions or activities where ALL things and people gain from the change. Sound impossible? It’s not.

We will finally KNOW we are not “victims” of circumstances, but the “creators” of our experiences. And, we will also know how to change our earthly situation. The focus will be on making our lives a heaven on earth. It will be the second coming of Christ, but this time we will KNOW he never left us. He was always within us trying to guide us, but we wouldn’t listen. Why? Because we thought we knew better, and listened to the voice of our ego instead. We will finally know and live the heavenly lives God intended for us from the beginning.

I do have profound faith in Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit whose presence have always been in my heart. Christ inspires most of my actions when I am not giving into my emotions or acting in haste. Haste makes waste. The parallels between history and the characteristics of astrological ages is fascinating; however, as with statistics, it can be interpreted many ways.  However, it does seem we are moving towards a climax in history and there does seem to be more of a spiritual awakening among my circles. Only time will tell. 

As in the lyrics to Aquarius: When the moon is in the Seventh House; and Jupiter aligns with Mars; then peace will guide the planets; and love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius! Harmony and understanding; sympathy and trust abounding; no more falsehoods or derision; golden living dreams of vision; mystic crystal revelation; and the mind’s true liberation. Aquarius! With Peace, Love and Harmony! ♥ Angi

Tribute to Ray Carmines


A man who is surrounded by so many loved ones during his lifetime is a rich man, indeed. And, such a man is Mr. Ray Carmines. Mr. Carmines will have his 85th birthday on April 26; while, today he celebrated with family and friends at the local Ice-Plex. My family and I count ourselves privileged and blessed to be included in such a wonderful event in his life. It was beautiful to see Mr. Carmines radiate such joy and seeing it reflecting back to him. Look at his dazzling smile!

Mr. Carmines with my parents.

The celebration was perfect. Mr. Carmines was surrounded with about a hundred or more friends and family, all of whom were gathered to celebrate his life and enjoy his presence. Mr. Carmines exudes such a beautiful and positive attitude. He has been a part of my family’s life since I was about ten years old when we first moved a couple of houses down from him in our neighborhood in Poquoson. He has always been a very loving and generous man.

Mr. Carmines has always been active in the community, a loving father and husband to his four daughters and wife, a great friend and neighbor and a man of God. He is one of a few I have known in my life to truly live his life in the spirit of Jesus Christ with a generous and loving heart. He has never has had a negative word to say about anyone. I do not even recall ever seeing him unhappy. He is one who chooses to fully live his life in joy. Not only does Mr. Carmines snow ski whenever he gets a chance, but he is also champion ice skater/dancer, which is the one of the reasons why we celebrated his birthday and life at the Ice-Plex.

 

The Ice-Plex was the perfect place to accommodate everyone. Many attendants ice-skated including the “man of the hour”. It was such a delight to see everyone relaxed and having a great time. There was plenty of wonderful food, drink and birthday cake.  

One of my favorite parts of today’s celebration was playing BINGO using words that celebrated Mr. Carmines’ life such as: Virginia Tech (his alma mater), ice skating, snow skiing, maroon and orange (school colors), football, and so many other delightful words that represent a part of Mr. Carmines’ life.  In the spirit of love and generosity, everyone had the opportunity to win at least once (many won twice or more); furthermore, prizes were available, wonderful tokens that helped to mark the occasion.

With or without prizes, we ALL felt like WINNERS! The positive energy, warmth and love that filled the ice complex could have melted the ice. I hope these words convey at least a fraction of joyousness that was experienced today. Mr. Carmines is a magnificent person, a loving soul and a gift to the world. May he have 85 more magnificent years. 

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