a tickle of words to create smiles

Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Embrace the Colors in Your Life

We are a blending of all our life experiences…the more experiences the more colorful our life. Embrace each color in your life. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

From the day we are born we start experiencing life (and perhaps sooner as we are developing in our mother’s womb). Life experiences start from the moment we feel the cooler air that touches our body after being warm, secure and warm inside our mothers. One experience after another incorporate into our character as we learn how to react and behave to certain stimuli. Our personalities and characters start to evolve as we blend these experiences into our being.

The more experiences we have the more overlap we have with others who have had similar experiences. These coincidences and similarities allow us to relate to each other. We all experienced being born, but after that we start experiencing different foods, climates, smells, sounds, sights. These experiences mold us. Embracing and appreciating these experiences allow each of us to be more joyful. Furthermore, appreciating that others may have had similar and/or different experiences will allow us to develop more meaningful relationship with others, which can only serve to enrich our lives even more.

Each of us have our own set of colors that paint who we are today. As with colors, we all have had the elemental, primary experiences that everyone has experienced. As we grow and develop they amount of different types of experience create different shades and hues of personalities. Those who do not wish to experience new things will have less depth and richness in their life’s portrait. Their lives will seem “flat, dull and grey”. Whereas, if you embrace as many new experiences as possible your life portrait will be more dimensional, vivacious, sanguine and robust. You can choose what you wish to experience in your life. How colorful is your life? What new experiences are you willing to try?

A Community of Angels

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“We are, each of us, angels with only one wing, and we can only fly embracing each other.”
– Luciano Decrescenzo

We need each other. To deny this simple fact would be foolish. Oh, sure, we could survive without others, but to truly live, soar and be happy, it takes us to be in commune with others. It is spiritually uplifting to embrace others and be love for others. Look at children. They gravitate towards each other, play and embrace. We can learn so much from this young community of angels. 

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.

Setback or Blessing?

For every setback, disappointment and heartbreak, ask yourself the following questions: What is the opportunity in this? What does this create (room in my life for)? Where could this lead to? Therein you will find its gift. Everything has a reason. We just do not see it until we are on the other side of the door of opportunity.

For example, when my first speaking engagement got cancelled short notice, I found that I had the opportunity to refine my presentation. So, when I did get to present it, I had raving reviews. At first I was deeply disappointed, but I found the “silver lining” in that “dark cloud”.  What disappointments in your life turned into blessings in disguise?


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. 

Faith and Love

Faith makes all things possible… love makes all things easy.
Dwight L. Moody

All we need is faith and love to fuel our hearts. The hardest part is having faith in ourselves and loving ourselves. It is often easier to love and have faith in others. Why is that? Is it a feeling of unworthiness? Is it fear that we will disappoint ourselves?

How can we love others and have faith in others if we do not have love and faith in ourselves? How do we start? Love and faith in ourselves starts with gratitude and counting blessings. It is reflecting upon who we are and cherishing everything about ourselves, how we live, how we interact, who we are and what we have accomplished.

It is also not discounting anything. Smiling at strangers, saying hello, complimenting others, acting in compassion and with kindness, holding one’s intentions, saying prayers for others and sending good wishes and blessings are all seemingly small acts but add up to be something quite amazing. For we do not know how much of an effect a smile or hello may have on the hearts of others.  

One of the best and most loving actions we can do is listen. Listen with all your heart to what others have to say. When you are completely present for someone, it feels amazing for both the giver and the recipient. How do you feel when you know others are completely present for you? When you know you are being heard and valued, how do you feel? How does it feel to have someone’s faith and trust? It feels wonderful! All we need is faith and love.

  • Faith (erniereppe.wordpress.com)

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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