Reflections on Five Decades of Life

So, in just a few short hours I will enter my sixth decade on this earth. the first five decades have been filled with events that linger in history books.
My first vivid memory of life outside my little world was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; and later in the same decade Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.
I witnessed the first lunar landing and two space shuttle disasters.
I have seen television change from cumbersome black and white boxes to colorful gigantic high definition flat screens.
I have worked on computers that required a whole building to house it to holding one in the palm of my hand.
I survived telephone party lines to the rise of individual cell phones.
I have watched death counts in Vietnam, to the fall of the Berlin wall; devastations of hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
I have held a newborn baby and the hand of the dying elderly.
I have seen the rise of nuclear power and the attempts to control it.
I have seen dictators rise and fall and tyrants come and go.
I have seen political scandals, sexual scandals and mass corruption.
I have seen man’s inhumanity to man and people praying for peace.
I have lost family and found friends.
I have loved, been loved and lost love.
I have achieved and I have failed.
I have climbed to the mountain top and fallen to the abyss.
I have traveled the world and my country.
I have rejoiced and I have mourned.
What have I learned….
– that humanity is seeking for bigger and better things – for a better life.
– that the world can be a cold dangerous place and a beautiful inspiration.
– that you can’t always have what you want but that God always provides what you need. – that human love is temporary but God’s love is permanent.
– that friends become family.
– that when you think it is over, sometimes it is just beginning.
– that when a door closes another one opens.
– that even in the worst of times there is good to be found.
– that life isn’t easy but we grow stronger from the hard times.
My life is not yet ended and I am awaiting the next decade and the changes it will bring. I wonder many things but I know that God knows what is in store. I can make plans and survive when they fail. I can find beauty in what is ugly. There is nothing ahead of me that God won’t take me through.
Here’s to turning 60 and embracing all that I am and striving to become all that I can be.

I Am an American. 

I am an American… I was lucky to be born here. I am an American… I was fortunate to graduate high school in 1976…the year we celebrated 200 years of being a free nation. I am an American… I was proud to wear the uniform of a United States Navy Commissioned Officer. I am an American… I believe every human being has sacred worth. I am an American… I don’t care about your sex, color, ethnic background, religion, or sexual preference; if you love America and believe in what it stands for then you are my family and I respect you. I am an American… I will not judge you by your nation, by your government, or by your religious beliefs. I am an American… I don’t agree with everything my government does. I am an American… I proudly salute my flag and what it stands for. I am an American… if you don’t respect my country that’s fine just don’t expect me to respect you.  Most of all, I am an American… I am willing to die to keep America free.

Martin Luther

“What is it to serve God and to do His will? Nothing else than to show mercy to our neighbor. For it is our neighbor who needs our service; God in heaven needs it not.”

James MacDonald

We need to stop shaping Jesus in some misguided effort to make Him appealing. Jesus doesn’t need to be like us; we need to be like Him.

M. R. DeHaan

Probably we experience one of the most trying means by which God accomplishes His purpose in our lives when we are forced to sit still. When our hearts yearn to do something for Him, or when we would like to be active and out in the world witnessing, then the Lord places us in a position of inactivity and causes us to learn the lesson of quietness and stillness. That, I believe, is one of the greatest tests of a Christian’s faith. God wants to strengthen our faith, and only exercise can give strength. The faith which is not exercised is a faith that will not grow; a faith never tried will never be strong.

Truth From an Interesting Perspective 

Henri Nouwen

“Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.” — Henri Nouwen

John Newton

“May the grace of Christ our Saviour,

And the Father’s boundless love,

With the Holy Spirit’s favour,

Rest upon us from above.”

Brother Lawrence

“We should dedicate ourselves to becoming in this life the most perfect worshippers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.”

Thomas Merton

“The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise God.”