One of the first musicals which I remember seeing was a high school production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel”. I was in junior high school and was asked to assist with operating the sound system for the musical. I attended many technical rehearsals and naturally all of the performances. It was a terrific experience. One of the songs which stood out to me from the musical was “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I realize it is not Friday so it technically is not my traditional music video posting day but this song is playing over and over in my head this morning.
I think that one of the reasons that the song has such meaning for me is based on what I strongly believe. I believe that no matter what life offers or whatever path I may find myself upon, I know that I do not take those steps alone. I believe that I have the Lord walking beside me. There are times when I fail to remember this important truth. There are times when I say that I am all alone. However, in the depth of my being, I realize that I am not alone. During those times I have just not turned to the one walking beside me. I have not allowed the Lord to carry me.
So today, I share with you this music video as a reminder that no matter what, you are never alone.
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This week I will be making my annual trek to the Iowa State Fair. It is always a wonderful ten days of enjoying the hard work of many individuals. Staying in the campground has also given me the opportunity to form relationships with individuals who I camp near and see every day. My volunteer time at the Fair has also created some great relationships with those whom I work with sometimes every day and in other times a few days each year. So this week is a kind of homecoming for me.
I have come to understand the importance of taking pauses in life. These pauses allow me to experience things outside my normal routine and normal environment. My schedule is different. My focus is different. My sleeping arrangements are different. During these pauses I am able to refocus. I am able to get a different perspective.
So, my blog posts will probably be a bit more erratic and briefer. I will try to share significant aspects and experiences which I have during the Fair. Keep checking in, you will not know what I may discover and share. Afterall, it is the Iowa State Fair, the greatest state fair in the world!
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Life can certainly be a great adventure.
Today on the calendar it states that it is the Feast of the Transfiguration. This is a day for Christians when we are to recall the events which occurred on Mount Tabor as recorded in Mark 9:2-13, Matthew 17:1-13, or Luke 9:28-36. They tell about an event in Jesus’ life when a few of the apostles witnessed Jesus being transformed by the glory of God. I will let you read the story yourself. However, this has led me today to think about how I am allowing the Lord to transfigure, or transform, me.
It is true that as our lives progress, we change. Sometimes those changes are significant and evident. At other times those changes are unnoticed. The event recorded in the Bible passages which I listed above is one that was very significant and evident to a small group of individuals. I think most transformations occur in a cumulative manner. Over time a person is changed. There are occasions where dramatic events cause major changes, such as accidents and/or tragedies. Yet, this is not how a person usually transforms.
As I reflect upon my own experience, I have come to see that I have experienced a cumulative transformation. Since I am a believer, I credit this transformation to the Lord. The Lord has provided me experiences and challenges which have caused me to adjust my perceptions, opinions, and truths. These adjustments have led me to changes in my life.
I am grateful to the Lord for continually transforming me. I am pleased that I am not the person who I used to be but instead am becoming the person who the Lord wishes me to be. I view this as a lifetime process.
I encourage you to take time today to consider how you have transformed in your life. What has caused this transformation? Are you allowing the Lord to be the transformer? Where might transformation be occurring in your life right now?
It is almost alarming how contagious it truly is. No physical contact is required for it to spread from person to person. You do not even have to know another person and you can cause this to spread to them. Yet, the medical community has not put out any warnings. The government and Center for Disease Control have not come up with a quarantine or any way to halt the spreading of this. There is no news agency or talk show which has done a story about it and raised concern. There are even individuals advocating and encouraging thousands of people to spread it frequently. Who is going to bring the truth of this contagion to the public?
Well, if you have not figured it (I know some of you looked at the picture on the bottom of this post), I am talking about a smile. A smile is something that can easily spread from person to person. If you are having one of those days and someone smiles at you, it is truly hard to not smile back. A smile can change the whole atmosphere of a room. A smile can alter the direction of a person’s day. A smile can take a group from negativity and move it toward a more positive outlook.
So today, I challenge you to see how many smiles you can spread throughout your day. Take notice of how people respond to your smile. Take notice of how you respond to other people’s smile. Let’s spread smiles throughout this day!
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Sometimes one of the most difficult things to do in life is to make sure that you avoid the quicksand. What I mean by this is that all of us encounter times of difficulty in life. During these times, people can start attacking one another. Blame is easily projected on other people without a fair reflection upon the whole situation. When these pieces start coming together, there easily develops a negative and hurtful whirlpool of destruction. Much like quicksand, it is easy to step into this mess and become trapped. Once you are in the mess you will inevitably be pulled farther and farther down.
A person who is successful in staying above the quicksand is someone who can truly be a role model for others. A leader needs to be such a role model. However, it is not limited to leaders. Anyone can be a role model for others when the quicksand of blame, negativity, and fighting enters a situation. We need more role models who avoid the quicksand. We need more people who make the conscious decision to watch for the quicksand and stay out of it.
So my caution to all my readers is to beware the quicksand. You will be far better for doing so and you can be the one who by example helps others stay away from the quicksand as well.
Sometimes the world seems filled with so many things which we just cannot understand. This week we heard of more senseless shootings. We look around and see people killing one another with bombs, guns, and all other fatal attacks. We hear of situations that just do not seem to make sense. So this morning I am reminded that there is someone we can trust to get us through these situations. There is someone who always has our best interest at heart. There is someone who can take a horrific, or even just a troublesome, situation and sort it all out. I share this music video with you to remind you of where to place your trust even when everything may seem dark around you.