"The Trip To Bountiful, according to press notes, tells the story of 'Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, Texas one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son and domineering daughter-in-law. Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope and faith."
Do you have dreams of returning to the place of your youth? Are the memories of your childhood, your parents and siblings, and your friends worth revisiting? For some people those memories are as alluring as a moth is to a flame. For others those memories are as repulsive as toxic fumes. What are the ingredients that makes the different between the two experiences?
I believe it is the following:
1) A transformative spiritual encounter which couples ones understanding of God with key experiences in your childhood.
2) Loving authority figures who produced a sense of discipline and order, but also, sprinkled in love and affirmation.
3) Wholesome play activities that teamed sportsmanship, team work, and collaboration. These types of experiences are counter the " dog eat dog" and " win by any means mentality."
4) Life seemed safe and secure. These feeling embody the uterus sensation when you knew your were protected and well fed.
Give some thought to your childhood experiences and list the elements that either made them memorable or something you want to forget!
Last night I joined with 1,200 persons in paying tribute to The Honorable Chief Judge Robert M. Bell. His stellar career as a jurist in Maryland carried him to the its highest judicial office. The accolades were sincere and profound. It was fitting to give him honor for the life he's lived.
Many persons look for their day in the sum. A day when the spotlight shines on them. Too often we live selfish lives and as a result there are so few who have benefited from the life we have lived.
God challenges is to live for him so that we may live for others. Real honor is not for us, it is for Him.
Listening this morning to a song sung by Kurt Carr that I posted to my Facebook page entitled, "For Every Mountain."
My thanks to the officers and members of Union Baptist Church for their gracious luncheon last Sunday. I was deeply humbled by the many expressions. I'm thankful to my extended family of The Brice's, The Wright's and The Black's who shared special moments with me. I love and respect my sister Kathy, my brother Kevin, and my nephews Kyle and Kolbe who helped me cut the cake and blow out candles. To my wife, Kathleen, my son Alvin Jr, my daughter Sheneika, and my daughter Adaria; they are the wind beneath my wings. To each of you who used Facebook as the medium to send expressions of well wishes, I thank you for your thoughtfulness.
The words of this song have special meaning,
"For waking me up this morning
That's why I praise you
For sending me on my way
That's who I praise you
Fr letting me see the sunshine
Of a brand new day
A brand new mercy
Along with each new day
That's why I praise You and for this
I give you praise"
"For every mountain You brought me over
For every trial you've seen me through
For every blessing
Hallelujah, for this I give you praise."
Thanks everyone for making my birthday a special day indeed.
Thanks be to God for the journey!
This evening begins the ritual of Daylight Savings time. At the midnight hour you are asked to turn your clock up to 1:00 am. Proverbially you lose an hour, but gain more daylight. It's an aspect of Spring that, for me, is quite enjoyable.
God blesses us with the gift of time. You really can't manipulate it. You can't gain more of it or loss more than what has been allocated to you.
David says it well in Psalm 31:15a "My times are in thy hand:"
My wife and I returned from Miami last night in anticipation of flights being cancelled because of the news of a snow storm that was to hit Baltimore today. Looking out my window it is clear the snow storm that was announced missed us. Whew! I'm glad! I hate shoveling snow.
If you think about it deeply. Everyone has had instances in their lives when you have been the beneficiary of a near miss. Something was intended for you, but by the grace of God it missed its mark. I won't specify but there should be a testimony in your heart that praises God for the near misses in your life.
It may not be so obvious as the encounter between Saul and David where Saul threw a spear at David and missed. (1 Samuel 19:8-10) Nevertheless, I'm certain you have had a near miss.
Thank God what was intended to destroy you, dehabilitate you, or demean you - missed!
You escaped with your life, your sanity, and your joy.
My thanks to a young lady who encouraged me in 2009 to begin writing daily blogs as words of wisdom with scriptural basis. My thanks to my son who assisted me in developing my website and linking it to various accounts. My thanks to my family who have labored with me as I devoted the time to these writings. My thanks to you for feedback and encouragement over these years.
I must admit these writings have allow me to reflect upon life, the scriptures, current events and future trends. Readers throughout the United States and parts of the world are subscribers and read my postings. I pray these postings have been a blessing to you as they have been to me.
Biblically one thousand has significant meaning. There are many references in the Bible to the number one thousand.
Sarcastically, the women in the days of Saul and David taut Saul by saying, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." They were comparing the military conquests of Saul and David in 1 Samuel 18:7.
The Psalmist made reference to the awesome wonder of being in God's presence, "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." Psalms 84:10
Isaiah describes the power of God to increase one's power by saying, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I The Lord will hasten it in his time." Isaiah 60:22
To prevent one from becoming too over confident because one has great possessions, Micah challenges faithless giving by asking the question and making a thoughtful suggestion. "Will The Lord be pleased with thousand of rams, or with ten thousand of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth The Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:7,8
May these words written on a tablet prove meaningful to the readers and challenge your spirits to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
Have ever received advice and failed to heed the suggestion? Only later to discover how much you missed by not following the instructions you where given. Sometimes the door of opportunity only opens once. It is then you discover the benefits of good instruction.
I know a young couple who has prospered in their careers and in life because they seeks and heed the wisdom gleaned from their elders. I met a group of individuals in a church this week, who are trying to get their lives back together and are discovering how difficult it is to retrace steps in time. Time is a terrible judge when you attempt to do things out of order.
I heard a marginally employable man say at a rally if his employer doesn't give him a raise he would quit his job. I wanted to tell him that in life you earn your raises by hard work. No one wants to lose a good and productive employee. Work hard and you will get paid.
Another individual informed me they couldn't get their relationship right with their mate. I suggested that you be sensitive to their needs, concerned about their welfare, and complementary of their actions, and you will discover they will reciprocate in every way.
The best instruction which is a good instruction my father gave to me when he said, "Keep God first in your life." Thanks Dad you have never steered my wrong.
Proverbs 16:20 (KJV), "Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in The Lord."
I'm beta testing our redesigned church's website. It's a work in progress, but it's about 60% completed. I'm looking for useful critique and helpful suggestions.
It is good to periodically allow yourself and your efforts to be critiqued. One improves by hearing suggestions that will lead to either improvements or discontinuing negative behaviors.
God is one of the best critics you can have in your life. He is always asking that you measure yourself by His standards and not your own.
Isaiah 43:19 reminds us of God's desire for us and why he critiques us. "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."