Friday, February 22, 2013

A Great Man

I know three great men who were born in February!  My late husband, my son and George Washington.  Well, alright, I never personally knew General Washington, but reading his writing and studying his life has left me with great admiration and respect for this man whose courage and character still impact the world today.

Today, on his birthday, I spent some time perusing a collection of Washington quotes and was once again amazed at his eloquence and the depth of his understanding.  The challenge was to select just one nugget from the treasure chest for the day's blog entry. A process of elimination brought the number down to three, and finally to the quote below.

I wish I could sit across the table from this great man and glean wisdom from his keen insight.  He was a man, I believe, who understood what it took to live a life of integrity.  He understood that the greatest tests often come into our lives quietly and may not be recognized by anyone but ourselves.

I have heard integrity defined as who we are when no one is watching. I suspect this was true of George Washington.

"The turning points of lives are not the greatest moments.  The real crises are often concealed in occurrences so trivial in appearance that they pass unobserved."   ~ George Washington ~

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Birthday to Remember

I think it is appropriate that on this day, February 12th,  I am quoting the man whose birthday and life we honor and remember.  I own a little book, "The Words Lincoln Lived By", which I enjoy reading from time to time.  Lincoln's observations on a wide variety of subjects such as courage, determination, honesty, justice, adversity, simplicity and many, many more  are full of profound wisdom, giving the reader a glimpse inside the man whose life so dramatically and effectively impacted our nation and the world. Most of his words recorded in my little book reveal his thoughts on serious and thought provoking characteristics and values.  Occasionally, however, there is a lighter element.

As I leafed through the pages, looking for one quote to share today, I found it quite a challenge. Each page contains wonderful words from our 16th President.  Finally, I decided upon a quote on humor,  a trait that all who knew Lincoln observed in him.  One such person, Congressman Isaac N. Arnold, remarked that Lincoln's laugh had been the president's "life-preserver."

I find it interesting that Lincoln used the word "evergreen" in his thoughts on humor. I read Webster's definition of evergreen and was pleased to find one definition as "retaining freshness or interest".  Certainly Abraham Lincoln's words have retained their freshness and stir our interest today.  His wisdom is timeless, to say the least.

"Laughter is the joyous, beautiful, universal evergreen of life."  ~ Abraham Lincoln ~

Saturday, February 9, 2013

And Still More Thoughts on Friendship!

There is nothing like a cold, snowy winter morning with nothing on the "to do" list except enjoy the morning!  It is a perfect time for reflection, prayer, and remembering the many blessings that have graced my life.  Among those blessings is the joy of friendship. 

When I think back on some of the more difficult seasons of my life, I am acutely aware of the strength and comfort I have gleaned from the love shown and the encouraging words spoken by my friends.  The following quote from the lips of a great man puts perfect words to my offering of today's thought.

"Friendship is one of the sweetest joys of life.  Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend."   ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon ~

Thursday, February 7, 2013

More on the Comfort of Friendship

I love the story of the little boy who found himself frightened and alone in his room on a dark, stormy night, calling out to his mother for help and comfort.  Coming to him, she tenderly reminded him that he was not alone and had nothing to fear because Jesus was with him.  The little boy said he knew and believed that, but sometimes he just needed "Jesus with skin on!"

Oh, those dark and stormy days and nights.  How crushing life can heavy the burdens. Sometimes we do feel alone and frightened, in spite of the certain truth of God's presence with us at all times.  It is in those times we find ourselves most grateful for the "Jesus with skin on" who comes to us, reassuring and encouraging us and pouring strength into our wavering heart.  God has given us to one another for that very purpose, to be with one another in the difficult and painful times as well as in the joy-filled days of the abundant life we know.  How good God is to give us that gift!  What a difference it makes to know we have one another to love and comfort and encourage! 

"A good friend can help you push through the dark times."  ~ Unknown ~

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Comfort of Friendship

On days when memories and loneliness bring a sadness and tenderness to the heart, there is great comfort in the knowledge that dear friends are standing along side, sharing in the memories and extending love and compassion.  Dark days are made brighter and burdens are made lighter through the sharing of them with friends who truly care.  The wealth found in having such friends is a beautiful gift from a loving Lord who knows and provides for us in our every need.  My heart is full of gratitude for the gift of loving friends.

"The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship."  ~ Sir Francis Bacon ~