Life’s Playlist….. Can’t Help Falling In Love performed by Pentatonix

Life’s Playlist….. Year-End Classics… Hallelujah performed by Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, Kurt Nilsen

It has become a New Year‘s Eve tradition here at “Notes from a Southern Kitchen.”  The final Life’s Playlist of the year is my all time favorite song, I think it is fitting for the final day of 2013 or any other year.

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I hope you enjoy…… Hallelujah this year performed by Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, Kurt Nilsen.

Friday’s Hero…. The City of San Francisco (or is that Gotham?) 11.15.13 #batkid

FRIDAY’S

When 12,000 people join together to make a little boy’s dream come true, there is some serious “HERO” going on!

Today in San Francisco a five-year old little boy has become “BatKid” and the City of San Francisco has been transformed into his own personal Gotham City.

Miles, who is in remission for leukemia is “saving the day” for the citizens of Gotham and in the process helping a community join together for a common goal of heroism!

Today’s Friday’s Hero is The City of San Francisco & Miles “BatKid”

SF Morphs Into Gotham City for “Batkid” Battling Leukemia

“He likes to be a superhero,” Batkid’s mom said. “He is one. He beat an awful disease”

By    Lisa Fernandez
|  Friday, Nov 15, 2013  |  Updated 11:30 AM PST

The 12,000 volunteers who donned superhero capes and morphed San  Francisco into Gotham City today can’t make sure a California boy will  stay clear of leukemia for the rest of his life.

Live stream will return shortly.

But, in handing  the 5-year-old the key to the city, they can sure give him every boy’s  dream come true for a few hours and a memory for a lifetime.

PHOTOS: Batkid Saves the City

Right at 10 a.m. on Friday, Miles – a shy kindergartner with bright blue eyes and is in remission from his cancer – became “Batkid,” complete with mask, cape and puffy fake muscles.  He exited the Batmobile, from the front of the two-person sportscar – of course – safety first – after  unstrapping himself from his carseat.

“He’s just the cutest,” said Jackie Johnston, one of the hundreds of fans who had come out to watch.

But Miles just isn’t cute. He’s a hero.

After he jumped on a trampoline to give him a little extra boost, he untied a “damsel in distress,” sitting on the cable car tracks on Hyde Street, a green bandana wrapped around her mouth, and a plastic box of what looked like explosives strapped to her back. Of course, the 5-year-old didn’t know exactly what to do at first, but was aided by his partner in good-deeds, Batman – one of the many volunteer actors partcipating in the event.

WATCH: “Batkid” Jumps Into Action to Save Damsel in Distress

The crowds went wild, cheering clapping and ringing bells.

“He’s great, he did such a great job,” Mario Martinez said, holding his own son in his arms.

MORE: World Responds to Giving “Batkid” His Dream

Miles, whose last name has not been given, has been a bit shy about talking through all this, telling all those who ask that “I’m gonna be Batman” – a character he regularly slips into during his rough-and-tumble escapades in Tulelake, Siskyou County near the Oregon border.

But his mom, Natalie, who also didn’t give her last name, said this dream – made possible through the national Make-A-Wish Great Bay Area Foundation – is emblematic of her son’s battle with leukemia.

“He likes to be a super hero,” she said. “He is one. He beat an awful disease”

All this is happening because of the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area Foundation, and an email  Wilson sent out in October asking for some volunteers to help give Miles his wish.

The email went viral, and now, there are between 11,000 and 12,000 volunteers who are contributing their efforts, whether it be acting, being stage crew or assisting in a myriad of other ways.

“Obviously, we’ll never replicate this,” said Make-A-Wish Greater Bay  Area Foundation spokeswoman Patricia Wilson. “This is a moment in time  when something goes viral and the city  goes alive.”

MORE: Thousands Helping Transform SF Into Gotham City to Make Boy’s Wish Come True

The Make-A-Wish Foundation in the Bay Area has been operating since 1984, when it was able to grant 27 wishes. Now one of the largest chapters nationwide, foundation grants 300 wishes per year and 6,000 wishes in all.

Here is the full schedule of Batkid’s day:

10 a.m.: Miles departs Grand Hyatt Hotel in Union Square in a batmobile after answering the chief of police’s call for help. Exits building through loading dock area located between Williams-Sonoma and the former Levi’s store on Post Street between Powell and Stockton

10: 15 a.m: Damsel in distress is rescued from the Hyde Street cable car line on the 1900 block of Hyde, between Green and Union streets

11:15 a.m. Batman and Batkid apprehend the Riddler, who is in the middle of robbing a vault. The Riddler is carted off in an SFPD paddy wagon starting at 550 Montgomery Street with lunch at the Burger Bar in Union Square. While Batkid is enjoying lunch, a flashmob in Union Square alerts Batkid that Lou Seal has been kidnapped by the Penguin and Lou Seal drive off toward AT&T park in an open car.

12:35 p.m.: Batman and Batkid chase the Penguin around the Promenade level of AT&T park, going through the cable car, down the Coke bottle slide, and ending up near the miniature ball park. Lou Seal is tied up there, and our heroes rescue him. They go down to the field to watch a message on the Jumbotron from the Chief of Police, inviting them to City Hall where the mayor is waiting to give them the key to the city.

2 p.m.: Mayor Ed Lee will hold a news conference with Miles, his parents, the chief of police at Civic Center Plaza.

If you’re going to be in San Francisco on Friday, email NBC Bay Area a photo of the city’s Gotham City transformation to isee@nbcbayarea.com or Tweet with the hashtag #SFBatKid.

Patience for Prayer

My Pastor recently began a new sermon series entitled “Connected.”  The focus of the series is prayer.

During the first week’s sermon,  he made the point that prayer is a conversation with God, a conversation that is ongoing and can take place anywhere.

His viewpoint is that when praying we should “talk” with God.  It isn’t about the location or using “holy talk” but a genuine heartfelt conversation between you and God.

In talking with God, three points made up the focus of the sermon….

  • Talk authentically – talk like you talk with friends and speak from the heart.  Don’t worry about the “thou” and the “Oh, heavenly most gracious God, creator of all things on heaven and earth.”  Old Testament talk isn’t necessary, an authentic talk with God is the kind of talk we would have with our best friend or partner, after all isn’t that what God is to us all?
  • Talk often – a conversation with God happens often, even continuously.  Talking with God isn’t by appointment, we don’t have to pray in the morning or as the last thing we do at night, prayer is a talk that is available to us anytime, anyplace and anywhere.
  • Talk and LISTEN – possibly the most important of these three points is to LISTEN for God when we pray.  Many of us talk and talk and talk and then we wonder why we don’t get a response.  A conversation takes place between two parties, listen for God’s response.

As Pastor Todd was preaching, he wasn’t saying anything I didn’t already know, but sometimes it is good to hear it from a fresh perspective.  The message was simple, but powerful.

The sermon included points on being patient when praying.  We don’t always get a response when we want, but we get it in God’s time… God’s perfect time.  I thought about all the times I have asked God for something and didn’t receive it when I asked, some things I never received AS ASKED, but received as needed.

As Pastor spoke, I was taken back to my prayers as a youth for God to change me.  During those dark days of my life I couldn’t understand why God had allowed me to be something others told me he hated and I prayed for change.

I remembered the jobs I had prayed for that I didn’t receive.

I thought about the days I begged God to let my mother live and be free of pain, to no avail.

During that sermon I could feel emotions rise up in me that I had not felt for some time, I could feel God speaking to me.

As he was talking about conversations with God, Pastor Todd made general statements….

  • speak to God before your feet hit the floor in the morning
  • get up ten minutes early with the intention of talking to God
  • don’t say Amen, continue a conversation with God through the day

The examples continued and as he spoke, I knew what I had to do as I was warmed by God’s presence.

For me, my best “talk to God” place is the beach, at sunrise.

Two years ago I was working out with a trainer and those sessions were held on the beach at 6:30 AM.  Far more than the exercise, the sunrise each morning gave me a feeling a peace and brought me closer to God.

Long after I stopped the work-outs I continued the morning visits to the beach.  I posted photo after photo of my sunrise experience on my Facebook page and others would enjoy the scene and comment on the beauty of each one.

What I learned during those days at the beach was every sunrise was different, but each one was filled with beauty and majesty too.

Recently I moved and I stopped going to the beach for sunrise.  The drive is further and it isn’t as convenient anymore, so I just stopped.

I continue to get up at the same time, but instead of going to the beach I watch the news.  As you can imagine the feeling I get from “Morning Joe” isn’t quite like the one I get watching the colors of heaven explode onto the horizon.

As Pastor Todd spoke, I knew what I had to do…. I had to go back to the beach.

Monday morning came and as my alarm sounded at 5:55AM, I lay there for a moment and talked to God, without saying amen, I bounced up, took Lita for a quick walk and then got in my car and headed to the beach.

Driving to the beach, I was disappointed that the weather wasn’t that great.  There was a slight mist and the winds were brisk.  As I made my way out onto the sand, I was disappointed to find the skies overcast with no color to be found.

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On the beach, alone, sharing my thoughts with God, I began to pray…… no, I began a conversation.

I talked to God about my dreams, my desires for my life and prayed for those I love.

As I prayed, I listened for God, I listened for a response, impatiently I waited.

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I prayed, the clouds remained and the rain fell, but I stayed, I stayed on the beach and I prayed.

Scattered around the beach I noticed throngs of jellyfish,  like landmines just waiting to sting.   The irony of the jellyfish didn’t escape me as I thought about the landmines of life that keep me from honoring God on a daily basis, the landmines that keep me from reaching my true potential.

As I stood and prayed, my mind began to wander.  My attention was drawn to the screech of the seagulls, the lady walking her dog down the beach and the rain.

I started to leave in disappointment that the sunrise had been a dud, but I stayed.

Standing on the sand, I waited and began to see a small break in the clouds and a peek of colors providing a promise of greater things to come.

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As the clouds dispersed and a colorful sky began to appear on the horizon I thought about the times God has spoken to me.  How I have been nudged by God to write, how I have been blessed by friends kind words when I needed it most, how I have grown in faith.

I reflected on the week with my family before my mom died that changed my outlook on life and death and allowed us to find blessings during the most difficult of days.

I thought about the realization I had come to long ago that I am a child of God, made in HIS perfect image, filled with foibles and saved by grace.

I continued to talk to God, I thanked him for blessings and I listened.

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As I continued to talk to God, the hints of a beautiful sunrise could be seen in the distance.  As I watched the sun rise, the message of the sermon became clear.

God provides in perfect timing.  Sometimes we go through darkness, storms and land mines, but in God’s perfect timing prayers are answered for those who believe, ask humbly and listen.

While we may not find the exact ending we seek when we pray, the answer is perfect in God’s own way.  While the changes I prayed for as a child didn’t come, my own acceptance and understanding did.

I was passed over for jobs I asked for, but when the right job came along at the right time, it was mine.

My mom died, but  she was healed, her pain was gone and she now sparkles in the glow of magnificent sunrises that are available each day.

While I prayed I found it, while I talked to God it became clear, prayer requires patience.

Our prayers are often answered in ways we don’t expect, not always the way we had hoped for, but in the way God knows is best for us.

But sometimes, through patience, those prayers are answered with the brilliance of the Sistine Chapel and God’s greatest blessings shine for us helping us navigate another day.

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Short Notes – 11.7.13

Billy Graham turns 95 today.

Life’s Playlist Lady Antebellum

If you haven’t seen this you should watch, featured on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on the feature “On the Road” with Steve Hartman, some kids who “get it!”

Words

The Spirit of America

Twitter makes big gains in first day on NASDAQ.

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