Life’s Playlist…… Glorious by Macklemore

I’m not cool enough for Hip-Hop, most of it I don’t get.  There is one hip-hop artist I do get and that is Macklemore.

With his music he makes a statement on life and our society and tries to elevate us through the lyrics.

His latest song “Glorious” continues that life-affirming message.  The video follows Macklemore and his grandmother, celebrating her 100th birthday.

A day of silliness, special moments and dreams fulfilled is the backbone of the production.

Simple joys, celebration and affirmed love overflow through every note of this song.

Wouldn’t it be great if each day we could find just a moment to bring joy to someone else….. the world would certainly be a better place.

Independence Requires Responsibility

This weekend we celebrate our nation’s independence.

The 4th of July is a red, white and blue celebration of national pride that we partake in every year.

In 1776, when our forefathers set out to form a more perfect union, the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence outlined the blueprint for our nation…..

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

As we gather on beaches, lakes, mountaintops and the communities of our land celebrating our Independence, I believe in these words more today than ever; 241 years later, the ideals of our founding fathers still stand.

As a people we are given more freedoms than any other nation on the planet.  The melting-pot that makes America great still stands strong today and while we have not succeeded in every way, I contend that the American experiment is the greatest of all time.

With our independence also come great responsibility, this is where I think we as a people have fallen short.

We live in contentious times, but that contentiousness will not destroy us, if we as Americans will just honor those unalienable rights that we were given.

Our independence requires participation.  If we do not participate in the process how do we make our nation better?

When we lend a hand to those in our community, support the needs of our citizens and become involved in the process that makes our country great, often times we find a kinship with others that may not be seen from the surface.

I have often found that once I get to know someone, our differences quickly disappear and our similarities rise to the surface.  I think it is time that we started celebrating our unique commonality as a nation and stop focusing solely on our different visions.

And it’s time that we stopped concentrating on “beating the other side” and worked for the common good, one that includes compromise from all sides and not just a win at all cost mentality.

However, with this independence that we all partake in, a responsibility is required.

For too long, some in our nation have lived on the backs of others, for true independence to thrive, everyone must do their part.

I don’t think anyone would argue that those hurting in our nation deserve our support, but when able-bodied Americans sit back and live off the hard work of others, the promise of that document signed in 1776 is tarnished.

It’s time that we as Americans, ALL Americans took responsibility and moved us towards that more perfect union.

Hard work is the backbone of our country, that includes arriving on time, staying late and working to the best of our abilities.

Most of us have had jobs that we didn’t love, jobs we felt were beneath us, but with hard work and dedication we can move up and forward finding a place where we best fit into the fabric of America.

Until ALL Americans take their place at the table and help move us forward we will falter.

America is and will always be the greatest nation on earth, some in our nation have forgotten that.  For those people it is time that you step up, bring your voice to the table and your hands to the workforce… participate, for our nation to thrive, we require everyone.

As we gather this weekend, and again on Tuesday to celebrate our nation and our Independence, I hope we will all remember the responsibility we each hold in carrying forward the ideals of America.

It is more than just fireworks and picnics, it is a 365 day a year responsibility to honor our greatness.

Happy Independence Day America!

 

A Good Read – “Underwater” by Chris Maxwell

Chris Maxwell’s latest book “Underwater: When Encephalitis, Brain Injury and Epilepsy Change Everything” is a book well worth reading for anyone who has  a challenge to overcome.

In 1996, Chris’ life changed when he was struck by encephalitis.  The infection almost ended his life, but what this book does is show the reader how, although changed, he has learned to live with the challenges that still affect him today, and flourish.

Not only was Chris’ life turned upside down, but so were the lives of his wife, sons, family, friends and co-workers.  This story is about the “new Chris” that emerged from his illness and how everyone in his life was affected.

While this personal story is about the results of encephalitis, the challenges and triumphs can be equated to anyone’s life.

Whether it is illness, loss, or other speed bumps we have to overcome, “Underwater” shares a journey that we can all celebrate and emulate as life’s challenges get in our way.

“Underwater: When Encephalitis, Brain Injury and Epilepsy Change Everything” is a great read, I am happy to recommend to anyone!

Other books written by Chris Maxwell include, “Beggars Can Be Chosen,” “Unwrapping His Presence,” “Changing My Mind,” and his acclaimed series, “Pause,” “Pause With Jesus,” “Pause for Moms” and “Pause for Pastors.”

“Underwater,” and Chris’ other books, may be found on Amazon .  He is published by True Potential Media.

 

 

 

My America…..

THIS is the America I live in, not Twitter wars or tearing others down, but honoring service and dedication to family.

Well done Budweiser, well done!

When One Door Closes……..

Friday afternoon, I boxed up my company issued laptop and sent it back to the company I have been working for, effectively ending a chapter in my life that has provided joy, challenge, financial reward, stress and opportunity.

When I decided to resign from my job, I did so knowing that I would be giving up a lot, with hopes of gaining more.

The last year has been a difficult one, I have seen my voice diminished, my judgement questioned and my passion for a job that I have loved eliminated.  I knew it was time to move on.

While the passion for my job was gone, new opportunities came to me and I am now ready to see where those opportunities will take me.

When I bought a small business last year, I did so with plans of it being a simple investment that I would sell in a couple of years.

Impressed quickly became more of a passion and the thoughts of it being an investment vanished.  I found in Impressed the opportunity to capitalize on my artistic sensibilities and nurture my entrepreneurial spirit.

Who knew that t-shirts could be so much fun?

While I embraced the new business, I also committed to more writing.  I have always enjoyed writing and started this blog years ago, but somehow never had the time to devote to it.

In January, when I decided I was going to concentrate on my writing, the “pay-off” was immediate.

Over the last several months, I have been given the opportunity to write a monthly column for Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine and had a featured column in the summer issue of Cabin & Cove.

The feedback from my articles has encouraged me and I look forward to more opportunities to share my words with others.

For several years I have heard from family and friends that I should write a book.  Well, yes I should, and I would love to, however as with many things in life, fear prevented me from pursuing that dream.

The final agreement I had to make with myself when I  decided to leave my career was that I would pursue the opportunity of that book.

Once I made that decision, again, doors opened and I am now diligently working towards making the dream a reality.

Yesterday, I locked myself in my house, put everything aside that I should be doing and wrote.  I wrote all day and once I closed my computer and sat down to watch TV, I started thinking and wrote some more.

It was a great day, filled with opportunity that I am actively pursuing a dream that has simmered inside me for many years.

Who knows if it will happen, but I can honestly say I am inspired each time I sit at this keyboard with the opportunity to write.  When the words start to flow and a sentence appears on the screen that I like, the excitement I feel is unlike anything I have ever known and I anticipate the words that will follow.

So here I am, I have set a new course and plan on seeing it through.

I believe in visioning, when you see something in your mind and will it to happen.  I am in full visioning mode.

I can see Impressed being successful and continuing to inspire my artistic and entrepreneurial spirit.

And I vision more opportunities to write, more opportunities to put words on a screen that inspire me.

I can see my book cover, I can see people reading my work and I can see a new happiness and challenge that I have embraced.

On Friday, I closed a door, but have thrown open my heart to a world that is filled with opportunity, excitement and new challenges.

Am I afraid? You bet!

Am I worried about the change in income?  Yes, and Georgia Power probably is too, but more than fear, I am excited by what can happen, what can be my greatest passion, what can be my next step.

On a personal note, I covet your prayers and hope you will remember me as I move into this next phase of my life.  It won’t be easy, but I look forward to seeing where the road leads me.