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You planted me here so many years ago
Tired and worn out
Must be my time to go
I spread my branches toward your sky
Never once questioning why
The days, they pass
As do the nights
Now ending with a heavy sigh
And, when I was nowhere in sight
You’re the one that planned each day and night
You poured me full cups of sunshine, pelted me with wet rain from above
And fed me from treasures below
Oh, how can it be so
Tired and worn out
Must be my time to go
Tender branches once warmed by summer winds of long ago
Yes, my dark, dark winter is here
The falling leaves of death are oh so near
Come home you say
Your job is done today
For you planted seeds to grow
And they’ll forever stay
Don’t you know
Twenty-four years ago I had written a few letters concerning some of the issues of the day to our new President at the time – Bill Clinton. I actually received a letter back from him. I guess he got tired of all of my letters. It was kind of him to actually acknowledge my concerns.
His first few months of office were very busy after being inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States on January 20, 1993 three months prior to the time I wrote my letter to him.
On January 25, 1993 Bill Clinton announced that Hillary Clinton would lead the task force on National Health Care Reform. The President hoped to reform the National Health Care system so that all Americans had health insurance. It would ensure what he called “Universal Coverage” which would hopefully control health care costs which were continuing to rise out of control.
On February 5, 1993 President Bill Clinton signed the Family Medical Leave Act that requires companies to provide workers with up to 3 months of unpaid leave for family and medical emergencies.
Then on January 26, 1993, six people were killed and more than one thousand suffered from injuries after a bomb was placed under the World Trade Center in New York City. This explosion marked the beginning of threats against the United States by both domestic and foreign terrorists. Who could foretell the dark days ahead relating to terrorism?
April 19, 1993 the day my letter was postmarked – In Waco, Texas Federal Law officers under the orders of Attorney General – Janet Reno fought a 51 day stand-off with a religious cult led by David Koresh. The battles resulted in terrible fires that destroyed the cults compound and killed 75 people.
Our country faces issues today, just like we did during Bill Clinton’s presidency 24 years ago. Although there are many things I did not agree with President Bill Clinton on, I can agree that we need to have a consensus to work together as a country and a people. After all, we are all in it together and we need each other.
I was in the “Peach Cobbler Capital” of the world today believe it or not. Yes it’s true, I was in the small town of Porter, Oklahoma with a population of 574 people today to take care of some personal business. There is not a whole lot of town in Porter as you can see from the photo here.
Porter is located in the northeastern part of Oklahoma and is also the “Peach Capital” of Oklahoma as well. Every year for the past 50 years Porter has hosted their annual “Peach Festival” on the streets of downtown Porter.
On July 16th of this past year during the Peach Festival, Porter, Oklahoma set a new world record for the largest peach cobbler in the world weighing in at a whopping 2902 pounds. The winning cobbler which is now in the Guinness Book of World Records was 18 feet long and 8 feet wide and beat the previous record of 2195 pounds. The cooking pan that was built to cook the cobbler in was 6 inches deep.
It took 7 long hours to cook the peach cobbler cooked on kerosene burners in a permanent oven built right next to City Hall. The ingredients consisted of 405 pounds of flour, 300 pounds of butter, 87 gallons of milk, 537 pounds of sugar, and 966 pounds of Porter Peaches. So if you ever get hungry for some good peach cobbler and a lot of it, you might want to visit this little town during the middle of July. I am sure they might have some good peach cobbler and even a little ice cream to go with it!
“Meanwhile, I was in a place of clouds. Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky. Higher than the clouds-immeasurably higher–flocks of transparent orbs, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long streamer-like lines behind them.
Birds? Angels? These words registered when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher.
A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if winged beings were producing it. Again thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise–that if the joy didn’t come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but that doesn’t get you wet.
Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was. I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming a part of it–without joining with it in some mysterious way.
Again from my present perspective, I would suggest that you couldn’t look at anything at that world at all, for the world at itself implies a separation that did not exist there. Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet……or a butterfly’s wing……….. A warm wind blew through, like the kind that spring up on the most perfect summer days, tossing the leaves of the trees and flowing past like heavenly water. A divine breeze. It changed everything, shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.
Through the Orb, Om (GOD) told me that there is not one universe but many–in fact, more than I could conceive–but that love lay at the center of them all. Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts. Evil was necessary because without it free will was impossible, and without free will there could be no growth–no forward movement, no chance for us to become what GOD longed for us to be. Horrible and all-powerful as evil sometimes seemed to be in a world like ours, in the larger picture love was overwhelmingly dominant, and it would ultimately be triumphant.”
“Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thoughts and emotion–and in essence makes us human–shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in a coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with the Divine source of the universe itself.”
I am currently in the process of reading this remarkable book called “Proof of Heaven” by Dr. Eben Alexander. This is an outstanding book written by one of those previously doubting skeptics that has to have everything proven by scientific facts. If you have never read this book, I would certainly recommend it. You will never be the same after reading this one. The statement that evil is necessary kind of threw me a bit… I suppose we would all just be robots in life if we were not allowed choices by an all-knowing, all-powerful GOD. And GOD knew that if we did choose evil instead of good that he still loved us and would forgive us.. But he wanted us to want him, to want to come back to him, to turn from the evil choices of this world, and to follow him. Love is stronger than any amount of evil that can be thrown at us by the little god (Satan) who controls the world we live in for now. If you get a chance to read this book, let me know what you think.
Have you ever known anyone that has had a similar near death experience. I haven’t but my sister used to go to church in Pasadena, Texas with Don Piper (her Sunday school teacher) who wrote “90 Minutes in Heaven”, and who died in a car accident and came back to tell the story of his own encounter with heaven.
There is an unseen dimension, an unseen world that is as close as the breath we breathe. A world more real than the physical world that we can see with our eyes. A spiritual battle rages on day in and day out, and we will not know how many times we have been saved from terrible accidents by our own guardian angels until we get to the other side of heaven. I have had personal experiences with angelic beings myself which I have written about in some previous blog posts. On this side of heaven, our prayers and our words are ever powerful. We can choose to speak words of evil or of love. Remember to pray always for your family and friends for protection from the evil forces of this world that fight against us, and let love win out in the end!
We had the opportunity to visit with our daughter at our house this past weekend, who will soon be having a daughter of her very own. While she was here we happened to come across an old box with some of her papers from when she was younger that had something I had written about her when she was only about 3 or 4 years old. Here is the original paper I had hand written those so many years ago.
“She came into our lives as a blessing from above. So tiny, so beautiful. GOD blessed us with our little bundle of love. At first she barely crawled, and now look at her run. At first she could hardly talk. Now look at her; she hardly stops talking! Each day we grow to love her more. Thank you LORD for our little blessing. Thank you LORD for Valerie. Brown eyes, brown hair, and that special warm caring smile.
Each time I look at her, I hear GOD whispering in my ear. Be good to her, and raise her to learn of me. Teach her love, patience, kindness, goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and train her in the way she should go. Teach her right from wrong. Teach her to love others, to give unto others. Look at her now how big she is growing, changing every day. Thank you LORD for our gift from heaven above. May we love her and show her your ways each day. Thank you LORD for our Valerie.”
The picture above is of our daughter Valerie and her own grandfather, my wife’s dad. His name was “Papa” I can’t wait to have a photo taken with my own granddaughter. I know people say it often, but it does seem like only yesterday when our daughter was this age. As a matter of fact, it still seems like only yesterday that I was carrying her to her first bed to lay in after being born in the hospital. As the days pass, I pray that I will be able to be the grandfather that my granddaughter deserves me to be. I pray that I will be able to show her the right road to take too, and that we will have many good years together. If we are together, they can’t help but be good!
I promise again LORD that I will teach her just like I taught her own mother. I will teach her the road to take, right from wrong, to love others, and to give unto others….. and I promise you I will love her every single day!
Christmas is a time for being with family, good food, giving gifts, and celebrating the birth of Christ. Let us not forget though, that some of the most meaningful gifts we can give come from our heart and need not cost anything at all. Here are a few of those …..
– Shovel snow off your neighbors sidewalk and driveway.
– Rather than give advice to someone, ask for some.
– Open the door for someone else.
– Read stories in your local library to children or seniors who can’t.
– Help in your local nursing home by just visiting and talking with some of the residents there who never have anyone to come and visit them.
– Let someone go on ahead of you while in line at the store.
– Give away some of your secret and most favorite recipes to your friends.
– Visit the Humane Society and adopt an animal if you can.
– Smile whenever you can at others. You never know how much you may change their day or outlook on life.
– Save up some fabric scraps and give them away to someone who quilts.
– Write a letter to the editor agreeing with his views on something.
– Volunteer to be a bell-ringer at your local Salvation Army.
– Write a letter to your friends you haven’t talked to in a long time and see how much it means to them.
– Say please and thank you whenever you are given the opportunity.
– Pick up after yourself around the house, and give others who usually do it a break.
– Say you’re sorry when you need to and forgive others when they do the same and are sincere.
– Call your family members on the phone just to tell them you love them.
– Tell someone you are proud of them.
– Be a mentor to a young person and show them the way to go.
– Take a cancer or dialysis patient to their treatments if they have no one who can help out.
– Volunteer to babysit for parents with a newborn baby to give them a night out once in a while.
– Pray for those who need prayer.
– Bake a cake or pie and take it to the new neighbors on the block.
– Don’t hold a grudge more than 12 hours and try to reconcile differences before the sun goes down each day. It will give both of you a good nights rest!
– Give yourself a gift by not worrying. It ends up getting you nowhere in the long run. Most of the stuff we worry about never comes to pass anyway. Worrying is just a changeless proposition.
“What’s Christmastime…. but a time for paying bills without money, a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer, a time for balancing your books?…. If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas:, on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” so says.. Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
But shall we let the story stop there? I say not…. And with that, this is how Scrooge’s nephew replies………. “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited. I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmastime…. as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut up hearts freely…. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pockets, I believe it has done me good, and will do me good.”
May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!