Secret Falls on the island of Kaua'i.

A Cuppa Light

A Little Cuppa this and that

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These "cuppas" will change from time to time. Hope you find one that suits your taste.

 Fanfare for the Common Man
I am moved frequently by the courage of others. Besides our amazing police, firemen and other emergency teams, I’ve seen:
•    brave family members caring for their dying loved ones, smiling, encouraging, yet weeping inside.
•    a tiny old wizened woman run out of her apartment with a baseball bat to defend a neighbor, because she heard her being beaten by her husband.
•    a grandmother suddenly and willingly become mother to her 4 grandchildren after her daughter’s death.
•    a woman deathly afraid of snakes grab one and hurl it away from a fresh water pond where her niece and nephew were swimming.
•    a mother run into traffic to protect her little girl.
•    tears in childrens’ eyes when they are told that a beloved pet would be put to sleep because of its pain, but wanted the best for their pet.
•    a car-less father walk door to door to find yard work to care for his family.
•    doctors work long past their shift to tend to patients.
      What makes a hero? It's one who unselfishly aids another in need. I salute and honor the millions of heroes who never get recognized, yet toil for their loved ones, even going without so that their needs may be met. Most mothers are heroes to me.
      You can never tell when you might be the next hero. At Ke'e Beach on Kaua'i a young man was recovering from foot surgery and was on crutches. A wave had knocked a visitor away from the safety of the reef, and she was being swept out by the current. That young man threw his crutches down and went out after her, and saved her life. There is a very good chance that you are hero material, and will shine in others' eyes one day.
The Lesson of the Candles
      Candles play a very important part of the Lourdes, France experience. Even though I am not Catholic, and wasn't ailing, I spent five days there in 1999. I was fascinated by St. Bernadette.  Bernadette Soubirous was a 14-year-old girl when she carried a blessed candle with her to the grotto at Lourdes on her seventeenth visit to meet "the Lady". It had become her custom to do so. That time carrying the candle would enhance her credibility.    
     Skeptical Dr. Dozous  watched her cup her left hand over the candle flame. The wind blew the flame over her hands, but Bernadette, being in a state of ecstasy, didn't react. Dr. Dozous timed it at fifteen minutes. When she came out of ecstasy she had no burns. Dr. Dozous then put the flame near Bernadette's hands, but she cried out that he was hurting her.
      Bernadette didn’t know who “The Lady” was until near the end of the apparitions, but she listened to her intuition to visit Mother Mary. Mary told her to tell her priest to build a chapel by the grotto, and in time they did. Thousands have been healed at Lourdes. One can see crutches, wheelchairs, canes, braces, and the like on the walls of the churches.
      It has become the custom to bring candles to the Grotto, which they conveniently sell, although I observed 6 foot tall beautifully decorated candles from parishes in Ireland and Italy there. One makes a prayer and the prayer continues as long as the candle is lit. I visited one June when the winds were gusty. Many of the candles had blown out. I relit them with my candle. Then I noticed something. The wind would practically blow out a candle so that it would be barely burning. If I placed my candle, also weakened with the wind just next to it, both of them would light up and burn brightly again.  It became for me a visual representation of how we strengthen our own light when we share it with others, sometimes by just being there. Have you been aware of how someone's caring has warmed and strengthened you? It also feels as good when you also are the strengthening candle.
The Gift of Truly Listening
     I hope that you have had good listening modeled for you. You deserve it. It helps people have good self-esteem. When people listen to you, it demonstrates that you matter to them, and that feels good.  This acronym may help you remember to listen better:

L - Love:  Think, “I love you.” to the person. You’ll soften, and most likely they will too.
I – Interested:  Project or even state that you are interested in what they have to say. It will energize them.
S – Sincere:  Be sincere.  Be your authentic self. It will help them be their authentic selves.
T - Time: Give them permission to take their time. Don’t finish sentences for them, or get distracted.
E - Empowerment:  Believe in them and their ability to handle the situation involved.
N- Non-judgmental: We’re not capable of judging anyway. Be respectful. It is an honor to receive someone’s story.

 Veterans Day
     Veterans Day is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states of the USA. It is celebrated on November 11th each year, or the following Monday if it falls on a weekend. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other countries.  On November 11, 1918, there was a signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. My grandmother taught me that she was told that World War I was the war to end all wars. It can still happen. I believe that we can peacefully create a peaceful world. I am also thankful for our veterans. My father and uncle were decorated veterans.
    The following was sent to me via email, without an author. It touched me, and I pass it on.
“What Is A Veteran?
     A 'Veteran' - whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to, and including his life.'  That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact.”   
     May we truly believe that we can create a long lasting peace! May our planet heal from the ravages of war.

 A Minister Ministers
     The dictionary's definition of a minister is someone in the clergy, especially in Protestant religion. It generally denotes the church leaders. To minister people is to attend to their needs.
    When the apostles were working hard to spread Jesus’ teachings to the world, the Grecians “murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily ministrations.” Then the twelve asked the majority of Jesus’ disciples to find 7 worthy members who would take care of these women and others. The twelve “prayed, and laid their hand on them”. The ministry increased.  Stephen, one of the 7 did great miracles and wonders. Some leaders in the synagogues falsely accused him of misquoting Jesus and stoned him. Before he died, he saw Jesus and the glory of God, and asked that his oppressors be forgiven. (Acts 6 and 7) Paul Solomon called Stephen the first deacon and martyr.
    In some Protestant churches a deacon is lay officer appointed to assist a minister. All churches have members who have many needs. Let those who are called serve their churches and truly minister to their needs. It’s time to remember how to do great miracles and wonders, and do them. The key is in allowing our personality to step aside while we humbly asks that God, Spirit, All that is, uses our love, our hands and our hearts to serve those who come before us.
     "It is not me, but the Father in me Who doeth the works."  Jesus

Alas's Monday sunset over the Blue Ridge Mts.
Indigo Water Lily

 Expect a Miracle!
    Imagine how Moses felt when he climbed Mt. Sinai to talk with God, and experience God. What must his level of expectation been?  It was enough to attract an audience with God! Our level of expectation or desire is like a magnet to bring things to us. If I meditate to just relax, then that is what I will experience. If I meditate to relax, clear my mind, and become more aware of the Spirit that I am as it lives in the world, I will begin to experience that awareness, and weave the cloth of miracles in my life.
    We don’t have to understand how it works. Spirit is beyond the comprehension of the human mind. A miracle by definition is an unexpected pleasing event that can’t be explained by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of the divine. Having miracle readiness draws them to us.  Be your own scientist. Expect that you will receive exactly what you need for your highest good. Be sincere. You can’t fool God; there is no separation between your holy self and your holy Creator. The miracles could be great or small. According to the book, A Course in Miracles, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” Text p. 1.

We all Have Multiple Intelligences

      Attention all those who have suffered because they, or their loved ones got a lower score on an IQ test, and someone made a big deal about it. IQ tests were originally intended to test how well children would do in a traditional school setting. We now know that one standard test would not be able to measure one’s abilities without a cultural, and adaptive behavior component. Also, intelligence goes way beyond what can be measured!
      In the early 80”s Howard Gardner wrote Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He states that a person has  many areas of intelligence. They are:
• linguistic (pertaining to words/speech)
• bodily-kinesthetic
• spatial – a sense of 2nd and 3rd dimensional space
• musical
• logical-mathematical
• intrapersonal- relating to one’s inner being
• interpersonal- relating to others
• naturalist- relating to our world
IQ tests mostly test for linguistics, logical-mathematical, some spatial and memory. There is Oh! So much more. You might want to take minute or so to think about what you excel in easily.Perhaps it will give a direction to your life.
I believe that we come with all we need to live the lives we plan to live. Enjoy your gifts.

Everyday Miracles
     Never underestimate the power of love. It can trump every worry and every negative emotion you have. It can effortlessly bring you great strength when you need it.
     When my infant son had nudged himself between the iron bars of my grandmother’s bed, I pulled the bed back with my left arm, and cradled his head, and pushed it back through the bars with my right hand. I had had a moment of alarm when I first saw him a bit wedged, but after I had him safe again, I thought nothing about the maneuver.
     However, in a couple of days when I was vacuuming, it took both hands and several grunts to move the bed!
     Another miracle story that happened to me, frequently is probably shared by millions of parents.  I was awakened for the 3rd time at night by my newborn baby girl. I crawled out of bed, tired to the bone,  knowing I had to get up in 2 hours for my morning routine. Then I saw her adorable baby face, and suddenly I was recharged! I had all the energy I needed to take care of her, and then some. It taught me that love is truly empowering. It creates energy in this world. And we can harness that love today!

Dawn Light in the Pisgah Forest NC by Alan Ostmann
Love is blind.

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