In the United States we celebrate Memorial Day, honoring all of those that have died in any war while serving our country. It is the ultimate sacrifice for country and it is deserving of our respect and thanks.
To all those that have died during a war – I pray and salute you for your service and sacrifice and offer prayers and thankfulness to your families.
Moreover, all that have died while serving our country whether it is called a war or not – you deserve the honor and respect given this day!
But their is more to honor on this day than those who died during war. There are those that lived through the horrors of war and have died in other ways. We are talking about the death of innocence, death of spirit and death of faith in God and fellow man.
The horrors of war are (continue reading…)
A huge hello and Big Hug to all our readers who continue to support our LFTV Blog! It really has been a while since my last blog, so I want to say I am sorry.. It has been pretty busy and I can’t believe March is almost gone.
I want to say” Happy Birthday” to all those who are celebrating a birthday in March. I recently celebrated mine with my beautiful family that I love so much.
The moments that we spend with our family can become and should always be very memorable. My siblings and I are very close and I am very Blessed with my beautiful children. One thing I can say is: Dad and I did something right! And to have two sets of wonderful parents that are always smiling. Just to see the excitement on their face when we walk through the front door of their home you immediately feel the warming welcome.
I am not saying that we are perfect lets be realistic who is? Other than one man and his name is Jesus Christ.
We spoil and pamper each other in a loving and caring way,we laugh, we cry together, we pray for each other when we are facing tough times. There are those who think my mom has the Red phone to reach God when we need answered prayers.
I share this with you because, to me, everyday is a Birthday of celebration, especially when it comes to your family and those that you love; we always include and never exclude.
We recently had two family members that we had not seen in over twenty years come back into our lives. To have them back in our lives was like they were never apart from us. Even from a distance, the closeness that one has, and the love that we hold in our hearts, will always make up for the lost time.
As I celebrate this moment in time I ask myself why am I so Blessed to have a family as Beautiful as mine.
So when it comes to celebrating your birthday remember this, Everyday that you wake up you should give thanks and celebrate another day of life and another day to say how Blessed you are to have a Family that loves you so.
It’s not the gifts and the parties that you will cherish; but The Love of your Family that you will keep close to your heart till eternity.
This was the best gift God could have blessed me with and I wouldn’t have asked for anything else.
So if you are celebrating your birthday remember this, Family and Friends and the one that you Love is the best Gift of All that anyone could possibly have.
I do not know if this describes you, but just know this, that no matter how small or big your family may be, or even if there is no family at all: Say Thank You to God for your special day and celebrate today just like you would tomorrow.
Happy Birthday to you! may the Blessings Shower upon you and give you a life of Abundance.
Till next time keep smiling. Brandy Lopez
“We walk by Faith and not by Sight”
Greetings everyone and hope all is well in your world!
I was recently introduced to a young man who plays the harmonica. He is a young protege of the man that introduced us. The man that introduced us is considered one of the best “Chicago Blues” harmonica players in San Antonio – his name is Benny Harp. And for those that do not know – the harmonica is also called a “harp.” Why so – I do not know – but if you know why – without giving the wikipedia definition – feel free to inform us all.
Being that I am not a musician – I cannot tell you one way or the other if Benny Harp is a great musician or harmonica player. I have heard him play and I enjoy it, but I am no critic… What I will say is that I respect Benny Harp for reasons unrelated to music. Benny is a mentor to this young man, teaching him what he knows about playing the harmonica – and I respect that.
And that is what I write about today: Sharing, caring and passing it on. So many people have talent, some of it is polished and some of it needs to be developed. We are all born with talent – but it needs to be developed and we need someone to help us do this.
This is why we have teachers and coaches. This is why we have mentors – but more important is this is why we NEED teachers, coaches and mentors. And I am not talking about doing it for pay, but because it is important to pass things on or “Pay it Forward.” Because it was done for us.
Ever see the movie “the Sandlot?” Remember the kid who wanted to play ball but didn’t know how to throw. Bennie “the Jet” taught him how. My dad taught me how to throw and catch and now I am teaching my daughter. These are just examples of passing it on.
Anyway, someone taught Benny how to play the Harmonica and now he is teaching Justin Vasquez. I don’t know how good Justin is – but I enjoyed what little I heard. I am including a little link for you to hear for yourself. I hope you can get it on your system and I hope you enjoy it: Harmonica_Justin Vasquez
Feel free to let us know if you would like to see more of this young cat. He is actually a very cool young man, too. But hey, here are the reasons to Pay it Forward or Pass it on:
- It shows that you appreciate God’s gifts enough to pass it on;
- It shows you care about others;
- It shows you care about the future;
- It feels good to help someone out;
- It is a gift to you both;
- It allows for the cycle to continue;
- You never know who will eventually get influenced; and
- It is the right thing to do!
Look, we have all been influenced and have been an influence in one way or another. I used to be a bad influence and sometimes still am, but with my recovery today – I am more of a positive influence than not. I am grateful for the time that others spent with me so I could get to where I am today.
I was unbelievably fortunate to have some of the teachers and mentors I had. I don’t know that I have a lot of skills to pass along – but when I can – I try to help. I have taught chess, checkers, ping pong, math, English, writing and even a bit on spiritual matters, along with many other things. Because someone took the time to teach me – I try to do the same.
After all, by sharing this blog with you – I am passing along of part me that I enjoy – writing and informing. I could write all about me and how wonderful I am – and I am… But I don’t … But really – I am wonderful!
I would rather share with you things that matter to the world at large and have meaning and substance to more than just me. I want to make the world a better place – one Blog at a time. I hope I am making a difference. I hope that I write about Matters of Influence rather than just a self absorbed literary diatribes on self and achievements.
I hope you get it! And I hope you pass it on and I am not just referring to the Blog itself, but the messages within. With that, I wish you well!
Take care, pass it on pay it forward and Cool Runnings Mon – Michael
P.S. Thanks for all of the great comments. We read them all and get rid of lots of junk so you do not have to read them…If you really want to get a hold of us, put your email in the comment itself – we will clean it up before we post it. Later!
That the Holidays are here and it is Christmas, I am reminded of the more important things in life – Love, Caring, Sharing, Giving, Family, Friends and Santa Clause. And look, I don’t want to push my beliefs on you – but I celebrate a Christian Christmas with some commercialism thrown in. I celebrate Christmas and I believe in Jesus and Santa Clause. Many of you have different religious and spiritual upbringing, and I respect you nonetheless… I ask you do the same with me and each other. Because the idea of celebrating the Holidays is not foreign to any of us. We all have some holiday we celebrate – don’t we? We all celebrate something! And we all have some sort of belief when it comes to Christmas – we either believe or we don’t. And with Christmas, comes giving and hoping giving with love!
But for now, let us celebrate our similarities rather than our differences.
Why? Because it is easy to find fault and differences that separate – but true humanity and value as people falls in celebration and appreciation of the similarities we share as part of the human race.
Alright, what am I saying and what does it have to do with: “It only takes one!” What does that mean?
Allow me to explain: Life is filled with joy, frustration, anger, happiness, loss, love, security and insecurity. It also consists of finding the one moment or incident that will make you remember, for the rest of your days. And recently I had that moment that leads me to say: “It Only Takes One!”
- one kind word – to lift a spirit;
- one mean word - to kill a spirit;
- one random act of kindness – to bring joy to someone;
- one smile – to brighten someones day;
- one word of encouragement – to keep someone moving forward;
- one word of discouragement – to make someone quit;
- one kiss – to take your breath away;
- one movie – to change your opinion;
- one person – to change your life for the better or for the worse;
- one gift – to make a Christmas for someone;
- one teacher – to influence you forever;
- one hug – to make you feel better;
- one song – to change your attitude;
- one tragic story – to reevaluate your life;
- one tragedy – to change your life forever;
- One drink – to take you over the edge;
- one moment – to never forget;
- ad infinitum and you get the picture….
But understand – it only takes one and you are THE ONE!
We lost a friend this week (as we all do) and it reminded me of what I saw last week. Allow me to share:
My partner, the Beautiful Brandy Lopez was invited to participate in a gift giving excursion. She was Mrs. Clause. She, along with Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz and Santa Clause, rode on a horse drawn carriage down a major street, with a police escort to deliver toys to the Clarity Mental Health Center for Children. It was a neat experience.
In celebration of the Christmas spirit, they delivered toys to the 80 or 90 children that are part of this school. The school helps children who are emotionally challenged and suffering from some sort of mental challenge (depression, ADHD, ADD, PTSD, etc.) Most of these children have suffered one tragedy after another, so much so that they are traumatized and need therapy. Some go through The Clarity, which has some good people at the helm and what appeared to be a very caring staff.
As the children came and went , some spoke to Santa, some just picked up their gifts and moved along. Some were shy, some didn’t care to engage but were happy nonetheless.
Then came The One. This little guy walked up to the carriage with his hand held out. He was walking with one of his teachers beside him. He was not looking for permission as much as he needed someone to walk this journey with him. It was unclear what he was doing at first until we noticed he was holding something in his hand as he approached the carriage and Santa. The carriage was hand made of wrought iron and was being pulled by a Hummer. It was big compared to this little guy.
I was standing behind the little guy and was just not sure what was happening until I saw the cookie in his little hand. He slowly approached, with his hand held out, his head down and meekly reached out and said, “Santa, this is for you!” We were floored!
Not because he was the only one to do this, not because he did it and it made me think, but because you could almost sense the fear of rejection. He reached out. His gift was accepted and he was accepted.
And it was Santa Clause that accepted his gift. The One thing that every child wishes – that Santa would accept and take his cookie. Imagine all the cookies left for Santa in this world. Imagine, as the children do, that Santa gathered them up and ate them with a smile.
But think about it, we were able to see this happen as it happened. The little guy smiled and was still smiling when we left. And it led me to think that it only takes one – one moment, one gift – given from the innocent of heart.
And it reminded me that “The most important gifts are from the heart!” And Because – they are given with love!
And God so Loved the World that He gave his only begotten Son, so that we may have Salvation! Happy Birthday Jesus!
God Bless You all and Merry Christmas!