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Just Like Job

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord Gave and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord” Job 1:21
Last summer, we had already taken out the house plants because the weather was finally warm enough. We came in after doing a little bit of work and my forearms were covered with this rash. It itched like crazy. I took a shower and put some lotion on but it continued through the night.

By the next afternoon, I was at the emergency room where they told me it was a contact rash. They put me on antihistamines and prednisone. The very next day I was back at the ER. I had a bad reaction to the Prednisone, so this time it was Hydroxyzine, Decadron (another steroid) and steroid cream.

Weeks went by and it would start to clear up and then there it was again, another patch of itchy hives in another location. I spent the summer inside the house. Doc said it could be something in the house or in the air that just didn’t like me.

A couple months ago I had my yearly exams. My pap test came back with abnormal cells. I had to go in for a DNC. The tissue came back with Adenocarcinoma in Situ, which is cancer that starts in certain cells and remains there, but they have a propensity, not to spread but to kind of jump from one spot to another. That is how the gynecologist explained it to me. So I had to go in for a total hysterectomy.

As if going in for a major surgery wasn’t bad enough, he nicked my bladder and had to repair it while he was in there. I had to come home with a catheter and go back in five days to have it removed. The good news was that the tissue they removed, along with the uterus, tubes and ovaries all came back negative for any sign of disease.

While at the hospital for one of Richards’s infusions a few weeks ago, we came out to a flat tire on the rear driver’s side. Richard pulled out the spare, which was brand new, but the jack that came with the car was the wrong one.
God sent an angel that day. There was a woman parked next to us, who went down to a service garage and asked them to come help us. She even offered to pay for the repair, but the good hearted people wouldn’t allow her to and neither did they charge us. We don’t know who she was, but God put her in the right place at the right time.

Lastly, we were down at Walmart the other night. As we were getting ready to leave and I went to unlock the doors in this terribly cold wind, my key broke off in the lock. We had a spare key, but it was locked in the car in Rich’s bag. We called the police but they said they don’t provide a service where they come out and help people to get into their cars. Rich had to bust out back window because we didn’t have money for a towing company and the local police don’t help you get into your car anymore.

As I looked at the broken window today, I thought about Job. I thought about how he lost everything, how he was afflicted with boils and disease and yet through it all he never lost his faith in God, he never once blamed God for any of it.

Have you been through the “Job” periods in your life? I am sure many of you have, where it seems that just one thing after another happens. It’s Satan’s old standard of hitting us with everything he can because he knows God is working in our lives.

It has been my experience that when a string of bad events happen one right after another, it is an indication that God is getting ready to do something in my life. I’ve learned that when Satan starts hitting me with his “Job” agenda, to expect some good changes in my life. Job never lost his love or faith in God, no matter what Satan hit him with.

Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

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Are You Judging Others?

ER -articlesI recently had a chance to look at myself and my attitudes in a different light. We were at the ER recently for a routine intravenous medicine that has to be administered every 48 hours. Usually things are pretty calm there. Patients come and go, the nurses and EMTs scurrying around, taking care of the patients that are there.

The ER has been packed for the last couple weeks because of this Flu epidemic, but even then it has remained quiet for the most part. You don’t hear much noise from any of the examining areas except for muted conversations while the nurses, EMTs or doctors are conversing with the patients and treating them.

On this particular evening, while sitting in a room with the medicine running through the infuser, both of us quietly reading and patiently waiting for it be finished so we could go home, the EMT’s brought in a patient they had picked up in the ambulance.

I heard one nurse tell another to call police before the ambulance arrived and overheard another nurse say they should be on their way, because, apparently this was considered a violent person. While everything was quiet for a few moments after, there was a sudden bout of screaming and shouting. It was from the patient they brought in.

Now I have heard this same thing in other emergency rooms across the country, in different states I resided in. I assumed, in every instance where I heard this, that the person was drunk, or was on hallucinogenic drugs. I felt sorry for them and for the people who were taking care of them. I know that my assumption in some cases was correct but in others I was way off base. In one incident, I saw the person after they were treated and being admitted. This poor guy had been in an accident and both his legs were up in traction.

Most of these events that I was a visual or auditory witness too were long before I was a Christian and knew not to judge others, but again, this time I found myself jumping to conclusions about someone I knew nothing about.
I silently prayed for them and for the personnel that were trying to treat their needs. Eventually they quieted down.

As we left, they were still there. I don’t know what their injuries were or if they were eventually transferred to another facility, but I know I had no right to sit in judgment of them, to draw conclusions about what was wrong, so as we drove home asked the Lord to forgive me and teach me not to judge other people, not to jump to conclusions by what I see or hear.

The human race, as a whole, has some pretty bad habits. Not only do we run around killing, hurting, and abusing others, we also often judge what others are doing, saying or going through without actually knowing what is happening or has happened prior to our having seen or heard them.

How often do you judge someone or some circumstance, in a split second based on what you hear or see? Maybe we can all learn at some point to pray first, to seek direction on who and what we need to pray about before we pass judgment or jump to conclusions about someone and what they are going through when we don’t even know them.

Prayer: Lord help me not to judge others by their outward appearance or actions. Allow me to remember to pray for them instead, because I don’t know their circumstances, I don’t know what they might be going through.

 

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Happy New Year America : NOT

The US from spaceAnother year has come and gone and our world is constantly changing. It used to be that you would hear of special events, miracles, acts of kindness and compassion when you would listen to or read the news on New Year’s Day. I didn’t see much of that this year. Most of the news seemed to be centered on the racial problems, the murders of police officers, the slaughter by ISIS and other disturbing stories.

We live in the end times. We exist in a world gone mad. Everyone is at their neighbors, relatives and friends throats. People don’t know who they can trust anymore, especially when they see family members and friends leave to join the terrorist side of an ongoing war, or join a group of protestors or join a gang.

I have been watching the News in the evenings while eating dinner and it is discouraging that it seems like 99.9% of the news is bad. Very seldom do you hear about someone doing something kind, someone helping a neighbor or friend. Very seldom do you hear that they have found a missing child or adult alive. There is always the news about the thousands of deaths caused by terrorists, or the death or disappearance of someone and who the police think might be involved. It is not often that you see a report on a funny or happy event.

The News sources of today seem to want to dwell on all the things that are wrong in this world. Murders, racism, kidnappings, arson, burglaries, rapes, political debates, rumors about politicians and celebrities, and just about any other depressing subject you can think of.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they started digging for the good, humanitarian events and acts that are normal in everyday life? What if they actually searched for the acts of kindness, the community events where people pull together, or the wonderful story of someone being found alive that was presumed dead, or even someone being healed from a bad injury or disease.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they reported on the groups, churches, and organizations that make it their goal to help the poor, the sick, the lonely and the needy? Wouldn’t it be great if they looked for the good in people rather than searching for the mistakes and problems people have.

In everyday life, you run across these events, deeds and acts. You see people who are doing kind and thoughtful deeds, who are lending a helpful hand, whether it is helping someone put groceries in their car or delivering food to their house. You may occasionally see someone acting in a wrong way but it is not as often as the Media systems relate.

Sure, there have been major problems in cities and countries around the world, but there have been good things that happen also, but for some reason our mainstream Media thinks that only the disasters, crimes, wars and the like should make it to the news. They give their viewers no hope for this world.

If you count the goodness that you experience in each day and compare it to the wickedness you see, you are bound to discover that there is still a lot of goodness out there, and if each person would commit to trying to do something each day for someone, then eventually the News Stations won’t have anything bad to report. Just a thought, I get so tired of hearing about everything that is wrong with the human race and would enjoy hearing something good for a change.

Just my opinion – Happy New Year, be blessed, Lori

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In a Perfect World

Jesus with children 2In a perfect world there would be love, unconditional love. Couples would respect and love each other for a life time. There would be no adultery or infidelity.  There would be no dissolution of marriage, divorces or annulments. There would be no domestic violence, no sexual abuse, no rape and no same sex marriages. Children would grow up in a family atmosphere filled with hugs, compliments, and help instead of looking for attention from their friends or out on the street. There would be no child abuse, no pedophiles, no child molestations, and child murders. Children would be safe from all evil and violence.

Teenagers wouldn’t join gangs, take part in bullying, use drugs or alcohol, be promiscuous and would grow up showing respect, wanting to help those with less, and be part of the family they were born into. There would be less runaways, less teenage pregnancies, less homeless and lost teens. Parents would have time for their children instead of being overwhelmed with work, finances and keeping up with the Jones’s.

In a perfect world, people would be kind, friendly, and helpful. They would reach out and help those that had infirmities, disabilities, medical issues and the elderly. They would feed the hungry, help the widows, and find ways to house the homeless. Everyone would get along and everyone would be happy.

In a perfect world there would be no wars, no crime, no thought of any of this, but unfortunately, the doors of that perfect world closed permanently, here on earth when Adam and Eve committed the first sin.

In this world, we have to fight to stay alive. It is a battle each and every day to raise children, find a job, keep a home and keep safe. Rape, murder, abuse, theft, and destruction are not limited to special areas, but abound in every town, village, city and borough no matter how small or how large. Wars rage, not just in other countries, but here at home as well.

I can remember a time, when I was younger, that we never worried about closing our windows or locking our doors. When summer came we could leave all of them open at night to cool the house down for the next day. Now we live with multiple locks on each door, burglar bars on windows, home alarm systems and video surveillance. We didn’t worry about someone coming into our house while we slept or while we were not at home. We didn’t worry about gangs, drive-by shootings, drug infestation or hostile neighbors. Everyone worked to make the community safe, pleasant and friendly.

In a perfect world there would be no racism, no assassinations of the people we want to protect us, no riots or protest marches, no disappearing babies and no political wars. Everyone would respect each other and work toward the common good of all. The majority of the people in this world would not tolerate the criminals and haters.

In a way it sounds like what heaven might be like, for when we reach that heavenly realm, everyone will be filled with love for the Lord and all their brothers and sisters in Christ. There will be no crime, no poverty, nothing that tears us down and make us miserable. There will be no sickness, no diseases and no deformities.

Remember, that in a perfect world, everyone would love each other, be compassionate, forgiving, cheerful, happy and kind.  Jesus quoted two scriptures when asked what the most important commandments were. Deuteronomy 6:5 – “You shall love the LORD your God (with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” and Leviticus 19:18 – “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD

This article was originally published on 10/20/12 with the exception of the last two paragraphs which were added today, January 3, 2015

What baffles me the most, is in a world this haywire, how can anyone hope to survive without GOD in their life. He is the only source of relief and help in these terrible, troubled times.

GOD IS GOD ALL THE TIME. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD

Be Blessed, Lori

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The Reversal of Our World

Author: Richard Carter

Hands holding the worldI was lying on the bed after my shower looking absently at the ceiling, and for some reason remembered when I was a kid, how I used to lie on the floor and study the ceiling and the place where the walls met it. I imagined it was the floor instead. Having to step up to go through doorways, walking around the blades of the ceiling fan, and light fixtures, an interesting world reversed. And then I couldn’t help but think about the reversal our world is experiencing.

The change I speak of is a reversal of what we have come to consider basic logic, social expectations: the stuff that once was the heart of our grade school educations. How can a country, a people reject a status-quo, a reasoning that safely served as the foundation for that countries growth? Well, they can decide as a group on change. They can also be forced through extortion and the manipulation of other laws to concede to an insistent, aggressive party, or very easily a country can, in its own way, go mad. (A silly proposition?)

 
Maybe not so much. If you were viewing our situation from the outside, as an unbiased viewer, making your decision only on the basic precepts of common sense, what would you think? If the party you were studying became so willful that it turned upon the only body established to protect them, demonizing that group that once was universally proclaimed as heroes, what would you think? What would you think about a people so self-indulgent that they’re attention to the real political process going on around them held no more intensity or long term importance than a

Sunday football game?
What would your opinion be of a people who could stand vehemently proclaiming the supposed nobility of their cause, demanding their rights and then in a heartbeat become a group of vandals sacking a modern Rome?
Robert Whitaker, is the author of “Mad America” and “Anatomy of an Epidemic : Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America”. Mr. Whitaker states that rates of mental illness have doubled since 1987 and have grown ”SIX FOLD” since 1955.

 
After a bad election we sometimes think to ourselves “I must have been crazy to vote for that party”. Well, maybe we were. I guess the real point here is that our world is becoming more twisted daily. Can we pull ourselves out of this downward spiral? Are the majority of us too far gone to even care ?
If Mr. Whitaker s statements are true, this disease could certainly claim us, and just who among us are the mentally ill? Are the leaders of our country exempt, or are they just as messed up as the rest of us? It might explain a lot!

 

Grandparents and parents, give your children and grandchildren a clearer, saner view of life and their place in it. We don’t have to relive the dark ages of the past. We can instead experience a new Renaissance of American understanding, intelligence and character.

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America: Down the Path of Destruction

american flagAuthor: Lori Carter

Everyone wants to know what has happened to our country! Why are there so many violent episodes, so much crime, and so much poverty? Why in this country, “The Land of the Free”, are we seeing so much civil strife, riots, sexual perversion, murder, robberies, rapes and abductions?

Why does it seem like everyone is against their neighbor, everyone is in dissension with someone, some group, or some organization. What happened to the “good old American Apple Pie Days”? Why are we suffering so many violent changes in this country, the country that only a few decades ago was looked up to by all the rest of the world?

Take a trip back to biblical times and look at what happened in the bible. First, realize that these people never had any of the advantages we had. They were nomadic at the beginning and traveled from place to place. Look at the trip that Moses’ group made. They wandered around for forty years before being allowed into the land God had given them. Until that time, they wandered around with their flocks and families and all their worldly possessions.

They would stop in different seasons in different areas to grow and harvest certain crops. They never settled in one place until much later, after they entered the Promised Land and even then lived in mud or stone huts with thatched roofs, often living in squalor as they had no plumbing and their animals often live in the same shelter the people used.

Even then, the bible tells us there were wars where God instructed his people to completely annihilate whole cities and villages, man, woman and child. In some cases he instructed them to kill all the animals and burn the structures to the ground. Yes, there is violence mentioned in the bible, but it was Gods judgment against those tribes, those people who had fallen away from him to idolatry.

They didn’t have any automated modes of transportation. They didn’t even have horses and wagons.. They didn’t have any of the conveniences that we consider normal, like running water, electricity, phones, or television. But, they felt that they were blessed of God, as long as they obeyed his laws.

When they adhered to his commandments on how to live, how to think, how to act and worshiped only him, they were blessed beyond measure. He gave them land, he increased their crops, he enlarged their flocks and he allowed them large families and long lives. It was not unusual for many people to live to be 600, 700, or even up to 900 years old.

What happened when the people didn’t obey? God took away their blessings, their riches and even their freedom and sometimes their lives. He allowed them to be taken over by other tribes, other civilizations, other governments. He allowed them to be enslaved and forced to follow the rules that others set forth. He sent his angels to destroy some of the very towns that were absorbed in sin. At one time he was so angry, that he destroyed all but a select few of humanity.

When his people turned back to him, he would restore them, most often with more than they had before, but once they strayed again, they would be punished and each time the punishment might be harsher and longer. This is what happened when the people were forced into slavery for generations.

We have life so much easier. We have better shelter, easier modes of transportation and just about every convenience you think of. We have trained doctors and nurses, emergency personnel and the drugs and medications to fight almost any malady, injury or disease. We have services and organizations set in place to help those that need it, just for the asking.

We were a country that everyone envied. We had a strong economy. We were protected and we were rich. But, back then we also adhered mainly to the teachings of the bible. When the pledge of allegiance was said in the morning in class, a prayer usually followed. We were taught good, moral rules to live by in school as well as at home.

Neighbors watched out for each others kids. Neighbors talked to each other and didn’t envy what the other might have. People worked hard for what they wanted, and as long as they were honest, upright individuals, they usually attained their goals, and the Ten Commandments were posted in or on most governmental buildings.

Sure, we had some poor, mostly children and widows, but each community had services, benefits, churches and the like that helped them live. We also had some poor that were transients from one area to another, but only because they chose to live that way, but nothing like the poverty and homeless we have now.

So what happened to us? Well, some people decided they wanted things their way and pushed for what they considered their rights, and the majority of the Christians accepted or turned a blind eye. By misinterpreting the Constitution and the Bill of rights, people were able to convince others they were right. They were able to appeal to the sympathy of different types and get just about any reform pushed through that wanted.

Our country is such a mess because there are so many people that have turned away from God. To a lot of the population, the Ten Commandments no longer mean a thing. Many people worship the goods we can buy or receive from others and it never seems to be enough. They want to be rich, but they want to be famous also. They want everything their own way and will do almost anything they can to get it.

When this country was founded and we made claim to freedom of religion, our forefathers meant it was the Freedom to worship Christ the way you wanted and not the way the Church dictated. Our forefathers were people who had gotten tired of the “rules and laws and rituals” that the church was forcing on them. Although we opened our country to others that were oppressed  or had different beliefs, we in no way gave them the right to change the basic principles that we were founded on.

Our laws have changed to allow just about anything, even when it is against everything the bible has stood for. Gay rights, unpunished criminals, catering to other religions, changing our buildings and rules to accommodate these other religions while ousting the ones who still hold to the Christian faith, teaching our children about other religions but not allowing them to have bibles in school are just a few hair raising changes.

Parents allowing children to walk around showing off their bodies, allowing children to act like adults, using electronics like DVD players, i Pads, computers, cell phones and the like as babysitters, not enforcing the principle of respect with them, and doing away with disciplinary measures are just some of the other problems we have.

Remember how god punished the Israelites every time they turned away from him? They lost all that they had and were oppressed by other governments?  Remember how Rome fell, how Jerusalem was taken over? Remember what God did in Egypt because Pharaoh wouldn’t let his people go?

Maybe what we are experiencing in this country, at this time is just the beginning of the wrath of God. We all need to get back to the Christian ideals, the commandments given us by God; the teachings of Jesus, then just maybe our country can be healed.

If we quite catering to every Tom, Dick or Harry that comes from another country or doesn’t like our laws, if we lay our rules out there and commit to keeping them, if we stand up for our rights and not allow others to be trampling them, then maybe our country can be healed.

If we quite catering to everyone who cries “Injustice” without proving it, if we arrest anyone who starts a riot or leads in a violent event and the let the law take its course, then maybe our country can be healed. If we stood up against other religions on our rights, and didn’t make compensations that were unfair to Christians, then maybe our country’s wounds would heal.

If we banded together in Unity, “Under God” against terrorism threats and attacks from other countries and reinforce our military establishments and our border, then maybe we can hold our heads up high once again and say “We Are America” and we will no longer put up with aggression from inside our country or outside it.

If we went back to the Ten Commandments, put prayer back in school, started disciplining our children again, took back the rights that educators think they have on what they teach our children, start re-teaching our children the concept of respect and love, take away all the unnecessary things that draw our attention and theirs from God, then maybe we can be the true “America” again.

Praying for America

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Indian Gum

Author: Richard Carter

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There were always woods near our homes. They were patches of trees a boy could escape into, connected to corn fields in Missouri or long forgotten, old mining operations in Illinois. Even thick, stretches of trees, maybe only a few hundred feet wide, were running through the suburbs that were a necessary part of our life.

The trees, weeds, grasses, and stone all were alchemist’s tools to a boy. Even the baked soil full of mysteries and ties with the past were part of this. My first homemade bow was pulled from a thin branch of Osage Orange tree, it’s string, a piece of masons cord, it’s arrows the straightest, sharpened sticks I could find.

But, to the spindly boy, for that afternoon, burnt brown by the sun, they might as well have been magic weapons, offerings of the lady of the lake. The sun, not a subject to complain about , the dirt and dried grasses I squatted in as much a part of my childhood as the three meals I was forced to come in for.

There were canes in the woods, especially near areas where water pooled. Some were quite thick. When they were old and dried out, they were great for imaginary spears, at least until they shattered from throwing and they quickly did. Inside the fragile, outer layer of these cane was a puffy, spongy, white stuff. My mother called it Indian Gum. She said, as kids, they’d chewed it, and that her parents told her Indians had done the same.

It’s tie to real Indian practice, may be questionable, most probably, though, she had, and if the stories of how poor her family were are true, which they doubtlessly were, it was more a practice dreamed up for children without the money for its store bought equivalent.

Flavorless, it was interesting still. I once chewed a piece of bubble gum with a large chunk of Indian gum, I guess thinking I might double my pleasure. Instead it merely ruined the pink stuff and soon both were spit out in a loss.

The streams were always inviting. You could lounge with half of you lying on the warm pebbly powdery, soil, and with your legs submerged to the knees in the cool water. It was a way of getting out of the sight of the buildings and houses, each step further out , not to grab a quick smoke, or any of the other sheltered secret practices of boys, but instead to get away from loud voices, to be absorbed in sound of buzzing ,clicking insects, or the breeze moving through the grass .

It was a refuge, a place to think, to dream. It was a balance in a social life spent with family, friends at school, or in church. Some of my friends, as I got older, kidded with me, saying “when are your parents going to let you cross the street?” Well, of course they had. I went most places that they did. The difference was, I think, that my parents didn’t want me to become a child who relied on the crutches of society.

By that, I mean, they wanted me to know another world besides the quick trip, or the theatre, or the drive in restaurant. They wanted me to be, not uncomfortable, but friendly with the experiences of quiet moments, ones in which we, on a much more basic level, can be thoughtful and introspective.

Dissatisfaction is the source of many tragedies in our world. It drives the young and the old to acts of crime, and infidelity. We feel that we must be constantly satisfied by some product or practice, and when these mini luxuries, the daily requirements of all our friends are withheld from us by circumstances, financial or physical, some of us actually feel wronged, feel this condition gives us a right to strike out against society, as we seek to take what we believe is ours.

“What have you done for me lately” is an appropriate phrase for many, totally out of touch with the question “what have I done for myself lately”. Attention to self, in our day and age, should be thought a purifying moment, a clarifying one, taking a step back away from it all long enough to really think .

Our children, for the most part, grow up inside minds that are turned on only with the help of an instrument of some kind. If they are smarter at their age than we were, they are just as well, more removed from the natural.

It’s the reason kids fifteen years old talk like adults finally burned out from hard living, that little girls exposed to the media of adults, are beginning to see themselves as sexual objects instead of kids, enjoying the short term of innocence our society allow . Some are driven to self-destructive feelings and actually claim they have nothing to live for with the enormous span of near infinite possibilities still ahead of them.

As a species, we grow further and further out of touch with our world and with ourselves, with the center the calm that should be looked at as a birthright. The basics of life, the lesser things, are really the base, the foundation for all that follows. Some claim the world we’re born into is the one of media driven needs, but I think that’s wrong. The world we’re born into is separate. Imagine the world as an empty house, and society as the half mad family that has moves in. Strip away our wealth, our property, our crutches, and many have little then to live for, will rob or even kill to replace it, even using the excuse it is done for their family. Surviving, in most cases, calls for neither.

Life is growing harder. The population that the earth supports continues to grow with conditions of mismanagement bringing conditions of poverty to more and more of us. This may or may not be a situation that we, at this point, have any power over, but what we can do, though, is to impose a state of damage control in our own lives.

We can slow down the spiral of our personal responses to it all and in the process show our children a better example of how to survive change. We, the generation who carried transistor radios not computers in our youth, surely understand what I’m saying. Just as water and foods must be regulated to protect us from harmful elements, knowledge, also, should come into each of our homes in a more similarly stringent fashion. Our choices as adults, as individuals are ours alone, but children should be allowed a more sheltered period than they have. The benefits of these pleasurable advancements come to us at a yet fully unrecognized cost.

Are my reminiscences of childhood just another form of long worn out memorabilia of another, more naive time, or are there elements of value we can draw from our memories, that may still be integrated into our lives, ones that may help to create a balance we seem to have lost?
Originally posted on “Positive Mornings”  9/25/2012

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