This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation on Thanksgiving

Although it was President George Washington that first officially called for a "day of public thanksgiving and prayer", it was President Abraham Lincoln who, through this proclamation, gave the holiday official status throughout the United States, while the nation was in the midst of civil war.

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. 

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. 

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. 

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State


See also George Washington's proclamation at:

See some quotes on the topic of thanksgiving at:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Take Time For 12 Things

Take time to Work - It is the price of success

Take time to Think - It is the source of power

Take time to Play - It is the secret of youth

Take time to Read - It is the fountain of knowledge

Take time to Worship - It is the highway of reverence and washes the dust of the earth from our eyes

Take time to Help and Enjoy Friends - It is the source of happiness

Take time to Love - It is the one sacrament of life

Take time to Dream - It hitches the soul to the stars

Take time to Laugh - It is the singing that helps with life's loads

Take time for Beauty - It is everywhere in nature

Take time for Health - It is the true wealth and treasure of life

Take time to Plan - It is the secret of being able to have time to take time for the first eleven things

- Unknown Author

Monday, November 19, 2012

Excerpts from C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce"

This great little fiction book by C.S. Lewis is about people trying to divorce themselves from that which holds them back from progressing.  Although it is based in the Christian religious themes of heaven and hell, it can easily be applied to our lives here on earth.  It's a great lesson in letting go of the negative, focusing on the positive.

Excerpts from the Preface:
I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot "develop" into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, "with backward mutters of dissevering power"-or else not. It is still "either-or." If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in "the High Countries." In that sense it will be true for those who have completed the journey (and for no others) to say that good is everything and Heaven everywhere. But we, at this end of the road, must not try to anticipate that retrospective vision. If we do, we are likely to embrace the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is Heaven.

But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.

Great Quotes:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.

There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.

Story: Removing The Lizard From His Shoulder
I saw coming towards us a Ghost [the spirit of one who has died] who carried something on his shoulder. Like all the Ghosts, he was unsubstantial, but they differed from one another as smokes differ. Some had been whitish; this one was dark and oily. What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience. "Shut up, I tell you!" he said. It wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. He ceased snarling, and presently began to smile. Then he turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountains.

"Off so soon?" said a voice.

The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of a tyrannous summer day.

"Yes. I'm off," said the Ghost. "Thanks for all your hospitality. But it's no good, you see.

I told this little chap," (here he indicated the lizard), "that he'd have to be quiet if he came -which he insisted on doing. Of course his stuff won't do here: I realize that. But he won't stop. I shall just have to go home."

"Would you like me to make him quiet?" said the flaming Spirit-an angel, as I now understood.

"Of course I would," said the Ghost.

"Then I will kill him," said the Angel, taking a step forward.

"Oh-ah-look out! You're burning me. Keep away," said the Ghost, retreating.

"Don't you want him killed?"

"You didn't say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that."

"It's the only way," said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the lizard. "Shall I kill it?"

"Well, that's a further question. I'm quite open to consider it, but it's a new point, isn't it? I mean, for the moment I was only thinking about silencing it because up here-well, it's so damned embarrassing."

"May I kill it?"

"Well, there's time to discuss that later."

"There is no time. May I kill it?"

"Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please-really-don't bother. Look! It's gone to sleep of its own accord. I'm sure it'll be all right now. Thanks ever so much."

"May I kill it?"

"Honestly, I don't think there's the slightest necessity for that. I'm sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it."

"The gradual process is of no use at all."

"Don't you think so? Well, I'll think over what you've said very carefully. I honestly will. In fact I'd let you kill it now, but as a matter of fact I'm not feeling frightfully well to-day. It would be silly to do it now. I'd need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day, perhaps."

"There is no other day. All days are present now."

"Get back! You're burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You'd kill me if you did."

"It is not so."

"Why, you're hurting me now."

"I never said it wouldn't hurt you. I said it wouldn't kill you."

"Oh, I know. You think I'm a coward. But it isn't that. Really it isn't. I say! Let me run back by tonight's bus and get an opinion from my own doctor. I'll come again the first moment I can."

"This moment contains all moments."

"Why are you torturing me? You are jeering at me. How can I let you tear me to pieces? If you wanted to help me, why didn't you kill the damned thing without asking me-before I knew? It would be all over by now if you had."

"I cannot kill it against your will. It is impossible. Have I your permission?"

The Angel's hands were almost closed on the Lizard, but not quite. Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it was saying.

"Be careful," it said. "He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you'll be without me for ever and ever. It's not natural. How could you live? You'd be only a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn't understand. He's only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn't for us. Yes, yes. I know there are no real pleasures now, only dreams. But aren't they better than nothing? And I'll be so good. I admit I've sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won't do it again. I'll give you nothing but really nice dreams-all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent."

"Have I your permission?" said the Angel to the Ghost.

"I know it will kill me."

"It won't. But supposing it did?"

"You're right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature."

"Then I may?"

"Damn and blast you! Go on can't you? Get it over. Do what you like," bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, "God help me. God help me."

Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken backed, on the turf.

"Ow! That's done for me," gasped the Ghost, reeling backwards.

For a moment I could make out nothing distinctly. Then I saw, between me and the nearest bush, unmistakably solid but growing every moment solider, the upper arm and the shoulder of a man. Then, brighter still and stronger, the legs and hands. The neck and golden head materialized while I watched, and if my attention had not wavered I should have seen the actual completing of a man-an immense man, naked, not much smaller than the Angel.

What distracted me was the fact that at the same moment something seemed to be happening to the Lizard. At first I thought the operation had failed. So far from dying, the creature was still struggling and even growing bigger as it struggled. And as it grew it changed. Its hinder parts grew rounder. The tail, still flickering, became a tail of hair that flickered between huge and glossy buttocks. Suddenly I started back, rubbing my eyes. What stood before me was the greatest stallion I have ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, rippled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinneying and stamping with its hoofs. At each stamp the land shook and the trees dindled.

The new-made man turned and clapped the new horse's neck. It nosed his bright body. Horse and master breathed each into the other's nostrils. The man turned from it, flung himself at the feet of the Burning One, and embraced them. When he rose I thought his face shone with tears, but it may have been only the liquid love and brightness (one cannot distinguish them in that country) which flowed from him. I had not long to think about it.

In joyous haste the young man leaped upon the horse's back. Turning in his seat he waved a farewell, then nudged the stallion with his heels. They were off before I well knew what was happening. There was riding if you like! I came out as quickly as I could from among the bushes to follow them with my eyes; but already they were only like a shooting star far off on the green plain, and soon among the foothills of the mountains. Then, still like a star, I saw them winding up, scaling what seemed impossible steeps, and quicker every moment, till near the dim brow of the landscape, so high that I must strain my neck to see them, they vanished, bright themselves, into the rose-brightness of that everlasting morning.

7 Rules of Life

1. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

2. What others think of you is none of your business.

3. Time heals almost everything, give it time.

4. Don't compare your life to others and don't judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

5. Stop thinking too much, it's alright not toknow the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.

6.No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.

7. Smile. You don't own all the problems in the world.

- borrowed from the facebook page Whisper of the heart

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Power of Positive Perception: Excerpts from Brad Barton's "Beyond Illusions"

Experiences in my life have helped me to understand how important it is to see myself and life in a positive way.  I believe that we can affect change in ourselves and our life with the right perspective and attitude.

Here are some thoughts I have found that follow this idea - excerpts from the book "Beyond Illusions" by Brad Barton.

        "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." - Mark Twain

Many of the painful experiences and negative feelings we patiently and nobly endure, turn out to be products of our own making.  Our preceptions and interpretations powerfully influence our responses and actions.  All too often, they create the very thing - the very reality - we fear out of (drum roll please) absolutely nothing.

We have the power to create our own reality - beautiful or ugly, abundant or sparse - out of nothing more than perception.

If you possess the ability to create your own reality, then yes, you can create fortune out of misfortune, opportunity out of failure, possibility out of emptiness, and self-fulfillment out of frustration.  How?  By looking at situations differently.  By developing the tendency to look past the conspicuous facts and seeing instead the inconspicuous possibilities.

You can...change your life by changing how you perceive events and how you see yourself.  This is what I call The Art of Guided Perception.

      "People are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to imprve themselves; therefore they remain bound." - James Allen

The most important change we can make is our preception of who we are, the value we bring to the world and our preception of our own attractiveness.

     "Things may happen around you and things may happen to you but the only things that really count are things that happen in you." - L.C. Robinson

Don Quixote: Positive Perception of Others
Don Quixote (a tall, lean, eccentric, retired landowner) perceived himself as a noble knight riding forth on a mighty steed (a broken-down cart horse) to fight evil enchanters and giants (windmills) in defense of truth and justice.  His grasp of principle was tenacious.  His grip on reality semed, however, tentative.  Quixote saw the world not as it was, but as he perceived it.  For this he was considered insane.

His weakness was his delusion of grandeur.

His greatness was his delusion of others' grandeur.

Don Quixote saw greatness in everyone, no matter who they were.

Because of his unyielding insistence, they ultimately gave in to his perception of their greatness - his delusion of their gandeur...and his perceptions became reality.

When others mocked him and called him mad, he replied, "The greatest madness is to see life as it is, not as it should be."

Quixote's amazing if seemingly insane ability to see others not as they saw themselves, but as he saw them, created a new reality; a reality more promising, more productive and more practical than the old one.  His insistent perception of others' greatness and inherent goodness changed circumstances by transforming people who create circumstances.

True leadership is to inspire greatness in those around you by perceiving them as magnificent and wonderful, despite how they may appear or behave in the moment.

When we enhance living breathing human beings by enhancing our perception of them, and consequently their perception of themselves, we enhance the circumstances they affect.

For more excerpts from Brad Barton's book, see:

The Power of Positive Perception: Part 2
The Power of Positive Perception: Part 3

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Matthew West - Forgiveness song and story

The song with lyrics:

See the story that inspired the song:

See more on forgiveness at:

HealingYourself: Forgiveness

Healing Yourself: Forgiveness and Letting Go

"The prisoner that it really frees is you"

Healing your life, your heart, your mind requires a lot of effort.  Probably one of the most essential and effective components to such healing is applying the principle of forgiveness.  We all have something or someone, even if only ourselves, that we need to forgive.  The following is a compilation of messages on forgiveness.

Here's a great message in a song by Matthew West:


It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…


It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Watch and listen to it here:
or see it on YouTube.


Here are some great quotes on the topic of forgiveness:

1. Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life. - Joan Lunden

2. Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves. - Elder James E. Faust

3. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for your enemy to die. - Bill Phillips

4. Forgiveness is not done out of weakness; it is an act of strength and courage.- Bill Phillips

5. Forgiveness is something that happens inside of you. It doesn't mean you're saying what happened to cause a resentment wasn't wrong or that it didn't matter. It means... I choose to let go of this negative feeling towards the person whom I perceive has hurt me. - Bill Phillips

6. As long as any part of our mind or consciousness is engaged with unresolved feelings from the past it will require us to expend valuable energy on it. - Bill Phillips

7. As long as we hold onto a grievance, we are chained to the past situation and the offender. - Bill Phillips

8. Granting someone true forgiveness is not based on any conditions. The forgiven don't have to deserve it or earn it. It's an act of grace and mercy on your part.- Bill Phillips, author of "Transformation"

9. He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven. - Thomas Fuller

10. Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing the prisoner was actually you! - Max Lucado

11. Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to personal peace. - G. Weatherly

12. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

13. Never ruin an apology with an excuse. - Kimberly Johnson

14. Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift. - Margaret Lee Runbeck


Part of forgiveness is to let go:

Let Go
To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it is the realization that I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hand.

To “let go” is not to change or blame another, it is to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle of arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to deny but to accept.

To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my own desires but to take each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to critize and regulate anybody but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and to live for today.

- Author unknown


and, to "let go" means to not resent somebody:

Resent Somebody
The moment you start to resent a person you become that person's slave.

He or she controls your dreams, absorbs your digestion, robs you of your peace of mind and good will, and takes away the pleasure of your work.

You cannot take a vacation without that person going along! He or she destroys your freedom of mind and hounds you wherever you go.

There is no way to escape the person you resent.

That person is with you when you are awake and invades your privacy when you sleep.

That person is close beside you when you eat, when you drive your car, and when you are on the job.

You can never have efficiency or happiness.

The person you resent influences even the tone of your voice.

He or she requires you to take medicine for indigestion, headaches, and loss of energy.

That person even steals your last moment of consciousness before you go to sleep.

So if you want to be a slave, harbor your resentments.

- Author unknown

Friday, November 2, 2012

Power Lessons for Living Longer: The Blue Zones

These lessons are from the book The Blue Zones: 9 Power Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest, by Dan Buettner.  Blue Zones are places where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else on the planet, passing their centennial years at a rate 10 times greater than most Americans.

As Buettner and his team studied the Blue Zones, they identified nine common traits shared by those communities where people live longer. He was surprised that it wasn't only food and lifestyle, but also creating a most beneficial environment. Here's a look at these longevity-boosting traits, known as the "Power of 9":

1. Move naturally. "Do your own house and yard work, go up and down your stairs with your laundry, knead your own dough," Buettner advises. "Incorporate more movement every hour."

2. Know your purpose. "Take time to recognize your values, strengths, talents, passions and gifts," Buettner says. Reflect, and work on yourself.

3. Down shift. Relieve chronic stress by finding time each day to nap, meditate or pray.

4. The 80% rule. Cut 20 percent of your daily calories with proven healthy practices: eat a big breakfast, dine with your family, and begin each meal by expressing appreciation.

5. Plant slant. Eat mostly plant-based foods, and small portions of meat no more than twice a week.

6. Wine at 5. Drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. This longevity tip had one exception: those in the Loma Linda Blue Zone were Seventh Day Adventists, who abstain from alcohol. (I also take exception with this one.  Other than religious reasons, there is the glaring concern of how many people are unable to control the portions of their alcoholic intake, therefore making any seeming positive healthy benefit to small portions of wine questionable.)

7. Family first. Living in a loving, thriving family can add up to six years to your life. Work on a positive, committed relationship and stay close to your aging parents and grandparents.

8. Belong. "Those with the most social connectedness tend to live longer," Buettner says. Be part of a group of healthy-minded, supportive people.

9. Right tribe. Good friends have a positive effect on your longevity. Support them and adopt healthy behaviors together.