Happy Flag Day! Thanks Be to God for Our Freedom!

I pledge allegiance to the Flag  of the United States of America  and to the Republic for which  it stands, one nation, indivisible,  with liberty and justice for  All

I Love the United States of America! I am sooo very grateful for the freedom that we enjoy in this nation I am blessed to call my home and birth place.

I once took freedom for granted. Then, my husband and I traveled outside of the United States of America to complete the adoption of two children from Russia.

The first time we landed on Russian soil, armed soldiers came to the airplane door with semiautomatic rifles slung over their shoulders angrily demanding the passports of the flight crew. Our last landing, in Russia, during our trip to come home, we were escorted by armed soldiers off of the plane and locked in a room along with the other passengers. No explanation was given as to why we had to leave the airplane and little civility was extended by the soldiers. It was clear that they did not see us as welcome visitors to their airport.

Suffice it to say, when we landed in Alaska and were once again back on U.S. soil and once again had our freedom returned to us, we were so grateful that we wanted to bend down and kiss the soil!

Much has been sacrificed for the freedoms we were blessed to return to after our trip to Russia. I will never take those freedoms for granted ever again.

I love this country and I love what it stands for! This country is meant to be God’s country. It was founded by individuals who fought to be free to worship their God: One Nation Under God.

God has blessed this country and will continue to do so as we seek Him in our lives!

I hope you will take a moment today to thank your Creator for the blessing of living in a free country with a flag that waves boldly over our nation! A nation that represents freedom to the entire world.

I hope you enjoy today’s story!

American Patriotic Short Stories What America Means
You Could Hear a Pin Drop

What American Patriotism Means, Part 1

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

What American Patriotism Means, Part 2

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room and said, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?”

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: ‘Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people. They are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities. They have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day. They can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day. And they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships. How many does France have?’

You could have heard a pin drop.

What American Patriotism Means, Part 3

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks. But a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied “Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

What American Patriotism Means, Part 4

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

“Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!”

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

I hope life brings you much success. I wish you a very happy day.

—–     Surfer Sam
Today’s inspirational article is shared from the following website: http://www.surfersam.com/friends/american-patriotism.htm


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No One Saves Us but Ourselves…Choose Your Path in Life

Are you waiting for someone to save you? Do you think perhaps that your faith in Jesus Christ is all you need? While I believe the Lord is essential in building a meaningful life – no one saves us without our own help. We choose our path. We are responsible for the paths we walk.

There are many people who have chosen to change their lives or who, when handed difficult circumstances, have made those choices which enabled them to overcome their obstacles. The Lord is both an essential and critical component but we are the ones in the driver’s seat.

If you are waiting around to win the lottery or for your knight in shining armor to show up – you might want to start the new year with a reality check. Perhaps the time has come for you to take charge and build the life you have always dreamed of!

In that light, I want to share a story today about a man who has chosen to create a meaningful life despite obstacles and difficulties! I hope you enjoy!:

Albert Frantz is a world-class pianist  from Pennsylvania who started playing at the extraordinarily late age  of 17. His early piano teacher told his mother to throw her money in the  garbage rather than spend it on piano lessons for Albert.

He discovered  his love for classical music while in high school and his passion made  him accomplish seemingly impossible things. He was the first pianist in  nearly a decade to win a Fulbright scholarship to study in Vienna just a  few years after starting out. This led him to study at the official  conservatory of the city of Vienna in Austria, the home country of many  of his musical idols.

Even before he could finish his education, he  started suffering from scoliosis, first discovered in his adolescence,  that virtually incapacitated his piano playing for more than six years.  Desperately looking for a therapy that would promise any amount of  relief, he found relief through Bikram yoga.

No sooner did he recover  from his back pain when he broke his left wrist upon getting hit in the  face by a tram on a cold and icy Thanksgiving weekend. Breaking a wrist  is a nightmare for a pianist. For Albert, it turned out positively in  the end, as the injury led him to play pieces by Charles-Valentin Alkan,  a 19th-century French virtuoso and one of the only composers to write  music for the right hand alone. His music was considered unplayable for  over a century and is regarded as the most athletically challenging  music ever written for the piano. Albert took it as a challenge, which  led to his critically acclaimed debut CD dedicated to Alkan’s music. His  debut album was an official jury nomination for the prestigious German  Record Critics Award, designed to recognize the “most rigorous standards  for supreme achievement and quality” in the field of music recording.

Besides  turning his interest to the works of Alkan and Liszt, his back pain  also led him to pursue an IRONMAN triathlon. This is especially notable,  as there were two situations in which he almost drowned during his  childhood. Swimming in open water made Albert panic throughout his adult  life. After a change of perspective, Albert found himself training for  one of the most challenging sports competitions in the world. He  finished his first IRONMAN triathlon – 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling  and a 42.2 km marathon – on June 28, 2015.

Source: http://www.dreama.tv/2015/10/alb…

Shared from the following website: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-inspirational-short-stories-that-can-change-a-persons-life

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Cynicism is an Intellectual Cop Out…There is a Better Way

Cynicism is an intellectual copout, a crutch for a withered soul, a thin excuse for inaction and retreating commitment. Do not become cynical; be appropriately concerned and actively involved.

Cynicism is an intellectual cop out,a crutch for a withered soul, a thin excuse for inaction
and retreating commitment. Do not become cynical; be appropriately concerned and actively involved.    Jeffrey R. Holland

There is a lot of cynicism being thrown around in our country right now. I believe in the quote by Jeffrey R. Holland. That is why I used it for today’s meme.

I understand concern. I understand differences of opinion. I understand a desire for leaders to see the world as we see it. I also understand that the solution to every problem, concern or care in this world is God.

I wish that I could share the memories of my near death experience with the world. In it, everyone would be blessed to see that God is real and His love is perfect and ever enduring. Everyone would see His infinite and complete perfection and understand that the key to all happiness, joy and true success is to make God an integral part of all we do and align our choices and actions with His unchanging truth.

The world is imperfect and we are imperfect but the greater the effort of mankind, as a whole, to choose light in this world, the more we will receive peace, safety, and joy. As Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “When God works through us, No One and Nothing can stand against us.”

I hope you enjoy today’s story which was shared by Hugh Downs!:

Hugh Downs on Overcoming Cynicism

One morning on our Today show we reported on a group of teenagers whose demonstrations had shocked their community. In the faces of the young people pictured on the screen I saw a total rebellion against authority.

“That could have been me 25 years ago,” I said to myself.

It started me thinking back to the age of 14 when the change within me occurred. Up until then I had accepted without question the patterns my parents had set. Then slowly I began to see things through a haze of contempt and rebellion.

Perhaps it was partly because I stood first in my class and took great pride in my pseudo-intellect and glib tongue. Success, I concluded, was all that mattered.

As captain of my own ship, I decided that I needed help from no one. Sensitivity to need and concern for others were, to me, signs of weakness or guilt. I had a theory for everything.

Since a great percentage of those in my home town of Lima, Ohio, were church-going people, I divided them into two neat groups: the ones who used church once a week as a cleansing ritual, and the others who attended church with the thought, “I want to be on the winning side in case there is something to all this.”

So I argued that all churches should be abolished because they stood in the way of faith. I theorized that a man can worship God as he sees fit—where and when he chooses. And if he doesn’t choose to, that is his privilege too. (I didn’t choose to, by the way.)

My name for this theory was “Reverse Piety.” It sounded very smart to me.

But as a working philosophy of life it was to prove more and more unsatisfactory. Actually I should have known better.

My father was a Methodist, my mother a Baptist, but in a spirit of early ecumenicity they became Episcopalians when they were married. Time after time they showed their concern for others.

For a while, my father and a partner ran an auto accessory store. When they went into the red, the partner declared himself bankrupt. My father and mother decided that there was a moral as well as a material obligation involved. He took a job and over the years paid back every penny he owed.

I resented it since it meant there was no money for me to continue college. I had to quit after the first year. My bitterness increased when I applied for 26 jobs in a row and didn’t get one.

Then one day I stopped at the radio station in Lima with the halfhearted hope that there might be some kind of job open. They gave me an audition—and to my surprise I was hired as an announcer. The pay was $7.50 a week.

There was hardly any direction to go but up. I was married and a father when one of those experiences occurred which, in retrospect, you can call a turning point.

The radio station where I worked had to cut costs. My job was in danger. Thinking that my boss was looking for a good excuse to let me go, I built up a real dislike of him.

Then one day he called me into his office. To my surprise his manner was kindly. He was concerned about me. And he worked out a plan for me to stay on the job.

Something happened inside me at that point to chip away at the crust of cynicism I had built up around myself. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, then said impulsively, “You do this for me when all the time I have been hating you because I didn’t think you wanted me here?”

My boss said calmly, “Why don’t you try to get outside of yourself, Hugh? If you do, you’ll tap a source of spiritual and physical energy that will make you feel inexhaustible.”

I chewed that thought long and hard. The words were certainly not new, but now they had meaning.

For a time I had been examining other faiths, from Judaism to Buddhism and Islam. Each has much to offer. Inevitably I came back to a reexamination of Christianity.

While pondering questions of faith and systems of philosophy, I was moving from radio to television, from Ohio to Chicago and then to New York. The years passed. I worked with Kukla, Fran and Ollie, with Sid Caesar, Jack Paar and the Today show.

As success came I followed the pursuits I liked: astronomy, boating, flying, celestial navigation, music. They can satisfy body and mind, but they leave the spirit unfulfilled. Yet, answers to my quest for faith were coming and piece by piece, like putting together a mosaic, the picture was taking form.

An actor contributed to it. I don’t even know his name. But he was in a very successful play and he was asked how he could possibly remain fresh after giving the same performance, day after day, 700 times.

“The audience hasn’t seen the play 700 times,” he said. “It’s a new play for them every night. If I thought only of myself I’d be stale by the 10th performance. But every night I think of the audience instead of myself and they renew and refresh me.”

Last year I sailed across the Pacific in a small boat. It was immensely satisfying to navigate that distance, even though I had a fall during the voyage that injured my spine. Back home, doctors said it required surgery.

I was taken to the hospital in a wheelchair. The operation was a success and I walked out without any help. Yet the experience added something to me.

First, the ordeal was neither fearsome nor intolerable though from the outside it seemed so. Second, there was always someone along the corridors whose troubles and pain were worse than your own. Cheering them was not depressing or morbid, but just the opposite. You got outside yourself.

At one time I served on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee of the New York State Mental Health Association. That committee was scheduled to make one of their regular visits to patients.

I would have ducked going, if I could. I couldn’t. In our car pool the driver of our auto was a rabbi whose sense of compassion interested me.

At the hospital we walked through the clean, neat rooms. Two very disturbed boys caught our attention. One was 13, the second, perhaps two years older. The older one said very little. The younger one said nothing at all.

As the rabbi talked with them I asked a nurse, “What hope is there for these boys?” She shrugged her shoulders. “Very little,” she said.

As we were leaving, I looked over my shoulder and saw the younger boy sitting on an oak bench, all alone, staring into nothingness, the picture of endless despair.

“That boy,” I said to the rabbi, “looks very much like my own son. I can’t help it, but I’m glad—” I was starting to express thankfulness for the fact that my son was normal.

“I know how you feel,” he interrupted. “That boy is my son.”

It was days before I got over the shock of that experience.

The picture of the rabbi not only ministering to his own son, and to all the afflicted in that institution, but also moving to save me embarrassment is still vivid before my eyes. For in his agony he had learned to lose himself in his concern for others.

This was what my parents were trying to tell me as they scrimped and sacrificed to pay off a debt that was moral, not legal. It was what my boss at the radio station was saying to me when I was 22; and it was what the actor meant when he talked about playing one role 700 times.

Different people were getting the message to me, but it took a long time before I really heard and embraced as the heart of my faith the words Christ uttered to His disciples: He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Shared from the following website: https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/positive-living/emotional-and-mental-health/guideposts-classics-hugh-downs-on/page/0/2?nopaging=1

 

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