December 12, 2013

The Best 15 Years of My Life!

Has the last 15 years truly been the best decade & a half of my life?

The "City of Eternal Spring" Medellín, Colombia is where I met my precious wife!

It seems appropriate that on the 15th Anniversary of my marriage to Martha Luz Jaramillo Bustamante that I share how my favorite love song fits us very well!

"How‘Bout Us?" by Champaign has been my favorite love song since I was in Ross Elementary School in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

Some people are made for each other
Some people can love one another for life
How ‘bout us?
Some people can hold it together
Last through all kinds of weather
Can we?

The LORD created me for Martha Luz & Martha Luz for me. It is more than obvious as in the midst of so many tough times which sometimes made us cry, JESUS HIMSELF has loved me through Martha Luz & it is even more evident that the more intense physical pain that I have dealt with over the years, GOD has given me HIS Grace, Hope, Joy, Love, & Peace through my precious wife Martha Luz.

I am not ashamed of admitting that I can’t do it alone anymore as I had 31 years of that & even though I consider myself having done fairly well to make it through the difficulties that all of us encounter in our lives, I almost feel like my Sweet Heavenly FATHER knew I needed to be married to Martha Luz so that I would have that helper to complete me!

Much of my physical troubles may never be totally known to anyone other than me or Martha Luz but I can tell you without a doubt that there has been a strange feeling which never was felt by me when I was single that I desire to be strong for her when I need her to be strong for me.

Those of you who are still single, enjoy it but know without any doubts that having someone who makes up for what you lack is amazing!

A few of my strengths are her weaknesses but there are many areas where I am weak or still not mature & Martha Luz is strong!

Rod Tate is an amazing Jazz Musician & his CD "True Love Never Fails" was playing before our wedding & during our wedding reception at the Orquideorama in the Jardín Botánico de Medellín, Colombia & if you click on any of the blue links in any of my blogs, you should go directly to that link & this last one is the website of the Botanical Garden in Medellín, Colombia where we got married fifteen years ago!

I honestly can say that Rod plays the most soothing music I have ever heard. I am looking forward to getting both of his new CD’s "Blessed" & "Peace" as I am always blessed when I am filled with peace.

Check out Rod Tate's Website or enjoy one of Rod's videos "Always & Forever!"

The beginning of this 16th year of marriage finds us in Key West, Florida as we've now been house parents at the Florida Keys Children's Shelter since the end of June.

I basically cook, drive the children where they need to go, play with them as long as my energy level allows me as she does most of the cleaning which is a full time job to say the least & has been working so hard to turn the house into a home that is safe & full of joy & peace. 

Some of the things  our sweet children have experienced are not fit for adults to go through let alone a precious newborn to a 10 year old child & it is a challenge to encourage them to make choices & not let circumstances control how they behave.

"While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us." — Benjamin Franklin

I have come to a point in life where I totally understand what Benjamin Franklin was talking about. No matter what may come our way we may choose to be filled with Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace.

What’s so amazing to me is how I have learned to control what happens inside of me when everything around me sometimes seems to discourage or frustrate me.

What’s the secret?

"Love is kind & patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, & trusting. Love never fails!" —  1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8

"There is no more lovely, friendly & charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." — Martin Luther

"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." — Friedrich Nietzsche

"Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry." — Gabriel García Márquez

"The difference between a lady & a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated." — George Bernard Shaw (My Fair Lady)

"A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance & tenacity. The order varies for any given year." — Paul Sweeney

"We love the things we love for what they are." — Robert Frost

December 7, 2013

Adoption Is Another Word For Love!

I was born in Saint Cloud, Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day in 1966 but I & was adopted on Pearl Harbor Day in 1967!

"Love By You" by Joan Armatrading wrapped up an episode of Miami Vice as a Colombian woman whose son was stolen & sold via a fake adoption, went to pick him up but after seeing his tears in not wanting to leave the only parents he ever remembered, let him stay with those whom he loved.

It struck a deeply intense part of me as I love the only Mom & Dad I have ever known!

"Adoption is a beautiful picture of GOD's sovereign grace. The child did not choose the parents. The parents chose the child. That's how GOD has placed us into a relationship with HIMSELF. We did not choose HIM. HE chose us. When GOD adopts us, HIS act of adoption is a supernatural act. We take on the nature of JESUS. We become like HIM. We become what HE is." ― Arielle Wallace

"HE chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy & blameless in HIS sight. In love HE predestined us to be adopted as HIS sons through JESUS CHRIST, in accordance with HIS pleasure & will — to the praise of HIS glorious grace, which HE has freely given us in the ONE HE loves." — EPHESIANS 1:4-6

"The adopted child is treated by law as if he or she had been born to the adopting parents upon the entry of the final adoption decree." — Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Here is the definition of adoption from Wikipedia: Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another who is not kin and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.

My being adopted did not change the world, but my world was forever changed 46 years ago today through being accepted & loved unconditionally by my family!

Has being adopted really changed what I might have been?

How could it not?

I've been blessed to experience so much throughout my life & I long to see as many children & youth experience a "HOME" in their lifetime & even though I'm only able to make that happen temporarily for up to 7 children at a time, my hope & prayer is that they will all know joy, love, & peace!

Does my journey give hope for my future?

Well, the best I can do right now is share the links to all of my blog entries over the last couple of years & you may read for yourself if you haven't already.

Enjoy if you dare!

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"HOME!" Play List

Here is my "HOME!" iTunes Playlist in the form of YouTube videos with the exception of 2 songs!

Enjoy what always brings tears to my eyes & fills me with the desire to provide a home for as many children & youth that I can which allows them to feel comfortable & safe, a place filled with joy, love, & peace!

Coming Home by Caedmon's Call (Unable to Find Video)

Heaven Is Home by The Waiting (Unable to Find Video)

Did you shed any tears?

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Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. 

To talk health, happiness, & prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. 

To look at the sunny side of everything & make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best, & to expect only the best. 

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past & press on to the greater achievements of the future. 

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times & give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. 

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, & too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself & to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. 

To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

By Christian D. Larson

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If you can keep your head when all about you 
Are losing theirs & blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait & not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream ― & not make dreams your master;
If you can think ― & not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph & Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop & build 'em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
And risk it on one turn of pitch-&-toss,
And lose, & start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart & nerve & sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds & keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings  nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth & everything that's in it,
And  which is more  you'll be a Man, my son!

― Rudyard Kipling

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December 1, 2013

Why Not You?

Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?

Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind & seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you?

Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?

Today, for many the burden of self doubt & insecurity will be lifted by the security & confidence of empowerment. Why not you? 

Today, many will rise above their believed limitations & make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you? 

Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you?

Today, many will choose to live free of conditions & rules governing their own happiness. Why not you?

Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you?

Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices & they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you?

Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives & make positive changes. Why not you?

Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you?

Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you?

Today is a new day!

Many will seize this day.

Many will live it to the fullest.

Why not you? 

― Steve Maraboli

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