A Year of Smiles – Day 226

Reason to SMILE #226: TRUTH

My SMILE today may seem a bit unusual and may not actually feel like a SMILE at all.  As I’ve been pondering recent events in our world, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a song I wrote many years ago.  My heart aches for our children and the world we have created for them.  My only solace is the Truth of God’s Word, the promises of His plan and surety of His control.  No matter what the situation around me, the foundation of God’s Truth on which I stand brings a peaceful SMILE to my soul.

I share the following with you in hopes that you will be inspired to make a difference in the world around you and to point the way to the TRUTH.


Fires burn across the land,

The smoke fills the skies.

Angry men shout out and scream;

Some break down and cry.

 

Children watch as people die;

They see the hate, the pain.

Their little eyes can’t believe

The suffering and the shame.

 

Is this the world we want to show our children?

Is this the place we want them to call home?

We tell them that we love them but don’t show them the same.

Is this the truth we want them to know?

 

I wrote these lyrics twenty-five years ago.  I was almost eighteen years old and had just watched news coverage of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992.  I was horrified as pictures of violence, hate, fear and desperation flashed before my eyes.  I was overwhelmed with uncertainty and fear even though I lived on the opposite side of the country.  I did not understand it all and I knew there were children and other young people trying to make sense of the chaos, as well.

I wondered what these children were learning from the situation.  What lessons about life were they gleaning?  Were they giving up all hope at that moment?  Was their innocence slipping away as disturbing images of humanity at its worst invaded their ideals of safety and security?  Were they resigning to believe that this was how life was supposed to be?  Were these children accepting the hate, violence and pride as their truth?

Now, twenty-five years later, we find ourselves seeing familiar images flash on our TV screens.  And I cannot help but wonder.  Where are those children who watched similar scenes so many years ago?  They are the adults of our world now.  Are they watching in horror as they did as a child?  Are they worried about their own children and the effect this situation will have on their young lives?  Are they outraged?  Are they scared?  Are they worried?  Or are they hitting the power button, shrugging their shoulders and walking away?  After all, that’s life.  That’s the truth of our existence and there’s nothing anyone can do about it….

Oh, my friends, there is hope.  We can redefine the truth that our world accepts today by pointing the way to THE TRUTH, Jesus Christ.  He is our only Way to healing, restoration and salvation.  He is our only Truth in the midst of the chaos and deception orchestrated by our enemy, the devil.  He is our only source of abundant Life, peace, hope and yes, SMILES.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

The road to Truth starts with Love.  Love starts with you and me.

A Year of Smiles – Day 207

Reason to SMILE #207: END OF SUMMER/BEGINNING OF SCHOOL

 cheering-smiley-face

Summer is waning – 

Except for the heat.

And kids will soon be

At school in their seats.


Five days of freedom

Remain for a few.

ONLY FIVE DAYS?

But there’s so much to do!


There’s shopping for glue

And rulers and pens,

Pencils and paper –

Is that wide-ruled or thin?


There’s sports registration 

And after school care

There’s shopping for clothes – 

Do they need underwear?


There’s schedules to change 

And sleep to adjust;

There’s groceries to buy –

Those snacks are a must!


Oh, then there are shoes. 

I almost forgot.

For one little “swish”

Small fortunes are lost!


There’s so much to do

And so little time.

Oh, how did the days 

Of summer pass by?


While surveying lists

And mourning lost time,

Your kids in the house 

Are found running wild.


The TV is blaring;

Their rooms are a mess.

They’re fighting and nagging;

They’re being such pests.


You start to get up 

But halt in your tracks.

You look at the date,

Then SMILE and relax.


There’s only five days;

School soon will begin.

The house will be empty.

You’ll have peace once again! 😉

 

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 203

Reason to SMILE #203: BELL TOWERS

Ding! Dong! The chimes ring out.
Another hour has passed.
Ding! Ding! The bells ring true.
Time – it flies so fast.

Each toll that echoes on
Brings merriment my way.
Yet, each clang of these bells
Resounds as if to say,

“Wake up! You sleepy soul!
Of all your time, take heed.
For time waits for no one;
It races to the lead.

“So live ev’ry moment;
Fill each hour with SMILES.
And when you hear my song,
You’ll find your life worthwhile.”

A Year of Smiles – Day 174

Reason to SMILE #174: WEDDINGS

 

Blissful and elegant,

A charming delight,

Eagerly enters

The beauty in white.

 

Dapper and dashing,

A fear-stricken mess,

Anxiously awaits

The groom at his best.

 

Shiny and lighthearted,

A roomful of grins,

Respectfully dotes

Their fam’ly and friends.

 

The scene is a wonder

Where time has no end.

When two become one,

A new life begins.

 

But is it the picture

We place on the wall?

Is it as perfect

As our minds recall?

 

Last time I checked,

A wedding takes work.

One day of magic

Leaves dad in the lurch.

 

And on the blessed day

Not one thing is right –

Not flowers, not cake,

Not dresses, not lights.

 

The Moms are both frantic;

Dads sink in defeat.

The flower girl’s mad

And stomping her feet.

 

The bridesmaids are fighting;

The groomsmen don’t care.

The bride’s feet are cold;

The groom is… nowhere!

 

So many emotions

In such a short time.

So many mishaps

To thwart groom and bride.

 

So what’s the big hubbub?

Why all of the fuss?

Is it all worth it

To turn me to us?

 

Despite all the chaos,

There’s one thing that’s true:

It’s worth any price

To hear said, “I do.”

 

“I do take my lover

To be by my side

I promise to stay

Our love will abide.

 

“I will fight to uphold

This most sacred vow

And when times are rough

We’ll make it… somehow.”

 

And when your days married

Have turned into years,

You’ll look back and smile

(Perhaps shed some tears)

 

On all of the folly

Of your special day

And thank God for blessing

Your life anyway!



Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

A Year of Smiles – Day 162

Reason to SMILE #162: CHANGE

I do not like this thing called change.

I do not like to feel so strange.

I do not like to try new things.

I do not like the fear it brings.

 

I would not like it even if

You sent it to me with a kiss.

I would not like it with a SMILE;

You can’t make me with your guile!

 

“Oh,” you say, “Change may be good

You should embrace it if you could.

Change may be just what you need.

You will like it. Try it and see.”

 

Yes, I know it may be time

To mute this stubbornness of mine.

Change may be just what I need

To find the SMILES that bring me peace.

 

Change – it’s a fact of life no matter how hard we try to ignore and resist it. Change can seem like the devil in disguise but if we give it a try, change can be the catalyst that pushes us toward the great and wondrous works that God has waiting for us.

Change – it may be hard but the SMILES you’ll find on the other side of it are worth every chance you dare to take.

P.S. I seemed to be channeling Dr. Seuss today but he always makes me SMILE. Hope you find a SMILE, too!

A Year of Smiles – Day 161

Reason to SMILE #161: TIME

A blessing and a curse.

A giver and a thief.

A healer and an afflictor.

A reality and a belief.

 

A precious commodity

Of which we must take care.

If spent very wisely,

A bounteous fruit to bare.

 

If squandered carelessly,

Great failure to regret.

Wasted opportunities

O’er which we mourn and fret.

 

A gift that we should give

To our families and our friends.

A gift for which we hope

When life is at its end.

 

A sacrifice taken

When causes grand arise.

An alm for which we grasp

When it’s time to say goodbye.

 

Time is ours to spend or waste.

It’s ours to hoard or share.

It’s ours to fill with love or hate.

It’s ours – so beware.

 

We’re only given a set amount.

Once spent, it can’t be beckoned.

So fill your time with SMILES and love

And don’t regret a second.

A Year of Smiles – Day 150

heart-home-imageReason to SMILE #150: HOME

 

Home is where the heart is.

It’s the place where I belong,

The place where rest comes easy,

Where I never feel alone.

 

Home is where guards are dropped –

True colors can be shown –

Where PJs can be worn about

And hair need not be combed.

 

Peace and love fill its walls;

It’s often filled with laughter.

Of course, no home is perfect –

It’s worth we must look after.

 

Times may get tough and bleak.

Trials may come and tempers flare

But a multitude of sins

Can a loving home repair.

 

I find it hard to wander

From this place that I call home

For it’s where my SMILES begin

And where my Loves are grown!

 

 

Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

 

 

 

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 122

Reason to SMILE #122: COLORS

What if all the blue crayons

In your color case

Decided all the green crayons

Were simply a big waste?

 

“You’re too green,” they might say.

“You’re not like us at all.

We don’t need your kind around.

Get out!” they’d say with gall.

 

Pushing the green crayons out

Of the color box,

The blues would then settle in

Their spacious, comfy spots.

 

“Ah!” the blues would then proclaim.

“This extra room is nice

But the reds might say it’s theirs

And that will not suffice.”

 

The crayons blue would soon begin

To push the reds out, too,

Along with every other shade

Til all was left was blue.

 

“Oh, what freedom! We’ve so much space,”

The blues would then shout.

Now, we can color everything.

Our hue’s the best, no doubt.”

 

Upon this declaration,

The crayons blue would jump

From their box to color the world –

Ev’ry rock, ev’ry road, ev’ry bump.

 

They’d first begin with the sky.

Oh, what wonderful hues!

They’d paint the sky almost as bright

As God himself would do.

 

Dark blue, light blue, gray blue, teal-

Endless shades there’d be!

Blue cars, blue pants, blue, blue, blue

As far as one could see.

 

Then stepping back to survey

All that they had colored,

These lofty blues would be pleased.

They didn’t need the others.

 

Somewhere, then, I’d like to think,

From in the crayon box,

An old and used up blue crayon

Would climb up to the top.

 

“Hey!” he’d shout. “What about

The sun, the grass and flowers?

The wondrous beauty of these can’t

Be captured by mere blue power.

 

“Yes,” another blue would chime,

“How shall we color these?

The sun is not a shade of blue

Nor is the grass or trees.”

 

“We pushed out all the colors that

Could have done the job.

A brighter place this world could be

If their beauty, we did not rob.”

 

Nodding in agreement, I suspect

Each blue would slump

Knowing they had slighted the world

By being such big chumps!

 

I’m so glad God chose to use a multitude of colors to paint the world, aren’t you?  Imagine how boring and bland it would be without such a variety of colors.  Imagine how dull the world would be without such a variety of people.  And just like every color is needed to create a perfect picture of a beautiful sunset over the ocean, so also is every person needed to create a better world and to fill that world with bright and beautiful SMILES.

 

 

Image by symbols-n-emoticons.com

Is This the Truth?

Fires burn across the land,

The smoke fills the skies.

Angry men shout out and scream;

Some break down and cry.

Children watch as people die;

They see the hate, the pain.

Their little eyes can’t believe

The suffering and the shame.

 

Is this the world we want to show our children?

Is this the place we want them to call home?

We tell them that we love them but don’t show them the same.

Is this the truth we want them to know?

 

I wrote these lyrics more than 20 years ago.  I was almost 18 years old and had just watched news coverage of the Los Angeles Riots of 1992.  I was horrified as pictures of violence, hate, fear and desperation flashed before my eyes.  I was overwhelmed with uncertainty and fear even though I lived on the opposite side of the country.  I did not understand it all and I knew there were children and other young people trying to make sense of the chaos, as well.

I wondered what these children were learning from the situation.  What lessons about life were they gleaning?  Were they giving up all hope at that moment?  Was their innocence slipping away as disturbing images of humanity at its worst invaded their ideals of safety and security?  Were they resigning to believe that this was how life was supposed to be?  Were these children accepting the hate, violence and pride as their truth?

Now, twenty-two years later, we find ourselves seeing familiar images flash on our TV screens.  And I cannot help but wonder.  Where are those children who watched similar scenes so many years ago?  They are the adults of our world now.  Are they watching in horror as they did as a child?  Are they worried about their own children and the effect this situation will have on their young lives?  Are they outraged?  Are they scared?  Are they worried?  Or are they hitting the power button, shrugging their shoulders and walking away?  After all, that’s life.  That’s the truth of our existence and there’s nothing anyone can do about it….

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

There is hope, dear friends.  We can redefine the truth that our world accepts today.  It starts with Love.  It starts with you and me.