Tag Archives: gratitude

“Thank You!”

gratitude-cicero

My mother and father raised me to always be thankful for the gifts that God has given me.  I remember them telling me that God knows everything that you need and to never forget to thank Him.  My mother and father also taught me “manners” and how to be gracious, kind and generous to people, that this was so very important.  And in teaching me manners, included was the need to thank others when they have done something for me in whatever capacity.  I remember listening to them intently, with my eyes gazing up at them, and truly, I tried to implement thankfulness in my life.

In September of 2006, during the Sacrament of Confession, a wonderful priest told me “To thank God in all things and situations, to praise God in all things and situations, to remember to live in the mystery of His Cross and to live in the present.”  He told me that no matter what happens, even if it is evil, that a greater good would come from it and to submit all circumstances to God, asking for his help and direction, to be the best person I could be, to be an excellent soldier for Christ and to ask to do His Will.  Every day I have remembered this counsel, at its heart being thanksgiving and praise to God, willing to submit to Him in all the circumstances of life, to actually “be” the person He has made.

Indeed and in fact, the term, “Eucharist”, the central act of Christian worship, the Mass, is a Greek word which means, “thanksgiving,” because through its institution by Jesus, He “gave thanks” to His Father  (Mt. 26: 26-28):

While they were eating , Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is My body.”  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

The Mass is the supreme act of Christian thanksgiving, the celebration of the Eucharist, from Jesus instituting this Sacrament in or about 33 A.D., to the present time, December 22, 2012 and on forward.  It is noteworthy here that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in avid constancy, gave thanks to the Father and asked that this supreme Thanksgiving, be done in remembrance of Him.

I love listening to the Gospel that involved Jesus healing the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19:

As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.  As he was entering a village, ten lepers met Him.  They stood at a distance from Him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master!  Have pity on us!”  And when He saw them, He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  As they were going they were cleansed.  And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jeus and thanked him.  He was a Samaritan.  Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not?  Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?  Then He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” 

Clearly, Jesus takes notice of the leper who thanked Him, but He also takes notice of the nine lepers who did not thank Him.

Being thankful to God from the heart, soul, mind, intellect and will is a wonderful necessity that frees us from ourselves, our egos, wherein we learn how to be “little” and how to recognize Jesus in disguise, how to help our neighbors, the people that we are involved with in our own Calcuttas.  Thankfulness is liberating and essential for happiness, and above all, it is essential for holiness, it is essential to becoming a Saint and it is essential in loving our neighbors.  We should want to be Saints, friends of God living in Heaven with Him, seeing the Triune God, face to face.  This should be our ultimate goal over any other goal.

dear God

In spite of how wonderful it is to be thankful, there are actually people in this world who avoid being thankful and who spurn being thankful as something that is beneath them.  Since I have been involved in Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) as a writer, I have made it a point to thank the writers, especially Dr. Eowyn, the owner and administrator of this blog, for the specific communications I have read, which incudes the effort, research and thought that goes into the various posts.  In this capacity on FOTM, I have learned that many people are not thankful and actually make it a point to condemn thankfulness.  One commenter called me “comical” because I “thank” so much, also calling me a “butt kisser.”  I laughed, because if you know me, you know that this would never be a description of me.  It really is funny.  But I thought about why would someone make such comments about being thankful?  I came to the conclusion that once again, the sin of narcissism and pride is the cause of such a stupid disdain for being “thankful”, and that people who do not appreciate or thank have chosen darkness and their own glory as their light, instead of the Light of Christ and the light of goodness that we experience in being thankful to each other.  Such people need our prayers as they must be very unhappy and do not know themselves.  For if you know yourself, you would then realize why it is necessary to be thankful.

So, as I say almost every day to my dear Sister of choice, Dr. Eowyn, the leader of this Fellowship, “Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for everything you do for us, for everything that you do for your neighbors that you do know and for your neighbors that you do not know.  Thank you for your research and the accompanying brilliance and scholarly enlightenment that helps us to understand what is true and what is not true.”  And, to all of my fellow writers, I extend my utmost thanks for everything that you do as well to be Soldiers for the Triune God, to point out evil and to point out good, all servants of the Truth, which is Jesus, a Person.  And most of all, I thank you, most Supreme and Loving Triune God!  Thank You!

~Joan

We Will Never Forget You

In honor of all the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for us…

And their families…

Design by BKeyser, an ex Marine.

Freedom Is Not Free

Author Unknown

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He’d stand out in a crowd.

I thought how many men like him
had fallen through the years.
How many had died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?Patriotic - Flag at sunset
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
when everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of mothers and the wives,Patriotic - Fallen but not forgotten
Of fathers, sons and husbands
with interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington…
No, freedom is not free.

Happy Thanksgiving! / Open Thread below

Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in America. But unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day or the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is explicitly religious in nature.

In 1789, in his first year in office, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because –

“it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

In 1815, President James Madison issued a proclamation for “a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness.” After Madison, however, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in New England for 48 years.

In 1863, magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale petitioned the Lincoln administration that “a day of Thanksgiving now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.” President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans that year to “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore if, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”

As a nation of faith, Americans have set aside this day to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed.

We of the Fellowship of the Minds want to take this occasion to thank all our readers and especially our faithful regular commenters who contribute so much to our Fellowship with their trenchant observation, insight, righteous outrage, and wit.

Despite the corruption, incompetence, and decay of our government, we are grateful to be living in still the greatest country in the world. That is precisely why the Fellowship of Minds was founded nearly 2 years ago — as a small but fierce Voice of Opposition to the systematic and deliberate destruction of our beloved America.

Above all, we are grateful to the magnificent, loving, and most awesome Triune God for everything He has graced us with:

Food on our tables; a roof over our heads; clothing for our bodies; family and friends; productive work; soldiers who secure our freedom with their lives; the courage of our convictions; and the gift of life.

God bless you, and may God bless America,

~Eowyn and all the writers of the Fellowship

P.S. I know things are pretty bad these days, but please share with us just one thing you are thankful for. Also we would like your funniest/worst Thanksgiving story.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless to all.

-Steve

Happy Veterans’ Day!

Today is Veterans’ Day, the day when we honor all the men and women who had served in our country’s Armed Forces.

The United States Army

The United States Army is 236 years old. It considers itself to be descended from the Continental Army and dates its inception from June 14, 1775, when the Continental army was formed even before the establishment of the United States, in order to fight for American Independence.

The United States Navy

The US Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States armed forces. The Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was essentially disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. Depredations against American shipping by Barbary Coast pirates in the Mediterranean Sea spurred Congress to employ this power by passing the Naval Act of 1794 ordering the construction and manning of six frigates. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined.

The United States Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps, a branch of the U.S. armed forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea, is 236 years old. It was founded on November 10, 1775, in Philadelphia, by Captain Samuel Nicholas. The USMC is famous for its expertise in amphibious warfare. Though the smallest of the US armed forces in the Department of Defense, the Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the armed forces of many significant military powers; for example, it is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces and the entire British Army!

The United States Air Force

The US Air Force (USAF), the lead aerial warfare and space warfare service branch of the United States armed forces, is 64 years old. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed.

The United States Coast Guard

Founded by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790, the Coast Guard is the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. As of August 2009, the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,500 reservists, 30,000 auxiliarists, and 7,700 full-time civilian employees. The Coast Guard motto is “Semper Paratus“, Latin for “Always Ready” or “Always Prepared”.

We thank you for all the sacrifices you made for America.

We admire you for your honor, courage, and spirit!

We love you for loving America so much you were willing to die to secure our freedom.

May God bless you and your family on this day and always!

P.S. A special “Thank You” to Tom in NC, GrouchyFogie, Vic Bailey, Bob Keyser, and all the other veterans of Fellowship of the Minds!

~Eowyn

They Once Were Giants

 

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car, and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away..

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him.

I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade. He then turned back to the old man.. I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying: ‘You shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car at your age.’ And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief, and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.

He then went to his wife and spoke with her; he appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough, and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight, and as I got near him I said, ‘Looks like you’re having a problem.’

He smiled sheepishly, and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself, and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road, and I told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went I inside. I saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them, and related the problem the old man had with his car. I offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine), I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me. I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again, and I said my goodbye’s to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station, I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me

One of them pulled out a card from his pocket, looking ex act ly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks, when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name was written:‘Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’



I sat there motionless, looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together because one of us needed help.
He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage, and an honor to have been in his presence.

Remember, old men like him gave you freedom for America. Thanks to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them, and who continue to support them.

If you don’t stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them! Freedom isn’t free. Thousands have paid the price, so that you can enjoy what you have today.

H/t my dear friend Bill.

~Eowyn

A Vietnamese Immigrant Thanks God He’s American

On Saturday, July 24th, 2010, the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, hosted a Freedom Rally. Quang Nguyen was asked to speak on his experience of coming to America and what it means.

A Vietnamese refugee, Mr. Nguyen immigrated to this country in 1975, where he eventually founded an advertising and marketing company, Caddis Advertising, with offices in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, and Prescott Valley, AZ. He is also a talented oil and watercolor painter (see his website here).

This is Mr. Nguyen’s speech, which he dedicated to all Vietnam veterans. Notice that he refers to himself as an American, not a hyphenated Vietnamese-American. How good it’d be if all immigrants—no, EVERYONE— felt like Quang Nguyen.

H/t my friend Bob W.

~Eowyn

Proud to be an American

35 years ago, if you were to tell me that I am going to stand up here speaking to a couple thousand patriots, in English, I’d laugh at you. Man, every morning I wake up thanking God for putting me and my family in the greatest country on earth.

I just want you all to know that the American dream does exist and I am living the American dream. I was asked to speak to you about my experience as a first generation Vietnamese-American, but I’d rather speak to you as an American.

If you hadn’t noticed, I am not white and I feel pretty comfortable with my people.

I am a proud U.S. citizen and here is my proof. It took me 8 years to get it, waiting in endless lines, but I got it and I am very proud of it.

I still remember the images of the Tet offensive in 1968, I was six years old. Now you might want to question how a 6-year-old boy could remember anything. Trust me, those images can never be erased. I can’t even imagine what it was like for young American soldiers, 10,000 miles away from home, fighting on my behalf.

35 years ago, I left South Vietnam for political asylum. The war had ended. At the age of 13, I left with the understanding that I may or may not ever get to see my siblings or parents again. I was one of the first lucky 100,000 Vietnamese allowed to come to the U.S.A. Somehow, my family and I were reunited 5 months later, amazingly, in California . It was a miracle from God.

If you haven’t heard lately that this is the greatest country on earth, I am telling you that right now. It was the freedom and the opportunities presented to me that put me here with all of you tonight. I also remember the barriers that I had to overcome every step of the way. My high school counselor told me that I cannot make it to college due to my poor communication skills. I proved him wrong. I finished college. You see, all you have to do is to give this little boy an opportunity and encourage him to take and run with it. Well, I took the opportunity and here I am.

This person standing tonight in front of you could not exist under a socialist/communist environment. By the way, if you think socialism is the way to go, I am sure many people here will chip in to get you a one-way ticket out of here. And if you didn’t know, the only difference between socialism and communism is an AK-47 aimed at your head. That was my experience.

In 1982, I stood with a thousand new immigrants, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and listening to the National Anthem for the first time as an American. To this day, I can’t remember anything sweeter and more patriotic than that moment in my life.

Fast forwarding:  somehow I finished high school, finished college, and like any other goofball 21-year old kid, I was having a great time with my life. I had a nice job and a nice apartment in Southern California. In some way and somehow, I had forgotten how I got here and why I was here.

One day I was at a gas station, I saw a veteran pumping gas on the other side of the island. I don’t know what made me do it, but I walked over and asked if he had served in Vietnam. He smiled and said yes. I shook and held his hand. The grown man’s eyes began to well up. I walked away as fast as I could and at that very moment, I was emotionally rocked. This was a profound moment in my life. I knew something had to change in my life. It was time for me to learn how to be a good citizen. It was time for me to give back.

You see, America is not a place on the map, it isn’t a physical location. It is an ideal, a concept. And if you are an American, you must understand the concept, you must buy into this concept, and most importantly, you have to fight and defend this concept. This is about Freedom and not free stuff. And that is why I am standing up here.

Brothers and sisters, to be a real American, the very least you must do is to learn English and understand it well. In my humble opinion, you cannot be a faithful patriotic citizen if you can’t speak the language of the country you live in. Take this document of 46 pages – last I looked on the Internet, there wasn’t a Vietnamese translation of the U.S. Constitution. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to converse and until this day, I still struggle to come up with the right words. It’s not easy, but if it’s too easy, it’s not worth doing.

Before I knew this 46-page document, I learned of the 500,000 Americans who fought for this little boy. I learned of the 58,000 names scribed on the black wall at the Vietnam Memorial. You are my heroes. You are my founders.

A t this time, I would like to ask all the Vietnam veterans to please stand. I thank you for my life. I thank you for your sacrifices, and I thank you for giving me the freedom and liberty I have today. I now ask all veterans, firefighters, and police officers, to please stand. On behalf of all first generation immigrants, I thank you for your services and may God bless you all.

Quang Nguyen

Creative Director/Founder

Caddis Advertising, LLC

It’s All in the Perspective

If you, like I, have had your fill of toxic news and toxic politics, here’s a palate-cleanser that’ll remove the vile taste from your mouth.

H/t beloved fellow Doc’s Wife.

~Eowyn

It’s All In the Perspective

I am thankful…

For the wife who says it’s hot dogs tonight…because she is home with me, and not out with someone else.

For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato…because he is home with me, and not out at the bars.

For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes…because it means she is at home, not on the streets.

For the mess to clean after a party…because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug…because it means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work…because it means I am out in the sunshine.

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing…because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government…because it means we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot…because it means I am capable of walking and have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill…because it means I am warm

For the lady behind me in church who sings off key…because it means I can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing…because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day…because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours…because it means I am alive.

And finally, for too much E-mail…because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.