Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Conscious Endeavor (The Teddy Bear Project)

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.  Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday was a glorious day from start to finish!  One of the great things that happened was the result of my conscious endeavor that began as a vision in my mind over a year ago.   I'll get to that part in a minute.  First, I want to tell you of my vision.  I love teddy bears.  I don't remember that I had one as a child.  When I was pregnant with our first child, we decorated the nursery with a teddy bear theme and Allen and I even created a beautiful teddy bear mobile to hang over the baby's crib.
I love to go to our local Goodwill store and it excites me to find that "just right" teddy bear.  I am very particular about the bears I've added to my collection.  I've collected them simply for the fun of it.  I've found some very beautiful bears at very reasonable prices.
Last year I decided I wanted to give them to one of our hospitals in town, specifically the Emergency Room.  The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced it was the right thing to do.  At that time I had collected about 10 or 12 bears.  Little did I know at the time, it would be several more months before the ball really got rolling with my vision.
This Spring, I contacted a lady who is on the Board of Directors of the hospital and told her of my vision.  She was very excited about it, especially when I told her I wanted the teddy bears to be given to little children who come into the ER and are admitted.  When they get to the hospital, they are no doubt frightened and so are their parents.  Knowing that most people would not think to bring their child's stuffed animal at a time like that, I wanted to provide comfort to a child when he or she really needs a positive diversion from all that is happening to them and around them in a hospital room.
I believe that most everyone probably likes teddy bears and will relate positively toward them.  This project  is, in my humble opinion, God's way of comforting the little ones through the soft, cuddly presence of a teddy bear.  I want them to leave the hospital with a positive, tangible gift, and to remember that something special and good came from their stay in the hospital.
This isn't about me getting credit for coming up with the idea.  This is God working through me to comfort the little ones.   I took the idea to the man at my dry cleaners business in town and he was very excited about it.  He has already professionally cleaned the first dozen bears and told me to bring more as I get them and he will be glad to clean them for me.  I couldn't do this project without him.  His part in this project is vital for the comfort of the parents of the children that their little ones are receiving clean bears and also, the hospital staff know the bears are free of germs.
Now, back to yesterday!  I received a call from the director of the ER who had been contacted by the member of the Board.  She and I had a wonderful conversation about the project and is excited to meet me and to get the bears.  I have continued to collect teddies and have about 14 more that need to go to the cleaners.  When I have all of them cleaned I will contact the director of the ER and we will arrange a time for me to bring them to the ER and to meet her.  Approximately 400 children come through the ER each month.  Of course, not all of them are admitted.  I completely trust God and the ER staff to give the teddy bears to the children who have the greatest need.
My collection consists of small to medium bears.    I do a sniff check at the store and check all their parts to make sure they are in excellent condition; only the best quality bears will do.  I remove ribbons from around the neck and clothing if they are clothed so the bodies can be cleaned.
I know this message is a long one today and if you have stayed with me to this part of the message, I thank you!  It really couldn't be condensed to just a short note and do the project justice.  Now you know my vision.  If you have a teddy you would like to include in this project please email me at the address below and I will be glad to send you my office snail mail address or if you are local, we can get together and bring teddy bears and smiles to little sick and injured children being cared for in my home town hospital.  In the meantime, I will continue to search out those "just right" teddy bears.  It is a joy and a pleasure for me to do this for the children of my community.....all because of a conscious endeavor!  Take care and have a wonderful day!  Love, Nan

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Golden Rule

After my last post entitled "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff", I received the following comment from a very special person.  I included the Golden Rule at the bottom of the message and of all the information I shared that day, the part that stood out the most for the reader was The Golden Rule.  I so appreciate the interest and the profound statement that I want to share it with you today.  
Jesus, indeed, has a way of turning things around and upside down.  I hope you enjoy the quote.  The reader has given us a lot to think about.  Have a wonderful day! Love, Nan

"If we could only have one rule, "The Golden Rule" would probably suffice, if only we would follow it.

 Some form of the golden rule has been around for a very long time.  Way back in the 50's, I was doing a research paper for a philosophy class.  During the research, I discovered that Buddha had said, "Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do for you."

 In my ignorance, I remember thinking, 'he stole that from Jesus.'   Then, I discovered that the Buddha was born about 624 BC and that Buddha had stated his version of the golden rule in the negative, centuries before Jesus put it in the positive." Bob

Matthew 7:12 
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

As I was going through some of my books this morning, I came across Don't Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family written by Richard Carlson, Ph.D.  I want to share some of the topics of the book with you.  These things are important to remember, regardless of the number in your family.  There are a total of 100 topics.  I will select random topics today to give you a taste of the flavor of the book.

Set a positive emotional climate

Give yourself ten extra minutes

Buy something new, let something go

Allow "white space" in your calendar

Stop exchanging horror stories

Fill your home with evidence of love

Don't let money get you down

Let go of your expectations

When someone asks you how you are, don't emphasize how busy you are

Don't go to bed mad

Ask yourself "why should I be exempt from the rest of the human race?"

Keep in mind, as within, so without

Keep your "thought attacks" in check

Look for incremental improvement

Think of something you did right today

Discover simple pleasure

Be an example of peace

Express gratitude for your home

Treat your family members as if this were the last time you were going to see them

(this last one is from the Bible): Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's the Golden Rule.

I remember the song Tim McGraw and Scotty McCreery sang together on the finale of American Idol a few weeks ago "Live like you were dying".  Have a great day!  I love you! Nan

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Abundance and Lack

"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities.  It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend ..... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present ------ love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure ------ the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth."  Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance (New York: Warner Books, June 1995).

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.  Jude  :2

Friday, June 17, 2011

On The Harley With Allen

Author's note: I want to share with you the sights as I enjoy a late spring evening ride with Allen.  Good dinner at Ruby Tuesday, good company, good ride.  Good life!  Such a great way to spend the evening with my wonderful husband!

I also want you to know that when something moves you write it down, write it down, write it down!  Later on your written recollection of a special time will become timeless and precious to loved ones yet to be born.  Don't ever take one moment for granted.  Don't ever take your loved ones for granted.  Cherish each moment together.  You are living today.  Make today count for something good.  Remember that you are loved.

On The Harley With Allen   

written by Nan Forehand
 June 17, 2011

Best buds bring each other bliss

Especially exciting

Gladly gather gear and go

Motorcycle man and me

Cruising clean country crossroads

Majestic mountains move me

Bountiful breeze blows my blouse

Playful puppies prancing proudly

Fancy-free foal frolicking

Gorgeous gladiolas grow

Daylilies dot the ditch bank

Carefree cotton candy clouds

Corn crop craves condensation

Gathering goats graze the grass

Tapping to the tasteful tunes

Cud chewing cows cast their cares

Random rhymes run rampantly

Riding – relaxed, refreshed

Living, laughing, loving life

Happy hearts heading for home

Home again, home again

Frog a leap, frog a leap!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Silence - A Pleiades Poem

sounds lost in the southern night

softly moved the baby's chest

stillness in a waiting room

surrendered soul lifted up

searching for just the right words

set apart in reverent prayer

'cept for ringing in my ears

Author's note: "He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words."  Elbert Hubbard

1) Stillness in my southern, spring night is a peaceful time as I write this poem tonight.
2) As my 19 year old son prepares to leave for Air Force Basic Training this November, I am remembering my sweet, slumbering baby in my arms.
3) I'm consumed with the anticipation of a loved one whose hands are clutched to the chest as the surgeon comes with news.
4) Glory bumps cover me as I linger in remembrance of the silence this past Sunday morning just before the preacher baptized a young lady.
5) Think of the silence during a heated conversation as at just the right moment healing words come forth.
6) I am remembering when I knelt in prayer in a sanctuary with no other people present to break the silence.
7) I chose an exception to the true Pleiades form in the beginning of the last line.  In the depth of silence the ringing in my ears is deafening at times.

written by: Nan Forehand
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Light in the Darkness

I read something recently that has kept coming back to my mind.  Up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is Linville Caverns.  I want to go there sometime.  I read that when one goes down into the caverns to a certain depth there is complete and total darkness.  The report stated that if a one stays in the darkness long enough blindness occurs.  The trout swimming in the water below the earth in the caverns are blind.
I am thinking in terms now, of spiritual blindness at this point.  When a person allows the darkness of negativity and destructive thoughts to become manifest as negative actions or at times, lack of action that would bring in the light (the Light of God), I can understand how one can become spiritually blind, even to the point of losing connection with the other senses God gave us.  A person can hear words spoken with good intentions and yet, not hear.  It is as if their spiritual ears stop picking up the sound waves and are unable to process the sounds.  As well, they can still speak, but the spiritual voice is quieted to the point of becoming mute.  How sad for a spirit to become blind, deaf and mute and then succumb because of a failure to thrive.  God didn't design our spirits to live in darkness and He didn't design us, physically, to live in total darkness.  Why would He have given us our senses if He didn't want us to use them to the fullest extent.  I understand, there are those who were born sightless, some unable to hear and others born unable to speak.  They do the best they can with what they were given, even to the point of heightened awareness of the senses they were given to accommodate for the lack of the other.
I want you to be that beam of light in the lives of others.  Your smile or encouraging word may be the only bit of light that shines through the dark abyss in which a human being cowers.  Be careful, though, because when one has been in the darkness so long, too much light at once may be overwhelming.  When you hold the candle and share it with another, your own light is not lessened.  Rather, the darkness is lessened and both can see better and therefore, both are comforted.

Matthew 5:14-16
You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dot to Dot

Dot to Dot

By: Nan Forehand

remember this game of your youth
listen now and I'll tell you the truth
it's easiest to begin with "Number One"
listening to the preacher, you begin to connect
verses you'd forgot - now you recollect
anxious to see the big picture
take your time - don't go too fast
this picture won't fade - it's made to last
life is a mystery - yes, it's a puzzle
sometimes the dots are close - some far apart
it's not always as easy as it looks, but God knows your heart
do your best and stay on the right track
when you make  mistakes, God allows  erases
forgiven ---  you become one of  God's aces
follow the right dots and one day you'll see Christ
on this journey of dot to dot
help others    .....   it will mean a lot
written on 1-22-07

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever, nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere Him.

None of us are perfect, but when we intend to live as Christ would have us live, our intentions make us more aware of the outcome of our decisions.  I intend to live each day as if it were my last day on earth and to think about my decisions before making them so as to have no regrets on my last day.  We sometimes eat things we know aren't healthy for us and as well, we may drink beverages we've been told aren't good for us.  Sometimes, we don't find satisfaction in our toil.  It is in striving to eat healthier and to drink healthier beverages and to take satisfaction in our toil, regardless of the task, that we receive the gift of God.  God knows the desires of our hearts.  Keeping our desires in alignment with God's will keeps us on the right track.  If your decisions are contrary to your desires, rethink them and take corrective action. Motivate and activate!  Get motivated and get activated.

I've noticed that in some of my writings I am quite direct, i.e., "get motivated", etc.  I just put my finger on the "why" of it.  I remember how God, Jesus and the apostles spoke in the Bible.  They were convinced of what they were talking about and they knew that if the people would do as they said, it would go well for the people.  Many times in the Bible, they spoke very directly so as no one could misunderstand the point.  They had the wisdom and insight we sometimes lack; mind you, not that I boast of wisdom and insight, I'm speaking of what I understand of God, Jesus and the apostles and their way of speaking to the people, then and now; one on one and also to the masses.  I am convinced of what I understand to be truth.  I don't doubt my Lord and what He is capable of and I don't doubt what you are capable of when you are motivated and activated.  That is why I speak so passionately on your behalf.  I care about you.  I want it to go well for you.  So, enough said.  Get motivated and get activated!!

I have to get up from here and finish getting ready for work!  I'm motivated!  I'm activated!

Get busy connecting the dots, then you'll see the beautiful big picture!  Have a wonderful day!  Love you! Nan