Posts Tagged talent

Thankful Thursday – Fran and Hal Deane

On this Thankful Thursday I am grateful for the blessings that Fran and Hal Deane bring to my life. They are both very involved in the programs of First Baptist Church of Charleston. Fran and I are in Roger Carl’s Not-So-Fast Class Sunday school class. Fran often shares her understanding of the text in a very quiet way. I am always interested in her comments. Hal is a member of the diaconate and has chaired the finance committee several times. His understanding of finance and business practices are extremely valuable to the church. I always want to know his thinking on any proposal. He is a Dartmouth graduate and a former executive at Cadillac. Fran is a University of Michigan graduate. They met in Detroit. They have made a place for themselves in the fabric of Charleston and we have all benefited from their presence here. They are always cheerful and ready to lend a helping hand. On this Thankful Thursday, I am very thankful for the gifts that this talented couple brings to my life.

Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad you did.


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Thankful Thursday – Martha and Richard Ulmer

            On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the gifts that Martha and Richard Ulmer bring to my life. Either could easily take an entire book to adequately write about him or her. I met Martha at Mars Hill College and encountered Richard at Furman. Richard was my doctor for the entire time he was in practice. In fact, I was his guinea pig until he threw me over to traipse around the country with the VA. Both were members of the Furman singers and later the Charleston Symphony Choir. They also graced the choirs at First Baptist Church of Charleston and Provident Baptist on Daniel Island. Their talent is extraordinaire.  Martha was the guiding force behind a really fun 50th anniversary class reunion at Mars Hill. Martha can make it from my house in Charleston to Mars Hill with her dogs in the station wagon before I can finish my first sausage biscuit. The distance is shortened by her stories of adventure.  Both Martha and Richard have colossal humor streaks. They fill the atmosphere with a sense of well being and reassurance that all is right with the world.  My health has declined a bit since Richard ceased to scold me on a routine basis.  Their commitment to their children, grandchildren, and to their faith is exemplary. When I think of people that it is an absolute delight to be around, I think of Martha and Richard Ulmer. They are great medicine.

            Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to recognize the importance of someone to our life and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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52 Keys for Living, Loving and Working

            What are the keys that unlock the door to a fuller, richer, happier, more fulfilling life? What are those ingredients that foster mental, physical and spiritual well being? These questions are as old as time. No one has all of the answers, but centuries of human struggles and triumphs have revealed the ones that seem to be most effective when cultivated and exercised over a long period of time. There may be others that work well for you.  Add them to the ones presented here. All of humanity constantly strives to uncover the secrets that lead to a sense of well being and fulfillment. Although we all strive for happiness, the wisdom of the ages argues that happiness seems to be a byproduct of how we live our lives rather than a strategy to be mastered. The direction of all life is toward growth. Each experience, each encounter, each revelation prepares us for the next.  Each new insight opens even more vistas to us. Life continues to unfold before us if we are open to receive the lessons and if we are willing to push our boundaries beyond what we already know and what feels safe. The abundant life we crave does not reside in safety. Unless we are willing to step out in unknown territory and make ourselves vulnerable to pain and uncertainty our lives will remain unfulfilled and dim shadows of what could be. Life is meant to be an adventure into discovering who we are and our relationship to one another. Life is made up of a series of ever changing, ever evolving relationships that touch and create other relationships.

The Centrality of Faith

Faith is the foundation of all relationships, with God, with our self, and with others. We establish and develop relationships through faith. We decide whether or not we want to establish or maintain a relationship based on a mutual understanding that states, I believe that this will be good for each of us. We also decide whether or not to enter into a faith relationship with God and at what level. According to the Holy Bible only a minute measure of faith is required – our faith only needs to be as great as a mustard seed which is the smallest seed known. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We must also have some measure of faith toward ourselves. This requires that we know who we are and what we are about – not an easy task. Establishing relationships demonstrates a basic faith that there is a tomorrow – a reason to live, love and hope.

The Keys

Be present                  

            Be present is by far the most important key. Be in the moment with your whole being not thinking of what will come next or what has happened in the past. Be in this moment fully committed to it. We need to glean from each moment what it has to reveal to us. This is the now. What is happening this very instant? We cannot detain the moment, or recall it, but we can easily miss it.

            When we are at work, we spend much of our time thinking about what we would like to be doing at home. Sometimes we are planning our vacation, thinking about our daughter’s impending wedding, thinking about our grandchildren or perhaps retirement. Our mind has temporarily taken flight. We are not present with the current project or with the other people in the room. We miss what is taking place in the moment.

            When we are at home, we think about what awaits at work again missing the now. We miss the smiles, sparkling eyes, sighs, stiffened body language and the lilt in the voice. We are focused on another place and time.

            Liza Minnelli, the fabulous Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy winner, has it right when she says, “If you’ve got one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you’re missing today.”[1]

[1] Liz Smith. Parade Magazine. March 01, 2009

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