Welcome to our talk.  My purpose is to lift you up BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY!  I need you to bounce up; dust it off and get moving.  Look outside!  It’s a beautiful day; you’re alive and a part of today; and you are so, so, so, blessed.   I’ll share a story.  Maybe, this will help you!

See Good Things

There I was all dressed up in a yellow Kankan (chiffon) gathered-waist dress with puff sleeves and pretty collar, white stockings, white shoes with silver buckles.  My hair had been pressed and fixed in drop curls, all dolled up in my little gold earrings, chain and bracelet; awaiting graduation from kindergarten and very happy.  We, the graduates stood in a straight line holding hands, eager to play our role in that all important graduation program.  I was excited to say the two sentences that were my recitation.  My classmates and I were each to recite a sentence out of a poem we had memorized.  When my name was called, I bravely walked up to the platform, curtsied and immediately began to speak.  As I begun the sentence, “for sounds”, my teacher spoke in the background “wait”; I paused.  Impatiently after a few seconds, I again attempted to speak “for sounds”.  My teacher said to wait.  I reluctantly stopped; wondering how much longer it would take.  Finally, the teacher cued, and in my loudest little five year old voice, I proudly spoke:

“For sounds of happy birds around us:  and, all around we see good things.”

The applause was cheerful and loud, as our parents and families clapped.  We had said our recitations well and finished kindergarten, ready for first grade.  In my little child’s mind, I was knowledgeable and had accomplished something.  That day I secretly purposed to excel in everything I would do.  I planned to set high standards for myself and settle only for the best.  I would make them proud; all those people sitting there cheering for my friends and I as we graduated that day from kindergarten, and were on our way to elementary school.   Oh! The joys of innocence!

Needless to say, many things have happened since that day in 1969 and the present.  There have been accomplishments, heights, low depths, pain and disappointments.  Dreams have died fast and hard:  Cycles of “fix it, it breaks, and then fix it again, then it breaks again…”  I have encountered so many detours and road blocks, that I sometimes playfully refer to my life as a highway construction zone.  Yet much joy, pleasure, and success have laced my path.  Did I mention lots of laughter too?  I love fun and laughter, and I’m always smiling.  Humor helps me forge through.  Sometimes you have to see the humor in it, for it to make any sense at all.  I have learned to laugh at myself; loud too. 

Most important my friends, I have learned, it is never too late for a new beginning, when you place your trust in the Master.  I say emphatically that God has a definite plan for you.  You must never quit, but rather have faith.  Increase your faith.  Build courage.  Do not concern yourself with the numerous naysayers.  Their opinion of you is biased and irrelevant. 

Think good thoughts about yourself.  Embrace great ideas; you deserve the best.  Believe in your unique abilities and move ahead.  Live while you are alive:  do not become dead in a vibrant body.  Shake off the dowdiness.  Step with confident strides and your head held high.  Have a pleasant demeanor; joy in your heart, warmth in your spirit.  Show friendliness to others; loving God and your fellow man.  Control what enters your being.  Allow no one to dictate your mannerisms.  Be responsible for the content of your character.  Pattern your life after happiness.  Limit spontaneity and maintain focus.  Remember, this present life is reality and not dress-rehearsal.  If you persevere, you will reap good results.

As a Christian, develop a deep personal, intimate relationship with the Lord.  Always pray through whatever befalls you.  Never forget whose you are:  a child of the King.  It might not look that way to you, but you are royalty:  Queens, Kings, Princes and Princesses.  You have got only one chance to sojourn earth; make it a memorable journey.  Do “IT” for the sake of Christ.  Know that God is faithful, merciful and generous.  He will NEVER leave you stranded.  When you raise a needy hand to Him, the Lord will reach and grab you. 

“For sounds of happy birds around us; and all around we see good things.”  That is how I still see it.  All around I see good things because of the One in whom I have my hope. 

Through this medium, I promise to share this endless supply of hope and courage.  I wish you well, my friend.  May you be blessed!