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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for February, 2007

Thoughts on My Birthday

Monday, February 5th, 2007

I sit by my desk with notes I’ve been saving for the past few weeks on things I wanted to include in my blog for the new year.
It’s my birthday today and my daughter has sent me her best wishes and the hope that I make this a ‘’’carpe diem’’ year and squeeze all the juice from life. I want very much to do that in the same way I try to make each day as good and full as possible, even when bad things come my way or I’m feeling bodily aches and pains. I try very much to keep a positive attitude – I want to greet life in all its fullness.
As I write, too, I am looking at a newspaper story about a woman who has placed thousands of small yellow flags in a field outside her home in Middle Grove, N.Y., to commemorate the American soldiers killed in Iraq. “”I just felt compelled to do something’’ to honor and remember these soldiers because ‘’I felt that we, as a nation, were doing so little to acknowledge them…and this is what I could do.’’ The speaker of these words is Caren Crootof. I admire her so.
When I read about Mrs. Crootof’s project I feel some hope that there are other good people like her in the world who don’t take the precious things for granted. One of my biggest prayers for this new year is that this terrible war in Iraq ends.
In another article I read about a practice in which people at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one set their sins on fire. ‘’People write down their regrets, fears and shortcomings, then light the paper to symbolize a spiritual cleansing,’’ says the columnist Jeffrey Zaslow. One person is quoted as saying that the burning ceremonies are a reminder that ‘’we need to concentrate on the here, the new and the joy.’’ Zaslow,talks about the optimism many people have at the beginning of a new year. ‘’Perhaps what makes us to optimistic is the human need for hope, and the innate yearning to improve.’’
The other piece of paper on my desk that I’ve been saving is also about hope. It shows a picture of a hand-sewn patchwork quilt that is called ‘’Prayers and Dreams.’’ The quilt has 112 different pockets with an individual personal prayer or dream enclosed within each packet. The quilt’s creator, Kyra E. Hicks, says, she stitched this quilt ‘’ to help recall past aspirations at a low point in my life. I slept under this quilt for several weeks and soon my life situation started to change. I was offered a job in a new city and state.’’ I love what she has done, and it reminds me of the type I was at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and wrote a note to God on a piece of paper which I rolled up and inserted into the wall. It was a prayer for a child which God granted to my wife and me.
The new year is always a time of new beginnings, of new possibilities when some of the things we hope for can come true if we work hard and if we have good luck. As we embark on the adventure of this new year, let’s think about some of the hopes we have for the days ahead. Why not write about the hopes and dreams you have for yourself, or for the people you love and care about, or for the world you live in.
If you wish, you can make a list of your hopes and dreams. Or, focus on writing about your most important hope, the one you want with all your heart to come true this year or in the future.
Here’s another way to write about your hopes.
Mark Podwall, author of ‘’Jerusalem Sky,’’ says, ‘’’ With wonders and miracles, the sky over Jerusalem touches the world below. Legend says that the Jerusalem sky has a hole in it, made by a jewell that fell from God’s throne. Through this hole, hopes reach heaven.’’
If that is the case, what are the hopes you have that you want to see reach heaven? Share them with me if you will.
A happy good year of new birth to each of us!