Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

Joyful Noise

August 22, 2009

U.C.M. Newsletter of Joy, Humor, Laughter, and Inspiration

Editor: Rev. Doti Boon,

Volume 8 page 34 (08-21-09)


I know with God’s help all stumbling blocks can

become stepping stones.

christmas2003 017

            In re-counting my Mom’s life to a friend, I became aware of how many times life put stumbling blocks in her way. And yet, she always had a smile on her face and an optimistic out-look she imparted to everyone.

Here are some of the things she overcame:

            Molested and abused as a child

            Forced to work (physical labor)since the age of eight – all money went to support the family during the Depression!

            Constantly being bullied and teased by older siblings. She was the youngest of nine.  Repeatedly told she was ugly by all the members of her family “Old Ironsides” was the most remembered remark – since she was very thin.

            Having an alcoholic father who was constantly getting fired – she was forced to move and change schools 21 times before she entered high school.

            Contracted polio and spent three months in the contagion ward of a Los Angeles Hospital.

            Due to complications of severe eclampsia had a still-born baby boy and almost lost her life.

            Worked as a riveter (Rosie the Riveter) during World War II to support herself and small daughter while her husband fought in the Philippines.

            Her favorite brother, Herb, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

            Moved to a small town where she worked from daylight to sunset mowing, raking, baling and hauling Alfalfa hay in the hot desert (Lancaster, CA) sun.

            While waterskiing in Lake Isabella, fell and almost died of immersion shock.

            Abandoned by her husband with three small children to support; he refused to pay child support.

            Married the “love of her life” and moved to Northern California to start a business.

            Husband died after twenty-two months of marriage.

            Business went bankrupt.

            Eldest son ran away from home.

            Got a job at Fort Ord where she suffered a stroke.

            Her youngest son died of AIDS.

            Fell and broke her hip and splintered her femur.

            Suffered from a blood clot in her left leg which rendered her foot immobile (drop foot), which caused her constant pain until her death.

            Cancer removed from her left breast.

            Suffered from Congestive Heart Disease.

            And yet, this woman raised four wonderful and financially independent children who in turn have raised amazing grandchildren.

            She had an amazing voice and could hit C over high C. She had sung on the radio and as soloist in a church choir by the age of fifteen. She sang at everyone of her kids’ weddings and crooned babies to sleep.

            Elenore traveled to China, Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Florida, Mt. Shasta, Sedona, Arizona and all around the continental United States. Many times she turned her tour badge upside down to say “WOW” instead of MOM.

            She made over 100 quillows (a quilt that folds into a pillow) many of which she donated to UCM and CCL for fundraisers and sewed layettes for newborn babies.

            For eighteen years she took homemade cookies, Chinese salad or corn pudding (sometimes all three) to the CCL Thanksgiving at the beach!

            She made friends wherever she went – at the time of her death her address book was full of hundreds of names.

            She walked at least a mile every day until she was 89 years old!

            . . .and she had the most incredible sense of humor, a sly grin and an amazing laugh.

            She left behind three children, eight grand-children and eleven great-grandchildren. All of which love and miss her terribly and know that she truly embodied the Stumbling Block to Stepping Stone adage.

“Stepping Stones”

“Isn’t it strange that Princes and Kings
And clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
And just plain folks like you and me,
Are builders for Eternity?
To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass and a book of rules,
And each must make ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a stepping stone.”

Mary Brooks Picken 

When life knocks you down, don’t stay down, bounce back!  Everybody stumbles or gets knocked off their feet from time to time; the winners are just the ones who keep getting back up!  That’s what Paul meant when he said, “In all things we are more than conquerors.”  If you pray and look hard enough, you’ll find the seed of good in every adversity (see Genesis 50:20).  The difference between winners and losers, is their ability to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams

“The senses have been conditioned by attraction to the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant:  a man should not be ruled by them; they are obstacles in his path.” – Bhagavad Gita

“Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along too.”

 – Lawrence Bixby

“You are the only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life.”

 – Les Brown

“A barrier is of ideas, not of things.” – Mark Caine

“The mere fact that you have obstacles to overcome is in your favor…”

 – Robert Collier

“The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a Wilderness.”

 – Havelock Ellis

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

“For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way.  Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Bette Howland

“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome.  The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”

 – Helen Keller

“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” – Maxwell Maltz

“Obstacles are like wild animals.  They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can.  If they see you are afraid of them…they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.” – Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924) American author and founder of Success magazine.

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; ‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.”Thomas Paine

“For every mountain there is a miracle.” – Robert H. Schuller

“Life’s up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals.  Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want.” – Marsha Sinetar 

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

 – Frank A. Clark

“The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.”

 – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist.

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy.  From the very core of our being, we desire contentment.  In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.  Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease.  It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter.  It is the principal source of success in life.  Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone.  The key is to develop inner peace.” – The Dalai Lama

Joyful Noise June 11,2009

June 12, 2009

I am a spiritual being acknowledging my patriotism.
          When was the last time your heart was filled with patriotism and you felt completely removed from your body as you gazed in a heightened sense at your country’s flag? Quite often I receive a spiritual charge as I look at the American Flag. Not because I revere it as I do God, but rather that it takes me out of myself – puts me in a place of reverence as I recall my own activism and work for equality, justice and freedom. Through marching, singing and prayer I have found myself a part of that spiritual movement that has helped increase the awareness of The Divine in whatever form you believe works best for you.
              One of the most spiritual/patriotic times of my life was standing at the base of Mt. Rushmore at sunset. Lights came on bathing the four granite presidents in luminescence, the American flag unfurled gently in the breeze, fireworks exploded overhead and the Star Spangled Banner drifted through a multitude of speakers. Tears streaming down my face on the cool South Dakota evening – I realized that as much as I had protested, sang We Shall Overcome and championed equal rights . . . still my spirituality blossomed that evening and I was proud to be an American. I was not burning the flag – but embracing it as a symbol of who I am . . . a spiritual patriot.
          Patriotism is defined as love of and/or devotion to one’s country. The word comes from the Greek patris. However, patriotism has had different meanings over time. I find that I most identify with the 18th century belief that patriotism is separate from nationalism. Instead patriotism was defined as devotion to humanity and beneficence; providing charity, criticizing slavery and denouncing excessive penal laws. In both ancient and modern visions of patriotism, individual responsibility to fellow citizens is an inherent component of patriotism. Doesn’t that sound like the Golden Rule? And, as a spiritualist minister – I feel that treating folks the same way I would like to be treated is the basis of my belief. 
          All of these feelings, emotions and thoughts about patriotism were triggered by National Flag Day which was first recognized as a holiday on June 14th, 1877. This was one hundred years after the Continental Congress adopted the flag with the stars and stripes as our nation’s official flag. The congress asked all public buildings to fly and wave their flags in remembrance of this day.
The public also got excited about the idea and started to fly their flags on June 14th as well.
It was President Woodrow Wilson, who in 1916, proclaimed officially that June 14th was Flag Day. But, it wasn’t until 1949 when Harry Truman was our president, that a bill was signed declaring that June 14th was National Flag Day.
In 1966, the Congress also voted to request that the President make a proclamation stating that the week that June 14th falls in be declared as National Flag Week, in which all citizens fly their flags.
The United States of America’s flag is one of the world’s most recognized symbols. For our country it stands for unity, pride, freedom, and democracy.
No matter who you are or where you are from, as a citizen of the United States, you probably got chills when you saw the 2008 Olympians athletes march in holding the flag, or when you watch the soldiers fold the flag from the casket of a comrade, or possibly when everyone rises to salute the flag prior to a ballgame. – I know the symbol of the Flag stimulates the beautiful spirituality that says, the flag means something to you. In case you forget sometimes, that is what National Flag Day is there for. Remembering the past and where we have come from and the struggles our country has gone through is how we love and appreciate each other and our country enough to keep going in the right direction.
We all know inspiration when we feel it. It is a force that enlivens us and activates us to do something—we might dance, sing, paint the house, or envision a new career. We might call an old friend or plan a trip abroad. Or, stand and gaze at a flagpole – feeling the energy of your State and Nation’s flags. Whatever the case, doing what we do from a place of inspiration and spirituality makes all things possible.
If you already know what inspires you, whether it is attending church, looking at old photographs, going to the library, or calling a friend, find a way to incorporate it into your life on a regular basis. If you aren’t sure what inspires you, or if it has changed, take some time to think about it. When we are in the presence of what inspires us, we hear our inner guidance more clearly and we have the energy to follow its cues.
If it has been a while since you have been touched by inspiration, you may feel listless and dissatisfied. Know that you can turn things around by remembering your spirituality, symbols, pictures and friends. On this Flag Day – let the flag light you up and bring that patriotism back into your life.
The phone rings at FBI headquarters. “Hello?”
“I’m calling to report my neighbor. He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood.”
“Thank you very much for the call, sir.”
The next day, FBI agents descend on the neighbor’s house. They search the shed where the firewood is kept. Using axes, they bust open every piece of wood, but find no marijuana. They swear at the neighbors and leave.
The phone rings at the neighbors house. “Hey, Adrian, did the FBI come?”
“Did they chop your firewood?”
“Great, now it’s your turn to call. I need my garden plowed.”
This 85-year-old couple, having been married almost 60 years, die tragically in a car crash. They have been in good health the last ten years, mainly due to the wife’s nearly neurotic interest in health food.
When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite, complete with Jacuzzi. As they “oohed and aahed” the old man asked St. Peter how much all this was going to cost.
“It’s free,” St. Peter replied, “Remember, this is Heaven.”
Next they went out back to see the championship golf course the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges every day, and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on Earth.
The old man asked, “What are the green fees?”
“This is Heaven,” St. Peter replied. “You play for free.”
Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out.
“How much to eat?” asked the old man.
“Don’t you understand yet?” St. Peter asked. “This is Heaven. It’s free!”
“Well, where are the low-fat and low-cholesterol foods?” the old man asked timidly.
“That’s the best part … you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven.”
The old man looked at his wife and said, “You and your #@!%&~ bran muffins. I could have been here ten years ago!”



A Joyful Noise!
U.C.M. Newsletter of Joy, Humor, Laughter, and Inspiration