Archive for the ‘Spiritual Lessons from My Father’ Category

About 10 years ago, my parents noticed that their friends were getting older, many of them disabled or recently widowed and isolated. So they took it upon themselves to reach out to someone nearly everyday by either a visit or a phone call or a card. When Dad passed on last May, one might think that Mom would rightfully think of herself as one of those people. But no, within a few weeks she was back at it with cards she makes herself or phone calls made or rides given. Now she is 85 but it doesn’t often occur to her that she is older too. Although she is occasionally the recipient of other’s calling her, she still has a daily discipline of reaching out even when she doesn’t feel like it. It helps that Mom has never met a stranger. I well remember a phone call she got when I was about 8 years old, back in the day of one household phone with an extremely long cord on it. As she talked, she cleaned and talked and listened. Half an hour later, the caller realized she didn’t know my mother and had thought she had called her sisiter! Mom has made freinds everywhere she has gone and made many more over the internet. I don’t think she thinks of her caring as a discipline. It’s just who she is. But people notice. This past All Saint’s Day she was nominated by her Baptist church as a saint. And so she is and so we all can be.

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My Dad lived an ordinary life in extraordinary ways. At his memorial service, there were over 300 people whose lives he effected profundly. This is a brief and beginning list of Life Lessons he taught me. For those of you who knew him, feel free to add your own lessons you learned from him in the comment section!
1) Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you can’t laugh at yourself than there is something wrong with you.
2) Only yell at the television. They can’t hear you and it will help your frustration level.
3) People are a riot. Some are funnier than others but there is something to enjoy about every dad-blasted one of them.
4) Remember your education was paid for mostly by all taxpayers so be appreciative and don’t resent paying your fair share.
5) It’s a good life – don’t waste it.
6) Don’t consider yourself better than any one else and don’t think of anyone else as better than you. We all put our pants on the same way.
7) Call your mother or she will forget that you love her.
8) Exercise. Use it or lose it. (The day before he lost all ability to hold his own weight, exactly 5 days before he died, he mowed his lawn and that of my brothers. The day before he died, he watched the Cubs win)
9) Sing whenever possible. (More on that later)
10) Do your part. It’s your duty in life to do your part in whatever way possible in whatever organizations to which you belong.

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“Did anyone notice that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, not an Elephant?” (from my Democrat father)

“Chaos in life on the outside starts with chaos on the inside” (the Practical Mystic)

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