The State of the Nation is only as Good as the Hearts of its People

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“Cafe’ Costa Rica” acrylic on 20 x 20 canvas (SOLD), prints available (close-up of coffee beans)

When I was raising my family, multi-tasking was encouraged for everyone who wanted to succeed. Instead of lighting the home fires, women were encouraged to engage in career acceleration, pushing many out of the home and into the marketplace. That’s when the songs “I am Woman” and “Nine to Five” were the beat we marched to in our efforts to accomplish more in less time and to be more productive.

I once bragged to a friend that I could bathe my two youngest while cleaning my bathroom fixtures and scrubbing the floor all at the same time. I made my own cake mixes, yogurt, granola and bread to save money, and I could whip up a meal and have it on the table within 30 minutes without the benefit of microwaves or crockpots.

"Queen of Diamonds" 20 x 20 acrylic mixed media on canvas

“Queen of Diamonds” 20 x 20 acrylic mixed media on canvas

A generation later, the results were a nation of hyperactive insomniacs who didn’t know how to “chill.” Multi-tasking became the cause celebre´ for depression and nervous breakdowns; the culprit for lack of focus, and the fragmenting of a person’s time and energy.

We were accused, by the so-called experts, of short-changing our spouse and our children. Some women came back home and recommitted themselves to family life, while others were too entrenched in the upward climb to turn back. They had come close to the “glass ceiling;” and by golly, they were going to crash it if it killed them. The casualties were enormous. The ones who made it never looked back.

Once abortion was legalized, women were set free to crash the barriers that had held them back previously. The toll has only recently been felt as the Social Security Fund dries up because there are not enough workers to replace those who either have been aborted or who are on welfare. America has painted herself into a proverbial corner.

The women whose children grew up and moved on in their absence feel cheated of the experience of motherhood. They rushed here and there, watched their kid’s games and celebrated their achievements, but do they really know them? How many times have they actually had a loving conversation without telling their kids to “hurry up, we’ve got to get going?” or criticized their obnoxious antics and behavior.

Today, we look around us and see not a nation of happy and well-adjusted people, but a country full of drug addicts who participate in road rage, riots in the streets, and mayhem. Our leaders are immoral and dishonest. The people in whom we put our trust are untrustworthy. Tyrants rule in our board rooms and on our streets. We have made a mockery of that which once was sacred and blasphemed the God who gave us life.

"Blending In" 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas (How often do we "Blend in, rather than Standing Up?"

“Blending In” 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas (How often do we “Blend in, rather than Standing Up?”

Collectively, we desecrate the holy, the weak, and elevate the swindler and the swine. We worship pleasure and wealth and turn our backs on the lowly and common. Children in many cases dishonor parents and parents turn their backs on the children who need them. There is a lack of common decency and respect. “It’s all about me” rings from the rafters of homes, automobiles and businesses. “I want what I want, and I want it now.”

Never in the history of the world has there been more need of a Savior to bring us back to our Heavenly roots. Jesus said: 7 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love, does not know God because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through Him. 10 This is God: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for sin.”
(I John 4:7-10 NIV)

“If this is true,” you say, “then why isn’t there peace on earth? Why is there so much violence?”

First off, God is not the author of confusion, nor violence, nor evil. Mankind does that very well without him. Before Christ was crucified, he did clarify this point for us: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you.” (In other words, His peace is within) “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Our world could use a little more peace, especially in the hearts of its people.

"Lady in Waiting" oil on canvas (prints available)

“Lady in Waiting” oil on canvas (prints available)

A Life Well Lived brings Joy to Others

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Jo Ann Albright, A dear friend and fellow artist passed away last weekend (back row, stage left). She originated our Art Group, Gateway Artists; and encouraged and inspired us in many many ways. She will be missed.

Jo Ann will be remembered for her “big sky” watercolor paintings inspired by her home in Iowa. Her tropical paintings were created at her second home in Florida. Jo Ann was also a member of the Fort Myer’s Beach Art Association and many others during her lifetime as a Snow Bird in the Fort Myers area.

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Life not only goes by quickly, but it’s filled with unexpected sometimes life-threatening occurrences. We are usually unaware of the undercurrents that swirl beneath the surface. Nothing can be taken for granted, not good health, a secure job, or unexpected consequences that come as a result of the many choices we make each day.

Clearly, as the poets have said for centuries: “Life is fleeting;” and from our human perspective random.  That life could be part of a divine plan rather than simply happenstance is denied by many.

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My friend, Jo Ann, had no fear of death. She had an aneurism in an artery that she knew could give out at anytime. She walked by faith and enjoyed the goodness that life offered her. She knew that her life upon the earth was just a matter of time. She lived as though she had all the time in the world.

As someone once said, we all have our death date stamped on our heel the moment we’re born. Life is only temporary, but some people act as if it weren’t. In fact, they abuse their bodies with poor nutrition, junk food, drugs, narcotics, and risky behavior which only hastens their death.

Here and now is a sparkling opportunity not only to thrive, but to enjoy your life. I’m not talking about self-gratification and pleasure. I’m talking about making the most of your time here upon the earth by using your talents and gifts to enrich the world, and by reaching out to help others not to destroy or impede their personal journey.

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We should provide stepping stones not stumbling stones to those around us. Our gifts and talents should be a light to guide other’s way. Unfortunately, our world seems to be succumbing to hatred and selfishness. Would that we could all be light and peace in this dark world as Jo Ann was. Rest in peace dear friend.