Tag Archives: #blessings

BLESSINGS OBSCURED BY CLUTTER

BLESSINGS OBSCURED BY CLUTTER

As we live our lives, many of us tend to collect clutter along the way, and that’s not a good thing. Clutter can affect us both physically and mentally. Physically, piles of clutter make it difficult to find items because we forget where we put them in the piles. Mentally, the presence of clutter can obscure blessings that could bring us joy if we knew where to look in the piles. How do I know this? Sadly, I’m the world’s master champion of clutter creation. Allow me to share two personal examples of blessings obscured by clutter.

The first example is when I had an emotional moment a few years ago (June 16, 2018) while attempting to declutter my garage, which led me to write a God-wink story for my website (aTmeinLife.wordpress.com) titled, “DAD’S MESSAGE TO ME 38 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH.” That moment presented me with a heartwarming blessing I now proudly display in my office—it’s always in full view and makes me smile as I start each day.

The second example came when I was once again trying to declutter the “stuff” in my garage—trust me, there’s a lot of “stuff” that has accumulated over many years, including the last three since example one above. Well, I had my second emotional moment on July 19, 2021 for which I am very grateful. I must also confess that I was so moved finding this second blessing obscured by clutter that moisture started rolling down the cheeks of this ole man—something I seem to be doing more often the older I am fortunate to become. Maybe you have experienced similar moments in your life.

In the process of going through more file boxes that belonged to my parents, I found interesting things like certificates of marriage, graduations programs, bible school attendance certificates, my 1st and 2nd grade (never-to-be-revealed) report cards, etc.

Then, my eyes focused on an innocent looking 3” x 5” envelope postmarked Mar 19, 1958 (two days before my 9th birthday). The addressee was my father in room 310 of St. Francis Hospital with my name as the return address located at 850 Berry Street. It’s interesting that a first class stamp cost 3 cents in 1958.

Envelope

I opened the envelope and found an unevenly folded piece of notebook paper. As I started reading the words written on the page, “Dear Daddy…,” memories of the situation began to materialize in my mind. I continued reading and images of a difficult time in my life triggered tender emotions that touched the strings of my heart—my eyes began to leak expressions of pure love. The moisture wasn’t flowing because of the words I had written. It was realizing that Dad loved me enough to save my letter and then have me find it 63 years later—41 years after his death. Like example one above, that’s not a coincidence—that’s another God-wink moment in my life I was blessed to have. To say I’m grateful is an understatement!

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The point of this story is simple—do not allow the clutter in your life to obscure blessings that might be right under your nose. Start decluttering today and you may also find blessings that fill your heart with joy and cause a little bit of moisture to flow from your eyes!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2021

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

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A LEARNED TESTIMONY

I am delighted to have the opportunity to share this guest post with each of you. It is a devotional written from the heart of my good friend, Nancy Frazier. I pray it inspires each of you to treat others as she does. Enjoy Nancy’s message and be blessed.

A LEARNED TESTIMONY

BY

NANCY FRAZIER

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.” Psalm 19:7-9

Seven years ago, a group of sixteen people began to meet once or twice a week to pray and discuss the possibility of planting a church in Asheboro or the surrounding area. After many days and nights in prayer, Journey Church was established. Having been one of those people, I was overjoyed and so pleased that the Lord chose me to help in the beginning of this beautiful church. As I began to work with the others to build a place of worship and peace, it suddenly became evident to me that I did not have, what I thought, was an adequate testimony that would connect to others and turn them towards Christ.

During this time of prayer and decision making, the Lord gave me an illustration on how to conduct myself to let others see Christ in me. Even though I am “on up in age,” I was given the task of using my Savior’s love as an example to others. The Lord actually gave me two ideas to work on and I have enjoyed both immensely!

My two life changing purposes revolve around students from my past teaching career that need encouragement and validation. Another aspect of this life-change I have participated in has just been to care for those in need. I have enjoyed this endeavor more than I would have imagined and the Lord guides me in every direction.

I am not writing to brag about what I am accomplishing or sharing with others. I am writing this devotional to let you know the Lord will deliver to you the strength and desire needed for the illustrations He offers you to share with others. My testimony resonates with the Zack Williams song “Less Like Me”. “Somebody with a hurt I could have helped, Somebody with a hand I could have held,’ are lyrics that I take into my heart and act on them, which makes my life so much more satisfied. Knowing that I am helping someone in a specific way brings joy to me and I hope to my Lord.

As the months and years have elapsed since my witness for Christ began, many changes have come over me and many new friends have been added to my life. I have thanked God on many occasions for answering my requests in such a glorious manner. I always thought a confirmation of my love for my Lord would be to influence others to join me in exhibiting those feelings but I was wrong – my God-given duties have surrounded me with gratification and happiness beyond any expectation. My rewards have been tenfold and beyond the fulfillment I anticipated. The Lord has blessed me more than I have affected those to whom I was testifying. My life has gone 110% in a direction that was unexpected. I cannot begin to explain the feelings I have gained from following what God supplied me.

If you are like I was and felt a mission to use your free time in a meaningful gesture, ask our Savior to lead you in that direction. You will be overwhelmed at His answer.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to encourage those reading this devotional to be challenged to eliminate two items from the bottom of their to-do list and use that time to extend extra kindness to those people Jesus puts in their pathway. Help all of us who love and worship you find others who need encouragement and supply it to them as a testimony of our extended faith and love of our Heavenly Father. Amen.

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I am so grateful my friend, Nancy, allowed me to share her devotional on my aTimeinlife blog site. I pray that her personal message of love, faith, and purpose touched your heart in such a way that it inspires you to do just as she has done—using her God-given talents to touch the lives of others in a positive way. I pray we all try to be a blessing unto others as we journey through life. Thank you for your heartfelt testimony, Nancy. Looking forward to sharing more of your thoughts in the future.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2021

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

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LIFE’S TWILIGHT PRAYER

LIFE’S TWILIGHT PRAYER

Lord, the twilight of my life is approaching and I have many questions. Have I done all the things You intended for me to do? Have I done any of them? Are there things yet for me to accomplish—things that are known only to you? Do I have talents that I have not yet discovered or developed? Do I even have the wisdom to understand Your answers to my prayers?

Since there is no “checklist” for me to follow, how am I to know these things? Am I even supposed to know them, or is it left for others to proclaim the merits of my existence after I am gone? Will they say I served You well or will they mourn because of the things I failed to do for You?

Lord, You have blessed me with good health, a comfortable live, and with family and friends I hold dear. For these things, I am truly grateful and give You thanks. Lord, I ask that You help me understand what You would have me do. That You give me the strength to do so, and help me be the person You want me to be in the days ahead. These things I ask of You that I may serve You completely.

I know I must be patient as I await Your answers to my questions that will come in Your perfect timing. May Your will be done.

Amen

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YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN LIFE

“What do you consider one of your greatest achievements in life?”

As you reflect on your achievements in life and try to define one of your greatest, you must realize that achievements fall into one of two categories—earthly and spiritual. You must also understand that there is a relationship between the achievements in these two categories—one isn’t necessarily independent of the other. In fact, spiritual achievements often contribute directly to earthly achievements and enable us to reach success levels greater than had we performed them without any spiritual assistance. To deny that this relationship exists means you are willing to fall short of the maximum level of success possible for some of your greatest achievements on your journey through life.   

One of my greatest earthly achievements spans an era in life between ages fifteen to seventy. I have no doubts that my spiritual achievements helped make this “earthly” achievement much greater than otherwise possible.

The following short story explains the achievement.

++++++THE GIRL++++++

I attended an American Legion baseball game with some friends one night when I was fifteen-years old. My best friend, Billie, already had his driver’s license and owned a car. We piled into his car and he took us to the game.

We sat in the upper rows of the stands having a good time. I played baseball and loved the game, but the others I was with didn’t. Naturally, I was the only one actually trying to watch the game.

It was not long before a small group of young girls came in and sat a few rows in front of us. I hadn’t paid much attention to them because the game had already started. Billie was the lady’s man of our group and noticed the girls right away. I was too focused on the game and minding my own business, as usual.

I could hear my friends talking about the girls sitting in front of us, but I was trying to ignore what they were saying. I looked down a few times and saw the girls chattering also. They definitely had no idea what was happening on the baseball field. I wondered why in the world they even came to the game if they weren’t going to watch the action. I wondered the same thing about my friends.

I continued watching the game, but would glance down at the girls every now and then. I noticed one of them in particular. Then my eyes quickly went back to the game. The game was the reason I came along with my friends anyway. Unfortunately, I had no idea they would be on the prowl for babes at a baseball game.

One of the girls then turned and stared in our direction—the same girl I had noticed earlier. She was not looking at any of us, but at someone sitting behind us. When she turned, I looked directly into her eyes and saw how beautiful she was. She was very animated as she stood up looking and motioning to someone behind us. I could see she was very tall, trim, and without a doubt, very attractive.

I soon began to shift my eyes from the baseball field and looked at the girl more often. At that point I thought, “Heck with baseball, there’s an attractive girl in the stands sitting just eight feet from me.” I had no idea who she was or how old she was. I asked my friends if they knew her, but they didn’t.

I was too chicken to go talk to her. There were too many other girls around her and I was still too shy to make a move. Besides that, she was looking at the dudes behind us and didn’t know we even existed. The game ended and we left the stadium—without the girls.

Someone should have slapped me on the head for not trying to talk to her. I let the most beautiful girl I had ever seen get away without even meeting her. Smart and bold were certainly not things you could call me back in those days. I should have changed that shy-character trait much sooner in my life. I know I could have had a lot more fun while growing up had I done so.

Oh, I am sorry to ramble on. I know you’re not interested in the girl. I bet you just want to know who won the game and what the score was. Guess what—I don’t have a clue! I completely stopped watching the game in about the seventh inning when I focused my attention on the most beautiful girl in the world. Unfortunately, I let her get away without getting her name.

The bottom line of this tale is that my shyness and quiet nature were my own worst enemies. I really needed to work on them to improve my social skills. I had much goodness in my heart to offer others, but it was not evident. Being shy and quite is not always a bad thing, but there needs to be a good balance between also being outgoing and talkative. A blend of each is a perfect combination to have.

I finally began to make the necessary changes. That particular girl experience or lack thereof, was probably the catalyst that finally made me come to the realization that change was necessary. It was time for me to go forth into the world and mingle—make many friends and not limit myself to just a few. People were not going to bite my head off if I joined in, and I certainly had plenty of heart to give. I knew I could do it, but I had to try much harder.

Thank goodness, it didn’t take long for me to learn that making these adjustments would change my life for the better, and I am happy I did. Why, you ask—because “The Girl” I saw at that baseball game when I was fifteen-years old became my wife five years later. I was twenty and she was eighteen—just two kids in love with no idea of what the future would bring or where our journey through life would take us.

God had plans for us before we knew

Wedding Day 1969

The one thing both of us had in common was our greatest spiritual achievement—at a young age, we had accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and had faith He would always be with us as we journeyed through life. I am pleased to say He has done that for many years. You see, we will be celebrating our fiftieth (50th) wedding anniversary in September 2019.

Like all marriages, life was not always easy for us, but the Lord got us through every obstacle we faced. We experienced good times, bad times, trials, tribulations, misfortunes, successes, and much happiness. However, through all those years, it was our faith and belief in God that sustained and strengthened us.

The Lord blessed us with two beautiful children and five grandchildren. My prayer for each of them is that they learn to have faith, trust, and believe in Jesus just as we do. I pray that they too have spiritual achievements that enhance their earthly achievements as they journey through life.

I am truly thankful for the many blessings I have received and know that “With God, All Things Are Possible.” I even wrote a novel about God’s grace that He gives to each of us. All anyone has to do is be willing to accept His blessing

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BLESSING OF GRACE

BLESSING OF GRACE

With Thanksgiving eve now upon us,

I paused to count my many blessings.

As I counted higher and higher,

A sense of sadness came over me.

 

Upon my knees, I began to pray.

Lord, I don’t understand my life for

I have failed you in so many ways.

Yet, You bless me so abundantly.

 

How can this be—a sinner like me?

Your love is far more than I deserve,

And of all the blessings that I have,

The most precious of all is Your Grace!

 

I pray You shine a light on my path,

And guide me to serve You each new day.

Help me touch the lives of those in need

In ways that reveal Your love and grace.

Amen!

Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to all!

Tom Tatum

Author

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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Contact Tom by e-mail at OnGreenDiamonds@gmail.com

EVOLVING HOUR BY HOUR

I am no longer who I once was,
nor am I this day who I will
ultimately become.

I am evolving hour by hour as I face
new challenges each day.

I have faltered many times, which
has taught me humility.

I have soared to lofty places and kissed
the sweet lips of success while keeping
both feet firmly on the ground.

However, with each new low or high
that comes my way, I am blessed to
have had the opportunity to try.

I know God is with me as I take each
step along the path of my journey.

I am comforted knowing God hears
my prayers even when I am unsure
how to express them.

I am blessed each hour of each day.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2020

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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DRINKING FROM MY SAUCER

My mother died in November 2000 and I have missed her every day since. Her kindness and unconditional love for me were much more than I deserved. I was truly blessed to have had her as my mother. I wish I could spend one more day with her for there are so many things I need to tell her. It is because of her love that my cup has overflowed.

I was going through some boxes today and found one labelled “Mom’s Keepsakes.” When I opened the box I found a sheet of paper she had saved. It was a poem I don’t remember ever having read before, but it reminded me of how she lived her life helping others—especially me.

I was truly blessed today and hope the poem speaks to you also.

DRINKING FROM MY SAUCER

I’ve never made a fortune
and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much,
I’m happy anyhow.

And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I don’t have a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going’s tough.
But I’ve got loved ones around me,
and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
’cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.

So God, help me not to gripe about
the tough rows that I’ve hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
when the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings,
I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

                            – John Paul Moore

I hope the poem touched your heart as it did mine. For it is in helping others that we drink from our saucer ’cause our cup has overflowed.

Blessings to all who understand the message and may you be blessed with someone who gives you unconditional love.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

 

A BLESSING FOR YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE

May your dreams be as high as the sky.

May you give your best without a sigh.

May you treat others with great respect.

May friends help you more than you expect.

 

May self-doubt never become your friend.

May willpower sustain you ‘til the end.

May each deep breath you take renew you.

May your path never make you feel blue.

 

May each new day help you grow wiser.

May your thoughts flow forth like a geyser.

May you pause each day to dream awhile.

May all your days end with a warm smile

 

Wishing you the very best each day.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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TWILIGHT OF LIFE PRAYER

Lord, the twilight of my life is upon me. There are truly more sunsets in my past than there are sunsets I have yet to see. Until the light of my final sunset turns to darkness, I have many questions that I prayerfully ask of you.

Have I done all the things you created me to do? Have I done any of them? Are there things I have yet to accomplish—things known only to you? Do I have talents I have not yet discovered or developed to the best of the abilities you gave me? Do I even possess the wisdom to understand your answers to such questions that I send to you each day in my prayers?

How am I to know the answers to these questions? Am I even supposed to know or is it for others to proclaim the merits of my service to you after I am gone? Will they say I served you well or will they mourn because of the many things I failed to do for you?

Lord, you have blessed me with good health and a wonderful life. You surrounded me with family and friends I hold dear. For all these many blessings, and so much more, I am grateful and give you thanks each day.

Lord, I ask that you help me understand what you would have me do in the days yet to come. I pray you help me be the person you created me to be and give me the strength to serve you completely each day in the twilight of my earthly existence.

Amen.

May your twilight of life be a blessing to you and others as you seek answers to many questions and serve God as he would have you do.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

I was attempting to write another short story last week. Unfortunately, my creative juices decided to take leave of my mind, so things weren’t going very well.

In a moment of quite reflection, I asked God if I would ever do anything to help make the world a better place.

Suddenly, as if cued by an invisible force, a photo fell onto the floor from a folder that was resting on the edge of my desk. I picked the photo up and saw that God’s answer to my question was right in front of me. It was a photo of my children and grandchildren.

With a joyful heart, I looked upward and said, “Thank you, Lord! I understand, and I am truly grateful.”

Have you done something to help make the world a better place? If you have, and you know what it was, that’s wonderful! If you’re like me and aren’t sure, ask God. His answer may surprise you.

Be a blessing to others in all you do!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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OLD PHOTOS SPARK MEMORIES OF OUR PAST

Memories of our past are important for they provide gateways that help us understand what we are today. A simple photo from years gone by can spark many memories.

Unfortunately, I don’t have many photos of me from my youth, but the one below brings back many fond memories of the fun I had in this backyard — enough memories to fill the pages of a book.

Yes, I consider myself blessed for having had many wonderful experiences during my childhood. Although those glory days have long since passed, I look forward to watching my youngest of three grandsons play the game I love so much. You know it as baseball. However, baseball is much more than just a game — it’s life being played out on a field…

I was nine-years old when the photo was taken and I had a dream — a dream of playing baseball in the majors. I pursued my dream with passion for many years, hoping to succeed — to be one of the few to beat the odds — to rise above others — to play major league baseball!

Unfortunately, my God given talents did not allow me to attain that lofty dream, or maybe, I just didn’t work hard enough to develop the talents God gave me. Either way, I fell short of my goal. However, my passion for the game lives on — watching my grandsons play the game has brought me joy that replaced my own shortcomings in life. I feel more alive now with every pitch — more alive than in those days long ago — days of experiencing the bitter disappointment of falling short, having to establish new dreams and new goals for my future.

I am grateful that I can now write about my experiences of the past — write about others who now have dreams of their own — dreams that are similar to a nine year old boy growing up in the 50’s and 60’s with the passion to make it happen in the 2010’s and beyond.

My novel, “On Green Diamonds: Pursuing a Dream” was a joy to write because I was sharing my childhood passion with others. The story is fiction, but involves many personal experiences of my past — a young boy’s dreams to do what only a few ever have a chance to do in life. I hope you take the opportunity to read the whole story and have your heartstrings touched by the experiences of “watching” a young boy growing up pursuing his dream.

Maybe the story will even inspire you to spend a few moments reflecting on your own fond memories of long ago. Be grateful for each memory you can recall for they made you who you are today.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2019

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels