Tag Archives: blessings

WHO COULD HE BE?

 

WhoCouldHeBe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passing by a store window today,

I saw a strange man looking at me.

Old and gray, he had nothing to say.

I thought to myself, “Who could he be?

 

He was dressed like me from head to toe.

It shocked me to see him standing there.

I raised my arms to see what he’d do.

He did likewise with a chilling stare.

 

Each movement I made, he did the same.

Why was this old man toying with me?

Was he just playing a silly game?

I thought to myself, “Who could he be?

 

I moved to and fro and turned around.

Each time I looked at the window there,

He was mocking me without a sound.

I grew tired of his stare and gray hair.

 

Then I felt something so very odd,

As if I had been stung by a bee.

It was then I gave him a slight nod,

For I saw clearly, he was just me.

 

I walked away feeling somewhat sad,

For no longer am I a young man.

Years have drifted past, but I’m not mad.

I’ll keep on doing the best I can.

 

Yes, my days are numbered, that’s for sure!

Some things were not meant for me to do.

But through all I have had to endure,

There is nothing I wish to undo.

 

Before I leave, here’s some thoughts for you.

You may be young at this point in time,

But some day your hair will be gray too.

Give your best in life while in your prime.

 

For those who have danced through life like me,

Have no fear for there’s much you can do.

Keep pushing hard and you will soon see,

Some have been blessed by just knowing you.

 

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

 

YOUR LIFE IS A STORYBOOK

We all have a life story to tell, and each story is different—unique, because it’s yours. Stories of things done and not done. Stories of joy, hope, and sadness—each chapter is full of life and begs to be told.

God bless you as you continue living your story.

LifeBook

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

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BE THE ONE

DeedsofOneB2

Tom Tatum – Author of Inspirational/Motivational/Faith-Based Novels

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016

Wishing all a most Happy New Year – 2016! I hope you and those you love find much peace and joy throughout the year. Enjoy each day and be a blessing to others!

HappyNewYr2016

Tom Tatum – Author

BLESSINGS PEACE JOY HOPE

Thank you for following and supporting me and aTimeinLife. Your kindness, comments, and likes on my articles are greatly appreciated.

I wish you the very best in the days ahead and look forward to sharing thoughts with you next year. If you have special topics you would like to see featured on aTimeinLife, please don’t hesitate to let me know. If you like, you can leave a comment or send your thoughts to me in a private email at:

IfTigersWereAngels@gmail.com

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all of you!

Blessings

Peace,

Tom Tatum – Author

I AM THANKFUL

WhenIPray

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

HTCardEveryone

Wishing everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and many blessings!

It is aTimeinLife to give thanks. Enjoy food, family, and friends!

GIVERS AND TAKERS

Professor Stevens stood at the front of his classroom, nodding to each student as they entered the room for his 8:00 AM math class. As the last of the two-hundred students sat down, the smart screen on the wall behind the professor started flashing GIVERS AND TAKERS. The students began whispering to each other, wondering why the professor was displaying such a sign in his math class.

GiversTakers

A loud voice from the rear of the room bellowed, “Professor Stevens, I think you have the wrong graphic displayed on the smart-screen. This isn’t a sociology class—um, is it?!?”

Inquisitive whispers turned into laughter at question. Professor Stevens smiled and replied, “Danny, I’m happy to hear that you think you know where you are at this early hour. I believe there’s hope for you yet, my boy” as the laughter increased a few dozen decibels.

“No, Danny. This isn’t a sociology class, but I want to share an important experiment with all of you today. If you prefer to use math terminology, think of the graphic as PLUSES AND MINUSES in life. I’ll have questions at the end of the lecture, so listen carefully. Your answers may play a significant role in your final semester grade.”

With that comment, silence suddenly filled the room.

Professor Stevens’ Experiment

“I have recently observed many down-on-their-luck folks sitting on sidewalks displaying signs requesting help from strangers who were walking by. You know—signs such as ‘I’m Hungry! Please Help!’ or ‘Need $ For Food’. The vast majority of the strangers walked past briskly, ignoring the signs and those seeking help. Most of them walked past near or in the street and some even looked away to avoid eye contact with the downtrodden individuals.

“I started thinking about this and decided to conduct a little experiment to see how people would respond to me in a similar situation. I dressed in old-tattered clothes and sat on the sidewalk of a busy street on two sequential Fridays. The weather on both days was the same—nice. I displayed one sign in front of me each day.

“On the first Friday, my sign read, ‘I’m Feeling Down! Please Help!’

StoreFrontFeelingDownBW

I was asking complete strangers to help me. Although I didn’t say what kind of help I needed, the vast majority of folks looked away, choosing to ignore me. They responded similar to what I described to you earlier. After sitting quietly for four hours, I had collected a whopping $1.36 in my little tin cup. The money came from three individuals who were dressed just like me. They had very little to offer materially, but they gave what they could with a smile, and even offered a few kind words of support to me. The nicely dressed individuals who passed by had much to offer me materially, but they elected to give me nothing—not even a kind word or a simple smile.

“The sign I used on the second Friday was, ‘Shake My Hand – I’ll Give You $10’.

StoreFrontGive10BW

I was offering something to strangers for a simple gesture, a handshake, and the outcome was completely different this time. Folks were drawn to the sign and me. By the end of the first hour, I had given away $360. Thirty-six people, all dressed in nice attire, stood in line waiting to shake my hand for a $10 bill. Some were likely among those who ignored me the week before. One of the gentleman who contributed $0.53 to me the first Friday stopped by again. He shook my hand, but I couldn’t get him to accept my ten-dollar gift. He wished me well and then walked away. By the end of the second hour, an additional seventy-five people had paused to shake my hand. I ran out of $10 bills at that point and left. By the way, those who received a $10 bill did not thank me, nor did they offer a smile.”

As Professor Stevens ended his lesson, the smart screen displayed, “GIVERS AND TAKERS – WHICH DESCRIBES YOU?

GiversTakersWhich

“Okay, Danny, since you so bravely challenged whether this was a math class, here’s a math problem for you. How many people received $10 from me?

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Professor Stevens’ simple experiment offers many points for discussion—some are obvious and others, not so much. Sorta makes you think about where we are today as a society, doesn’t it?

Are you a TAKER? Well, we all are at times, but we don’t have to be that way in all cases. Consider being a GIVER sometimes. It’s easy to do. Share a smile, speak kindly to someone, or simply do something nice for others—such things don’t cost you and you just might brighten someone’s day.

If you are a GIVER in any way, thank you. You are a blessing to others and just aced Professor Stevens’ math class. Congratulations!

Please share your thoughts on any points about Givers/Takers that interest you.

Bless you and have a nice day!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

THROUGH THE EYES OF MY HEART

During my teen and young adult years, my mind sometimes ignored things my eyes saw. Back then, my little corner of the world was the most important thing to me, and there didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for anything else. As the years continued to pass, I managed to grow in wisdom and now see similar things, but in a different way—through the eyes of my heart.

EyesBW

You see, there was a time in life when I thought my family was at the center of the universe. I was living in a “me-me-me” world of selfishness, like many folks tend to do at times. I thought I was a good person, but there were times when I complained about insignificant things in life like:

  • being uncomfortable while sleeping in my own bed on a cold-winter’s night… then I saw a homeless man sleeping on a park bench wearing tattered clothes and no shoes
  • wearing glasses to restore my vision to 20/20… then I saw a blind man who was wearing a smile upon his face while whistling a cheerful tune as he walked by
  • my old aching legs… then I saw a man who had no legs, yet he was laughing while playing catch in the yard with his son
  • forgetting little, insignificant things… then I spoke to a friend who no longer remembers my name or the good times we once shared

I could continue my list of shallow complaints, but I’m sure you get the point. There are folks around us who are less fortunate than many of us, yet they are not complaining.

As I reflect on my poor-pitiful-me complaints, I have deep regrets for missing the opportunities I had to help others. A simple smile, kind gesture, or just saying hello could have made a small difference in someone’s day. I now see the plight of others with my heart and my mind understands how fortunate I am. I have so many blessings to be thankful for—far too numerous to count. Though some may seem small, each is a gift from God, and definitely much more than I deserve. I am truly blessed!

Now, I pray—Lord, I am grateful for the many gifts You have bestowed upon me. I ask that You give me the strength, courage, and desire to extend a helping hand to others who are in need while asking nothing of them in return. Help me to be a better person, and allow me to shine Your light upon others. For no matter the hurdles I encounter along my path, cheerfully supporting others I see on my journey is one of the greatest blessings I could ever receive. Amen.

HelpingHand

Acts 20:35 (NIV)

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

John 3:17 (NIV)

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

THE WRONG QUESTION

It was a time in life long ago in a land far away when I first asked The Wrong Question. The year was 1974; I was a twenty-five-year-old first lieutenant in the USAF. My eighteen-month assignment to the small, remote village of Woomera, South Australia was just two weeks from ending when the fragility of life knocked on my door. The events that transpired in those final days rocked the foundation of my faith.

SouthAustralia

WoomeraVilliageTwit

My pregnant wife and one-year-old daughter accompanied me to the Australian outback. We felt it was a great opportunity for us to experience life abroad. The scenery, unusual wildlife, and the Aussie people we met did not disappoint us. We were on top of the world, figuratively speaking, in the land down under, where kangaroo-crossing signs stood along the roadside as a warning to drivers. My second daughter was even born in Woomera, which is story in itself for another time.

KangarooCrossing

Although we had enjoyed living in Australia for seventeen months, we were excited about returning home to the States—just two weeks remained. Suddenly, without any warning, our happy little world came crashing down around us. Our three-year-old daughter started having difficulty breathing during the wee hours of the night. I carried her in my arms to the small hospital because we had recently sold our car. In the few minutes it took to walk there, her difficulty breathing appeared to be getting much worse. I was in ultra-panic mode!

When the doctor examined her, he said there was nothing he could do for her in Woomera. The remote medical facility was simply not equipped to handle someone in her critical condition. What? Critical? She was perfectly fine when she went to bed! The doctor offered little hope that she would survive; his facial expression alarmingly displayed his sense of desperation. Typical of most fathers, I would have given anything to change places with my daughter, but that was not an option.

Australian Flying DrThe Flying Doctor Service airlifted my daughter to a civilian hospital located in the city of Adelaide, over three-hundred miles away. I became even more frustrated when told I couldn’t accompany her on the flight. This was definitely the scariest experience of my young life, but things were going to get worse.

Things were happening extremely fast—my head was spinning! I tried to gather my wits in efforts to figure out how I could get us to Adelaide. First, I humbled myself and asked the young Australian couple if I could borrow the car I had just sold them, which they graciously allowed me to do. Then we had to find someone to keep our second daughter while we were in Adelaide for an unknown duration. A neighbor quickly obliged. Next came getting permission from my commanding officer to allow me to go to Adelaide, which he did without hesitation.

We began the long-slow journey not knowing what we would find when we arrived at the hospital. Ahead of us was eighty miles of dirt road before we reached a small two-lane-paved road outside of Port Augusta that would lead us into Adelaide. We were scared and felt helpless knowing our daughter was in the hospital gasping for each breath. We had many hours to reflect on our situation.

We started asking “WHY” God would allow something like this happen to our precious daughter. She was just an innocent little girl who had done nothing wrong. Then we wondered “WHY” God would punish her for something we may have done. We started questioning our faith and belief in God at a time when we needed Him most. WHYThe question “WHY” kept entering our conversation, but we continued praying. Fear of the unknown was consuming us with each mile we travelled. We kept asking “WHY” He would allow something like this happen to our daughter. WHY?!! WHY?!!

When we arrived at the hospital, a nurse escorted us to the ICU area. The sight we saw was one I’ll never forget. My daughter was still with us, but there were tubes and monitors all around her; she was fighting hard to stay alive. We didn’t know if her next breath would be her last, and prayed that it wouldn’t. The fear of losing our precious child was overwhelming.

Our daughter was in the hands of total strangers in a land halfway around the world from our native land. There were no friends, family, or military personnel to comfort us; we were all alone in a great big world. We prayed; we doubted; we bargained; we prayed harder, asking God to spare our daughter and return her to good health. We were completely exhausted from lack of sleep, food, and the mounting fear—we were numb!

PrayingHands

News of the clear and present danger a young American couple was facing with their child spread throughout the hospital. A pastor came by to prepare us for what might happen. Still searching for answers, we asked him our “WHY” questions.

He responded with the gentle kindness of a man of cloth and reminded us that asking God “WHY” was the wrong question. People have and will continue to ask such questions, but no human possesses the wisdom to answer them. We have to accept the cliché that “sometimes, bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people” for reasons known only to God. We must remain steadfast in our faith and place all of our burdens in God’s hands—we should never stop believing and praying. We won’t always get what we pray for because God knows what’s best for us. He has plans for each of us and is always there for us. He reveals His plans to us in His perfect timing.

To say we felt wonderful after talking to the pastor would be a bit dishonest, but he did give us a thread of hope. We continued to pray numerous times each day. More than a week passed before our daughter started improving and ultimately recovered. A true blessing!

To this day, we do not know the answers to our “WHY” questions, but we thank God for sparing our daughter. We have received many blessings from Him since that experience and understand God’s gift of grace. Our faith has grown stronger.

I share this story with the knowledge that many parents ask the same “WHY” questions but don’t always experience the same outcome we did. I know many parents who have lost a child, and my heart goes out to each of them. Having come close to losing my child, I can only imagine how difficult it was for them to move forward with their lives. What I do know is that those who do move on have true faith in God; their knowledge of His love is a blessing that some may never come to understand.

Life can change in a flash, but those who believe and have true faith in God are equipped to handle whatever challenges come their way. They know they Never Walk Alone!

Never Walk Alone Twit

Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Romans 8:28 (NIV) 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor   LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

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

Father’s Day Message

GabeSrJr

Father’s Day Message

If you are fortunate to have your dad living nearby, go visit him and cherish every moment you have together. Life moves too fast to do otherwise. If you live too far away to visit, don’t forget to give him a call, even if it’s just to say, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you.” You will warm his heart and make him smile.

However, if you are like me and your dad is no longer with you, think about the good times you shared with him. Remember when he taught you how to ride a bicycle; the many times he sat in the stands cheering you on; how he encouraged you to be the best you could be; when he did those silly little things just to make you laugh, and all the many things he did to help you become who you are today.

I think about my dad often, and thank him for the things he did for me, but more importantly, I thank him for ALL the things he did WITH me. It’s hard to believe it has been thirty-five years.

I hope you feel the same way about your dad as I do mine. If you do, you have/had a great one! Feel blessed!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads out there!

Tom Tatum – Author

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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