Tag Archives: life lessons

LIFE’S STORMS AND RAINBOWS

You or someone you know will likely suffer the wrath of storms at some point in life. I’ve experienced them—as a victim and as a witness to the struggles of others. Storms play a significant role in our lives, no matter where we are on our journey.

The storms we experience during the Christmas season tend to magnify the pain of our agony because many of the people we see scurrying about are feeling cheerful and merry, which is wonderful for them, but does little to bring happiness to us.

It’s natural during the midst of our storms that we find it hard to look on the brighter side and realize better days are to come—hopefully, sooner rather than later. However, that’s exactly what we should do because, in addition to the turbulent waters, every storm in life also brings a rainbow—a sign of good that is to come—peace.

Unfortunately, we often miss seeing the rainbow because we are temporarily too focused on the storm and continue to struggle. Most of us often ask, “Why me, Lord?” when we should really be asking, “Lord, how do You want me to use this storm to serve You.”

So, with this in mind, I want to share this RAINBOW BLESSING with each of you—family, friends, connections, and followers in hopes all your storms are small and your rainbows are bright.

RAINBOW BLESSING

May All Your…

…fears fade into courage.

…hopes blossom into reality.

…doubts turn into good results.

…efforts strengthen your faith.

…storms end with rainbows.

…deeds bring others joy.

…efforts give you peace.

…days be bright!

May God bless you and yours with rainbows during this CHRISTmas season and give you a Happy New Year!

Peace,

Tom Tatum – 2017

Writer, Author, Blogger

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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Quote

TRUTH CAN SET YOU FREE

It takes courage to ask questions when the answers may hurt deeply, but it is better to know the truth and move on than to live in a fantasy world fearing what may not even exist. The truth, good or bad, can set you free.

Seek the truth and be blessed,

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

thetruth

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Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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TEACH CHILDREN TO LOVE

“We come into this world
without knowledge of
love or hate. We learn
such things as we grow
by watching the actions
and hearing the words
of others around us.
What you teach children
is up to you, but I hope
you are teaching them
to love others.”

TeachChildren

 

 

 

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

 

JOURNEY TO LIFE’S SUMMIT

JourneyToLifesSummit

As I sat quietly pondering life—past, present, and future, I thought about the mountain(s) we face as we journey through life. Yes, life is like climbing a mountain to the summit. Some folks may climb more than one in their lifetime, but all of us have at least one.

Although there are many paths leading to life’s summit, we want to choose the best one. We research the possibilities, seek advice, and try to plan the perfect route in order to minimize the difficulties we may face along the way. The cliffs, slippery slopes, and many unknown dangers that may be encountered along the way make the decision difficult, but when we finally decide on the “ideal” path, it’s time to start climbing.

Most folks start in the valley and work their way up to the summit by taking one-step at a time. Sometimes what we visualized as we were making plans is not the path we actually traverse. We often must make midcourse adjustments and hear our internal GPS voice saying, “Recalculating!” However, we must not let that voice frustrate us because, as cited earlier, there are multiple paths that will lead to the summit.

The journey may be difficult and some days will be better than others, but we must stay the course. It takes discipline, courage, and endurance to make it to life’s summit, but you must keep climbing—it’s your mountain—your challenge in life and no one can do it for you.

The closer you get to the summit, the more difficult the climb becomes, which can be frustrating. You work hard, but the summit doesn’t appear to get any closer. The secret is not to look at how far you are from the summit, but to thank God each day for how far you’ve come from the valley below.

JOURNEY TO LIFE’S SUMMIT

I stood in the valley looking up.

There before me my summit rose high.

Covered with snow, it seemed far away,

But the journey there is mine they say.

 

I started to climb as a young child.

I sensed no danger and had no fear.

All I saw was beauty all around,

And the world I saw was my playground.

 

With the first plateau beneath my feet,

I looked back to see from where I came.

My childhood days passed like a warm breeze,

And teen years of life appeared with ease.

 

Even though my path grew steeper here,

Climbing seemed much easier for me.

I grew stronger with each step I took,

With impatience, my whole body shook.

 

On plateau number two, I stood tall.

Life had changed, for I became a man.

No longer able to be carefree,

For two kids I bounce upon my knee.

 

The sights before me are different now,

For I have reached plateau number three.

My kids now grown with kids of their own,

But warm thoughts of them still linger on.

 

As I stopped on plateau number four,

My path had narrowed and fear moved in.

I stood on ice with no trees to see,

And clouds concealed my valley below.

 

I’ve come a long way through thick and thin.

Each year has been filled with ups and downs!

Though I had more that I wished to say,

The cold damp air was too harsh this day.

 

My family has grown smaller with time,

As God called loved ones to be with Him.

But some have left without a goodbye,

For never did we see eye-to-eye.

 

Things are not the same in this high place,

But Frost did write, “I have miles to go…”

Doubts grow as my summit draws near,

And I wonder if I’ll find peace there.

 

The air I breathe is somewhat thin as

Light shines bright from my summit above.

I thank God for showing me the way,

And pray He will guide me through each day.

 

My journey near done, I wish for you,

That your days on earth be full of joy,

That the paths you choose are always true,

And for God’s light to shine upon you.

 

As you stand tall upon your summit,

Cast your eyes to the valley below,

For you climbed the mountain meant for you,

Which many said you could never do.

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Do you know where this monument is located?

JourneyToLifesSummit1

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

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PURSUING YOUR DREAMS

A bit of inspiration for today!

PursuingYourDream

Most people have dreams of things they want to do or become in life. They set goals and work hard trying to make those dreams come true. The bigger the dream; the harder it is to accomplish,

No matter the size of the one’s dream, there will come aTimeinLife when things go awry. It happens in the real world! Those who succeed find a way to get back on the proper path and continue their journey. They are willing to do everything they can to make their dream(s) become reality. They are committed and know that holding on to their dreams is the best thing they can do.

No matter how grim things may seem, if the dream is important to you, don’t ever let go! There will come a day when you will be glad you kept pursuing your dreams.

Wishing you the best in making your dreams come true!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

Novels:

(1) On Green Diamonds: Pursuing a Dream

(2) If Tigers Were Angels: With God, All Things Are Possible

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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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

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“HOME PLATE” – COACH JOHN SCOLINOS

My good friend (Claire S.) recently shared this wonderful article with me. It’s a powerful message about coaching, parenting, and life. Well worth reading! Enjoy the message from Coach Scolinos.

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In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

Homeplate 17 Inches

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause.

“Coaches …”

Pause.

” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.

“… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

(copied post – author unknown)

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Don’t widen the plate! Accountability in life is a must! Everything we do in life has consequences.

If you are interested in reading a story about a young boy learning life-lessons as he pursues his dream to play baseball, I invite you to read ON GREEN DIAMONDS: Pursuing a Dream. It’s a good story for readers from preteen to grandparents, and all coaches. Available on Amazon.com

Have a great day!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

I’LL DO IT TOMORROW

Have you ever said, I’ll do it tomorrow? I certainly have—many times! We usually have good intentions when we say it, but we also know “the road to ‘wherever’ is paved with good intentions.”

The “I’ll do it tomorrow” thing got me thinking. We don’t expect that delaying seemingly minor things until tomorrow will have a dramatic impact on our lives. Unfortunately, they can—when we least expect it!

AngerSundown

This short story about a young couple is a good example of a minor situation turning into major event. It happens!

Three Little Words

John and Beth love each other and plan to get married in the near future. Like many couples, they sometimes argued about insignificant things, but usually managed to resolve their differences with a kiss, followed by three little words, “I love you.”

Last night’s argument was a bit different though. Things didn’t go very well. The harsh words exchanged about a minor issue made both of them angry; John left Beth’s apartment abruptly. There was no goodnight kiss and neither said those three little words. This had never happened before.

After hours of waiting anxiously for John to call with an apology, Beth finally went to bed. Unfortunately, John did the same. Both wanted to tell the other how sorry they were. They even reached for their phone many times, but decided to wait until tomorrow to make the call.

With heavy hearts from the previous night’s argument, John and Beth headed off to work the next day. Neither took time to call the other to say, “I’m sorry for what I said last night. Please forgive me. I love you!”

Beth had a busy morning with a desk full of paperwork, but her focus was on her cell phone, wishing John would call. She just wanted to hear the voice that always caused her heart to melt—just three little words from him would brighten her day.

As if queued by her growing despair, Beth’s phone started ringing with her favorite tone and John’s photo on display.

Beth answered, “Hi, Sweetheart! I’m so happy you called because I have so much to say to you about last night. I lov…”

“Hello, ma’am. I’m sorry, but this is Silvia Smoak. I need to speak to Beth Brown, please.”

Confused by the unexpected female voice using John’s phone, Beth said, “This, um, um—this is she. To whom am I speaking?”

“Miss Brown, I’m Silvia Smoak, head nurse in the emergency room at Quincy Medical Center. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Mr. John Clark?”

“Yes, I do. He’s my fiancé. Why are you using John’s phone?”

“Miss Brown, I am so sorry I have to tell you this, but Mr. Clark was involved in a work-related accident this morning.”

“Oh, no! Is John okay?”

“No, ma’am. Mr. Clark…”

Silvia heard a loud noise followed by an eerie silence, as if Beth had dropped the phone.

“Miss Brown, are you still there? Miss Brown, Miss Brown…”

“Hello, this is Becky. I’m Beth’s friend. She just ran out of the office screaming, “John! Accident! Quincy Medical! Who is this, and what’s going on?”

“Becky, this is Nurse Silvia Smoak at Quincy Medical. I’m not at liberty to speak to anyone other than Miss Brown at this time. I’ll explain everything to her when she arrives at the emergency room.”

Beth entered the emergency room.

“Miss Brown? Hi, I’m Silvia Smoak. I called you earlier because I found your name as the emergency contact on Mr. Clark’s cell phone…”

“Where is John? What happened? Is he okay? I want to see him!”

“Miss Brown, please have a seat and I’ll explain everything to you.”

“I don’t need to sit down; I’m fine! Take me to John!”

“Miss Brown, I’m so sorry to inform you that Mr. Clark did not survive the accident. He di…”

“No! He can’t be—I didn’t tell him, I…,” shouted Beth as she collapsed into Nurse Smoak’s arms.

“I need some help here!” shouted Nurse Smoak.

“Miss Brown—Miss Brown, can you hear me?”

Still groggy, Beth replied, “Yes. Where’s John?”

Miss Brown, I know this is shocking news…”

“Wait! I know! This is one of John’s silly pranks, isn’t it? He likes to play silly games with me.”

“No, Miss Brown. I wish it were a prank. You see, Mr. Clark was involved in an explosion and our attempts to revive him proved unsuccessful. He succumbed to his injuries a short time ago. I’m so sorry.”

The reality of John’s demise hit Beth hard and she started crying uncontrollably as Nurse Smoak continued consoling her.

“Miss Brown, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how difficult this must be for you. Is there anyone I can call for you?”

“I, I don’t know— John’s parents are deceased. I can’t believe he’s… Why did this happen to John?”

“Miss Brown, I wasn’t trying to invade your privacy, but when I looked on Mr. Clark’s cell phone for whom to contact in case of an emergency, I saw an unsent text message meant for you. I’m sure you will want to read it. His message may give you some much needed comfort.”

With tears flowing down her cheeks, Beth began reading John’s text message.

“Hi, Sweetheart! Just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for leaving you the way I did last night. I was wrong and should have been more understanding. I can’t wait to hold you in my arms tonight! I LOVE YOU! XOXOXO”

JohnsText

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Life is complicated and can change in the blink of an eye. Beth is now fully aware of the consequences that can come from waiting until tomorrow to do things. If there is something you should say or do today, don’t put it off until TOMORROW. Living life with regrets can be more painful than swallowing one’s pride today.

Proverbs 27:1

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Ephesians 4:26

…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…

I hope you never find yourself in a situation similar to Beth’s, so try to remember this:

Yesterday is now the past,

And Tomorrow may never be.

Do all things you must Today,

So regrets don’t come your way.

God’s blessings to you and yours!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2016

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor  LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

WAVES OF KINDNESS

EachDrop

Tom Tatum – Author of Faith-based Novels

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author.tomtatum

EXPERIENCING TENSION?

TensionMessage1A

Searching for good stories to read that will reduce TENSION in your life? Stories that will help you relax, smile, and forget your worries? Stories that will lift your spirits and reduce stress?

Well, search no more—solutions await at

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

You’re already on the internet, so what do you have to lose? It will be time well spent! Check it out for yourself—you deserve to be TENSION free!

THANK YOU and YOU’RE WELCOME!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels

AND THE EDITOR SAID…

I received the following comment from the editor who worked on my manuscript ON GREEN DIAMONDS: PURSUING A DREAM. The editor did not have to send the comments to me, nor did he/she receive additional compensation for doing so. Yes, the editor also made some helpful suggestions that enhanced the story, which were incorporated into the published novel. Nice to work with someone who appreciates the content of a story and is willing to share their thoughts! Feeling blessed!

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Editor

“The manuscript was a joy to read and it warmed the heart. The straightforward way of telling the story was great, and it was pretty much on point—some stories go into tangents, but this one never does, so the narrative felt solid throughout. It was well written and easy to read, qualities which are always a plus. Thank you for sharing this story. I enjoyed it very much. All the best!”

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ON GREEN DIAMONDS FRONT

Unfortunately, due to my publisher’s internal policies, I cannot reveal the name of the editor who shared the comments without getting him/her reprimanded. However, the manuscript is now a published novel and is available for purchase from the majority of online bookstores. Get a copy and see if the editor got it right. The book comes in paperback, hardback, and eBook formats.

As always, I thank you for your support—enjoy the story. Please don’t forget to share your honest comments!

Blessings,

Tom Tatum – Author – 2015

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

Facebook page: Tom Tatum novels