A Hope for a Normal Day

All over the world, there are masses of displaced, homeless people who are not having their normal days.  They have fled their homes and left their normal lives behind them.  Their normal days and routines are disrupted, and their days may never be the same again.

War or natural disasters such as fires, floods, drought, famine, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., has displaced multitudes.  A rapidly declining global economy, where  employment or a decent, living wage is difficult to find, has displaced yet more people.  I am certain these people, as well as many others, can relate to the following quotation from the book Yes World, written by Mary Jean Orion:

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

“Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day…I shall want more than all the world for your return.”

If we have a normal day today and have our basic needs, let us not pass this day by in quest of some rare or perfect tomorrow.  Instead, let us enjoy and be grateful for this normal day; and at the same time, pray for and do what we can to help others who do not the opportunity to have a day like ours.

I love the lyrics to a Christian song that say:

“There’s a roof up above me.  I’ve a good place to sleep.  There’s food on my table, and shoes on my feet.  You gave me your love Lord and a fine family. Thank you Lord for your blessings on me…   I know I’m not wealthy, and these clothes are not new, and I don’t have much money…Thank you Lord for your blessings on me.”   If you would like to listen to the song, click on the YouTube link below.

count your blessings

Today I am counting my blessings.  What about you?


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A Hope from a Rainbow

In Abrahamic religions, a rainbow is a reminder of the promises of God, which give hope to so many people throughout the world.

The first appearance of a rainbow recorded in Judeo-Christian Scripture is in the Old Testament book of Genesis. Subsequent to the story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, God places a rainbow in the sky as a token of His covenant. That covenant is a promise He makes to humanity to never flood the entire earth again.

During the current month of September 2015, I noticed that there has been a lot of media coverage about rainbows that appeared in various parts of the United States. These rainbows appeared at times or during events when a mass of people could notice them:

On September 10th , a day before the fourteenth anniversary of 911, a double rainbow appeared in the New York skyline:


On September 19th a large rainbow appeared over the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, the site of a September 18th memorial tribute to Wayne Dyer, bestselling author and humanitarian.


On September 25th during Pope Francis’ visit to New York City, a rainbow appeared in Central Park before Pope Francis arrived. A rainbow also appeared over East Harlem when Pope Francis met with children there.

On September 26th Pope Francis conducted a mass in Philadelphia at the Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, where a rainbow also appeared.


On September 30th, in addition to the month’s unusual rainbow appearances in the United States, a spectacular rainbow appeared over Cozumel Island, off the coast of Mexico.  http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/wonder/spectacular-rainbow-alights-skies-over-mexicos-cozumel-island/vi-AAeXIhI

At such a perilous time in history, is God trying to remind people of His promises? Or is He trying to remind people He will never flood the entire earth again? Or are these appearances of rainbows merely coincidental and mean absolutely nothing? Or can just the sight of a beautiful rainbow in the clouds make people happy and fill them with hope?

Beloved poet and teacher Maya Angelou spoke about a 19th century, African-American song that says, “When it look like the sun wasn’t gonna shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds.” Maya then told about the many people God had placed in her life as rainbows in her clouds. She explained how, even though many of those kind people were long-deceased, she still invited all her rainbows to come with her when she made public appearances. She said this ritual gave her strength and an awareness that she was not alone.


Maya encouraged her listeners “to prepare to be a rainbow in someone else’s clouds”. So, no matter what you believe about all the recent, rainbow appearances in the United States, there are always plenty of opportunities to become  rainbows of strength and hope in someone’s cloud.

Even though Wayne Dyer and Maya Angelou are both deceased and are greatly missed, they have been and will continue to be rainbows in people’s clouds.  The majority of people will not be able to do what these two humanitarians did, but all people can do what Maya encouraged, “Be a blessing. Just be a blessing.”

Rainbow in the Clouds Song – Maya Angelou Tribute:

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A Hope in The Language of DNA

Scientist Greg Braden, who is well-known for his many books and teachings about the connection between science and spirituality, has spent many years studying ancient civilizations:  their cultures, beliefs, languages, religions/spirituality, historical records, calendars, etc.  He has lived in remote places, among people in countries all over the world, in search of the oldest, most untainted records of these ancient civilizations.

Several years ago, in a hope to find scientific evidence of the unity of all Creation, Greg Braden began working with a team of scientists in their research and study of DNA.  This research team has already been successful in uncovering, what they believe is a secret, Divine pattern that lies hidden in the genetic code of all life.

These scientists have discovered that the numbers in DNA’s genetic code correlate with the number values of letters in the core, ancient languages. Using the corresponding letters in place of their respective numbers in the genetic code, the scientists have already uncovered and decoded the first layer of what Greg Braden calls an intentional message written within the genetic code of all life.

The English translation of the first layer of this intentional message is “God Eternal within the body”.   These scientists continue to decode the language and messages hidden in other layers of DNA.

I commend and am grateful for Greg Braden and his team of research scientists who continue their work in finding scientific evidence of the unity of all Creation.  People who believe in the unity of all Creation do not give up their cultural, religious, or spiritual beliefs.  Their beliefs expand.

I believe the more people recognize and accept the oneness of all Creation, the more people will be able to nurture, love, and have compassion for the Universe and all its inhabitants.

Even though many people  from diverse spiritual backgrounds may already have an awareness that “God Eternal is within the body”, this scientific evidence may verify and strengthen their faith and hope.  For those who have been uncertain about a Divine Being, these discoveries may give them a renewed hope to continue their search for answers about their belief.

Could it be that a Divine Higher Intelligence, a Divine Creator, placed The Creator’s designer label within the DNA of all Creation, so that all people and all Creation know who designed them?

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A Hope for Why We Are Here

If you or someone you love has ever questioned, “Why am I here?”, Recording Artist Alicia Keys wrote beautiful lyrics for a song she sings that I believe gives an answer to this question.  The words in Alicia’s song could be an answer for all of us who have ever questioned, “Why are we here?” 

The YouTube video below is a recording of The Today Show during which Alicia performs her song, “We Are Here”, which she wrote after someone asked her the profound question, “Why Are You Here?”

Suicide often occurs because people have lost hope or fail to see a purpose or reason for their lives.  Alicia gives a simple reason for why we are here, and that reason alone can serve as a purpose and a hope for people’s lives.

Please listen to the words and music to this beautiful song, and leave a COMMENT with your answer to the question, “Why Are You Here?”  Let’s get a dialogue started on this post.  Then, after answering the question, you may want to share this post with others you know. You might also want to read and share similar posts on this site such as:

A Hope for A Connected Life at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/05/a-hope-for-a-connected-life/
A Hope for Global Thinkers at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/02/12/a-hope-for-global-thinkers-2/
A Hope for Freedom at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/31/a-hope-for-freedom/
A Hope in Human Diversity at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/13/a-hope-in-human-diversity/
A Hope to Save the Planet: http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/03/03/a-hope-to-save-the-planet/
A Hope from Sandpipers: Unity at http://ahopefortoday.com/2011/12/21/a-hope-from-sandpipers/
A Hope for Usefulness: http://ahopefortoday.com/2011/12/20/a-hope-for-an-empty-pot/
Hug Award Guidelines: http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/14/hope-unites-globally-hug-award-guidelines/

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A Hope from a Birth Song

With a hope to celebrate and honor each of the children of their tribe, one African tribe sings each child’s unique birth song to him/her throughout his/her entire life.

Prior to a child’s birth, the mother of the child is the first one to hear and learn her unborn child’s birth song.

When a woman wants to have a child, she leaves her village and goes off somewhere by herself. She sits down under a tree, and she listens until she hears the song of her unborn child. She then returns to the village to teach her child’s birth song to the man who will be the child’s father. Together, as they are conceiving the child, they sing the child’s birth song to invite the child to its birth.

Prior to a child’s birth, the child’s mother, the child’s father, and the midwives and old women of the village learn the child’s birth song. Later, when the mother is birthing the child, the child is warmly greeted and welcomed into the world by the midwives and old women who sing to him his birth song.

As the child grows up, the entire village learns to sing the child’s birth song, and; therefore, each child continues to hear his unique song throughout his life — when he is hurt, when he is wonderful, and when he goes through puberty. Later, during his marriage ceremony, he sings his own birth song.

The villagers sing the child’s birth song for the last time as the child is dying.

I believe the children of this African tribe are very blessed. The people of the village bless their children every time they sing their birth songs to them. The saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is very applicable to this village because they truly help raise each of their children.

What a wonderful tradition this is, and what a wonderful way to celebrate and honor each child’s worth and place in her tribe, village, or community.

“People take on the shapes of the songs and the stories that surround them, especially if they don’t have their own song.”  ―    Neil Gaiman,    Anansi Boys

As a former family violence prevention program coordinator and Olweus bullying prevention trainer, I question if a child’s self-esteem and social emotional learning skills could be changed forever by hearing a village or community sing her birth song throughout her entire life.

Could people awakened to know that children are their greatest resource sing children’s birth songs as a tool to build a community…an awakened community in which the repetitious singing of children’s birth songs help abolish hate, prejudice, and violence?

I question, “In a world where we don’t even know the names of our neighbors’ children, what could be the global impact of knowing and singing children’s birth songs?”

I wish I would have known about the birth song tradition before each of my children was born. I would have loved to have given each of them a birth song. That is why, before I wrote this article today, I sent each of my children the link to the YouTube video below.

I urge other parents to do the same for each of their children. Some may also decide to send a birth song to other children they know, especially orphaned, abandoned, neglected, or emotionally, mentally, or sexually abused children. I urge you to find a song, a poem, etc. that will help each child/person know how special she is, or find something that tells each of them what you wish for him. Then send it or give it to each person.

During this holiday season, such a birth song could be an awesome, life-changing gift for someone you love. This gift could make a real difference in a person’s life.

As a way to honor Christ’s birth, those of you who celebrate Christmas may also enjoy sharing one of Christ’s birth songs, which were known to the prophets and/or his parents before his birth.

YouTube video with Rascal Flatts singing “My Wish”.

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Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community New World Library

A Hope in The Art of Blessing

Because humanity has learned there is much hope in the art of blessing things and people, many ethnicities, cultures, and religions around the world share this art.  The words in the following photo are an example of an Irish blessing.

Blessing is also a core Biblical concept, and The God of Israel actually told the people of Israel that they could choose between life and death, good and evil, and blessing and cursing.

If choosing God’s blessing is a personal choice, then blessing other things and other people is also a personal choice.

Even though people cannot always verbally bless others, people can always bless others in their thoughts, prayers, attitudes, and actions.

At a time in history when schools are beginning to forbid children to say “bless you” when another child sneezes, the art of blessing others is important to teach our children and grandchildren.

The following content about blessing things and people is copied with permission from a little book called The Aloha Spirit by Serge Kahili King:

“To bless something means to give recognition or emphasis to a positive quality, characteristic or condition, with the intent that what is recognized or emphasized will increase, endure or come into being…”

“First of all, the positive focus of your mind stirs up the positive, creative force of the Power of the Universe. Secondly, it moves your own energy outward, allowing more of the Power to come through you.

Thirdly, when you bless for the benefit of others instead of directly for yourself, you tend to bypass any subconscious fears about what you want for yourself, and also the very focus on the blessing acts to increase the same good in your life.

What is so beautiful about this process is that the blessing you do for others helps them as well as you.

Blessing may be done with imagery or touch, but the most usual and easy way to do it is with words. The main kinds of verbal blessing are:

Admiration – This is the giving of compliments or praise to something good that you notice. E.g., “What a beautiful sunset; I like that flower; you’re such a wonderful person.”

Affirmation – This is a specific statement of blessing for increase or endurance. E.g., “I bless the beauty of this tree; blessed be the health of your body.”

Appreciation – This is an expression of gratitude that something good exists or has happened. E.g., “Thank you for helping me; I give thanks to the rain for nourishing the land.”

Anticipation – This is blessing for the future. E.g., “We’re going to have a great picnic; I bless your increased income; Thank you for my perfect mate; I wish you a happy journey; May the wind be always at your back.”

In order to gain the most benefit from blessing, you will have to give up or cut way down on the one thing that negates it: cursing. This doesn’t mean swearing or saying “bad” words.

It refers to the opposite of blessing, namely criticizing instead of admiring; doubting instead of affirming; blaming instead of appreciating; and worrying instead of anticipating with trust.

Whenever any of these are done they tend to cancel out some of the effects of blessing. So the more you curse the harder it will be and the longer it will take to get the good from a blessing. On the other hand, the more you bless the less harm any cursing will do.

Here, then, are some ideas for blessing various needs and desires. Apply them as often as you like, as much as you want.

Health – Bless healthy people, animals, and even plants; everything which is well made or well constructed; and everything that expresses abundant energy.

Happiness – Bless all that is good, or the good that is in all people and all things; all the signs of happiness that you see, hear or feel in people or animals; and all potentials for happiness that you notice around you.

Prosperity – Bless all the signs of prosperity in your environment, including everything that money helped to make or do; all the money that you have in any form; and all the money that circulates in the world.

Success – Bless all signs of achievement and completion (such as buildings, bridges, and sports events); all arrivals at destinations (of ships, planes, trains, cars and people); all signs of forward movement or persistence; and all signs of enjoyment or fun.

Confidence – Bless all signs of confidence in people and animals; all signs of strength in people, animals and objects (including steel and concrete); all signs of stability (like mountains and tall trees); and all signs of purposeful power (including big machines, power lines).

Love and Friendship – Bless all signs of caring and nurturing, compassion and support; all harmonious relationships in nature and architecture; everything that is connected to or gently touching something else; all signs of cooperation, as in games or work; and all signs of laughter and fun.

Inner Peace – Bless all signs of quietness, calmness, tranquility, and serenity (such as quiet water or still air); all distant views (horizons, stars, the moon); all signs of beauty of sight, sound or touch; clear colors and shapes; the details of natural or made objects.

Spiritual Growth – Bless all signs of growth, development and change in Nature; the transitions of dawn and twilight; the movement of sun, moon, planets and stars; the flight of birds in the sky; and the movement of wind and sea.

The previous ideas are for guidance if you are not used to blessing, but don’t be limited by them. Remember that any quality, characteristic or condition can be blessed…”

There is an old Christian hymn that says, “Count your blessings.  Name them one by one…”  When people intentionally take the time to notice, appreciate, name, and bless the things and people in their lives, it increases their awareness of the many blessings that are part of their every day lives.

In other words, people need not only to take time to smell the roses, but take time to bless the roses.  When people choose a life of blessing, they choose lives in which they want themselves and everything and everyone around them to prosper and thrive–not just survive!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy reading A Hope in A Greeting, Word, or Phrase at http://ahopefortoday.com/2012/01/20/a-hope-in-a-greeting-word-or-phrase/.

YouTube video below of Bing Crosby singing “Count Your Blessings.”

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A Hope for a Bologna Sandwich

For me today, a hope for a bologna sandwich was a hope to satiate a craving; not to satisfy my hunger or keep myself from starving.

Bologna Sandwich

A couple of days ago, for no reason I knew, I started craving a bologna sandwich.  Even though I craved a bologna sandwich– until I went to the grocery store today–I had no bologna.

Upon returning from the grocery store, one of the first things I did was make myself a bologna and cheese sandwich with lots of dill pickles.  Fresh tomatoes are not in season, so “solo” dill pickles had to do.

Then, of course, I had to have some of my favorite potato chips to eat with my bologna sandwich.  So, when I finally sat down, put my feet up in my recliner chair, and ate my bologna sandwich, I slowly entered a realm of paradise.  Everything tasted so good, and I satisfied my craving and my hunger!

With heart-felt gratitude for my sandwich and chips, I reminded myself of the millions of people in the world who do not have the food they crave, nor the food they need to satisfy their hunger and possibly sustain their lives.

The world is facing a hunger crisis

unlike anything it has seen in more than 50 years.

925 million people are hungry.

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes.

        That’s one child every five seconds.

To feed our growing population we need to increase food production

by 70-100 percent by 2050.


Can We Feed the World and Sustain the Planet?

is the title of an article by Jonathan A. Foley found at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-we-feed-the-world

This article is about a five-step global plan to end hunger, double food production by 2050, and do both while drastically reducing agriculture’s damage to the environment.

The proposed five steps are: 1) stop agriculture from consuming more tropical land 2) boost the productivity of farms that have the lowest yield 3) raise the efficiency of water and fertilizer use worldwide 4) reduce per capita meat consumption and 5) reduce waste in food production and distribution.


There were 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty in 2005. The World Bank estimates that the spike in global food prices in 2008, followed by the global economic recession in 2009 and 2010 has pushed between 100-150 million people into poverty.

One in seven people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight.  Source: World Food Programme, 2009.

 You can learn more about world hunger and find hunger fact sheets at http://www.worldhunger.org/learn.htm#Hunger.

Here are a few hunger organizations, which are listed on the world hunger site:

  Bread for the World is a national Christian grassroots organization that seeks justice for the world’s hungry people, including people in the United States, by lobbying Congress and other U.S. decision makers.
  RESULTS is an international citizens’ lobbying group whose purpose is to create the political will to end hunger and poverty. In the United States, its volunteers have campaigned for programs that  combat domestic poverty, as well as for international programs such as  microenterprise lending.  See Hunger Notes urges its readers to join Results
  The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a leading national organization working to improve public policies to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Founded in 1970 as a public interest law firm, FRAC is a nonprofit and nonpartisan research and public policy center that serves as the hub of an anti-hunger network of thousands of individuals and agencies across the country. It provides news and legislative updates, research materials, and other support services to organizations throughout the United States. It is not a membership organization.

Women make up the majority of the agricultural workforce in many areas of the world.  In the Feed the Future video below, narrator Matt Damon discusses the importance of increasing food production around the world and notes the importance of equipping women with the right tools, training, and  technology to see as much as a 30 percent increase in food production.

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