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Beauty and Blessings



Heartfelt Notes



Updated: 2016-06-10T05:37:11.851-08:00

 



Lest We Forget

2010-05-31T19:10:58.016-08:00

All Gave Some ~ Some Gave All Those who did give ALL are the heroes we are to honor and memorialize this Memorial Day. Veteran's Day coming in October will be to celebrate all veterans, past and present, certainly including those who serve now. But giving ALL means those men and women who have fallen while giving service to our country - our honored Dead. In 1868 it was initiated and was called Decoration Day - a special day to pay tribute to our patriots by decorating their graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. I read yesterday that in Arlington Cemetery, Washington, D.C, that 1500 servicemen from all branches of our military, spent three hours placing U.S. flags on the 300,000 graves at that location. I know you've seen pictures of Arlington with row after row after row of those white crosses and spotted here and there the Star of David also. I believe also it is where the Unknown Soldier's grave is located where our President places the wreath on his grave as a representative of all Americans. As I write this, I'm feeling so touched and overwhelmed really, that each American buried in some grave in our land and other lands, died fighting for freedom. Each of their lives mattered. Truly mattered. They each had hopes, dreams, feelings. They each were born of a mother, loved and mourned by a family and friends. They gave ALL --- All of their tomorrows,So that we could have our Todays -- Living in Freedom.... Now that sure humbles me - as I live in my little life - aggravated by small problems, depressed by large losses, giving in tiny gestures, but not giving much - certainly not All. The very least I can do is to write this to remind myself and others that these Fallen Americans thought we and our freedom and way of life were Worth It. Oh my goodness. Lord, it's so overwhelming. I know each of their lives meant something to You too. They must have believed that You died to make Men holy and they died to make Men free. God, Family, Country, Freedom, Duty and their Sacred Honor - And their precious blood, poured out for America's Freedom. Surely our sacred duty is to acknowledge their sacrifices, honor their lives and appreciate what they were willing to give for us. If not today (tonight), then surely tomorrow. I pray their lives and deaths will never be wasted. Thank you dear, generous countrymen. Thank you for this overwhelming gift. God, please continue to Bless America,Home of the FreeBecause of the Brave... Gratefully, Cynthia K. [...]



Clinging to the Old Rugged Cross

2010-04-04T17:59:29.136-08:00

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The Old Rugged Cross


On a hill far away, stood an rugged cross

The emblem of suffering and shame.

And I love that old cross

Where the Dearest and Best

For a World of lost sinners was slain.


So I'll cling to the old rugged cross,

Til my trophies at last I lay down.

I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it some day for a crown.


I will ever be True to the old rugged cross

It's shame and reproach gladly bear.

For the Dear Lamb of God

Left His glory above to suffer

And die for us there.


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross

Till my trophies at last I lay down.

I will cling to the old rugged cross

And exchange it some day for a crown.


I had the privilege of singing this old hymn for the last two Easters for my ladies' bible study/prayer group. There are many new sacred songs today, but there is something so special about the old, familiar hymns. I think it is a shame that so many young people have never heard many of these great standards - it's a heritage they are are truly missing out on and that could be lost if not paid attention to. After all, we love Vintage!! Many of the old sacred hymns are the same ones that the beautiful ladies in the Victorian images that we so love, sang as they were worshipping the Lord (in their pretty dresses and huge hats).

So whenever I am asked to sing, I always try to pick out an old special hymn or at least a sacred song from the 1940s, 50s or 60s. I don't want them to die out and they surely do teach the gospel, simply and beautifully.

Most importantly, the grave could not keep Jesus down, on the third day, He arose, with a mighty triumph in His soul. He bought salvation, healing, peace and heaven for us. We just each need to ask Him for forgiveness and tell Him you accept his sacrifice on the cross, ask Him to come into your heart and life, and He promises that He will. It takes a decision and an act of your will, so come to Jesus, He is waiting for you. There is room at the cross for you....

Clinging to Him this Resurrection Day,


Cynthia K.







There's Always a Springtime

2010-03-21T22:54:27.459-08:00

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There's Always a Springtime
by Helen Steiner Rice
After the winter comes the spring
To show us again that in everything
There's always a renewal divinely planned.
Flawlessly perfect, the work of God's hand.
And just like the seasons that come and go
When the flowers of spring lay buried in snow,
God sends to the heart in the winter of sadness
A springtime awakening of new hope and gladness.
Oh my, I'm so ready, even desperate, for this awakening from God of new hope and gladness in my heart of sadness. Too many losses, hurts, disappointments, rejection, being misunderstood - Lord, send the breakthrough soon.....for me and my readers who may also be in great need of your tender mercies.....
Cynthia K.




The Stairway to Heaven

2010-02-16T06:44:07.184-08:00

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My cousin, Michael Gene, went to heaven a couple of days ago. He waged a valiant battle against cancer which brought death to his body, but his spirit, soul, personality - who Mike really IS is immortal and lives on. We didn't lose him - we know exactly where he is - with his Savior, Christ Jesus. He's there with his Lord because Mike had accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, his sins were forgiven and everlasting life was awarded to him just as our God has promised.
In a couple of hours, I'll be on my way to San Antonio to join in a celebration of his earthly life and his new heavenly life. God is so good! Make sure that you and yours don't leave earth without Him. Jesus has paid the price for you, He's bought the ticket, now you simply have to receive it and thank Him for it.
Cynthia K.




Beautiful Rose of Bella Rosa is Having a Birthday!!

2010-01-18T23:17:30.784-08:00

Yay!! It's a surprise birthday party for Rose of Bella Rosa!!! Isn't she gorgeous! But we could never hate her because she's beautiful, because she is even more beautiful inside. She has a tender heart, sweet, sweet spirit and a loving attitude.So, our Beautiful Rose, please accept your bouquet of red roses and baby's breath. Oh, you're welcome. Think nothing of it - it's just money - easy come, easy go.Dear Rose, see all your bloggy friends - we've been gathered at theparty table just waiting to wish you the best, most glorious Birthday, or as I like to do, made it a Birthday week. I like to make it last - you wouldn't mind Birthday greetings and gifts and attention and pampering a few more days, would you?Okay bloggy buddies, it's time: "Happy Birthday to you - Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday Dear Rose, Happy Birthday to you....And many more......."Okay, let's have our cake and ice cream!!Oooh, it's so good - but its giving me an ice cream head ache! Oh, well, I think a little more Birthday cake will help it. Rose, a third bowl of ice cream?! Well, whatever....Well, this being your Birthday Week, we think you should enjoy it to the hilt and worry about the figure later (as if yours is a problem!) So, all week, have plenty of eating-out meals, cookies, buttery popcorn, and all the soda you want!! Course, it will make you tinkle alot!Also be sure to eat lots of this:Now this week, we give you permission to pamper yourself and not do any big chores around the house - we don't want you slaving as hard as this lady is:I tend to think that to get the Birthday present you REALLY want, just go buy it yourself. So,naturally, you'll want to do a little shopping:And maybe some thrifting...Yay!The important thing is that we want you to know how special you are to all of us. Its so very true. I read some of your comments and it is so obvious that your bloggy friends really love you. And why not, you're so very loveable!! Yes, you are. And I personally, think the world of you - I just love you. I consider you a true blessing. I'm so grateful God had us "bump" into each other in this amazing cyber world that I think neither of us even knew about until this last year. Of course, it wasn't an accident - because always and always, since before Time began, our being Friends was part of His plan. Thank you, Lord.Now, don't start crying, or we'll all be bawling our eyes out.So, it's Time for you to know that You are absolutely Delightful!Rose, I'm so glad you were born.... Happy Day of Birth! Okay, gang, it's Time for us to all meet at Bella Rosa and leave our precious friend some Birthday Comments. Let's spread this Love around!!!!Rose, be careful out there when you are shopping and dining out - It's cold and windy! Be sure to wear your fur hat and your fur muff so your hands stay warm. And I'm sure you look stunnng in Red!!Okay, Friends, don't forget to come see me sometime. Ya'll come.Cynthia K.[...]



Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus

2009-12-28T18:30:37.841-08:00

Years ago, when my niece and two nephews were small, for the first time, I read the facts of the Christmas Story to them. It is found in Luke 2 of our Holy Bible. Well, I actually read it to our entire family who were gathered in our house for our Christmas Eve celebration. Believe me, every adult there needed to be reminded of the basis of what Christmas is all about, including me. Things just sort of push the Truth aside don't they? I was actually quite nervous about doing this because I didn't want them to think I thought I was Miss Super Spirituality. But I did do what I knew the Lord was urging me to do.So, to get ready for this, I went to the bakery department of the grocery store and picked out a small pre-made cake from behind the glass counter. The girl (about age 20) asked if I wanted her to decorate it with words and I said "Yes, I want it to say Happy Birthday Jesus". She stared at me for a little while and said "Huh"? I repeated it - she still could not fathom it!! Why, I don't know. So I said, "Christmas is the Birthday of Jesus, you know". "Oh" was her reply. People, she was not from some strange foreign country - she lived right here in Texas!! And she didn't know this?!! But there's more. After she had gone in the back and decorated with the first two words, she came back to the counter and with puzzled expression on her face, said "Now how do you spell Jesus?" (Dear God, help us!!!) So I had to spell it for her - three times before she got it. I was amazed, shocked and saddened.So, anyway, on Christmas Eve we all gathered in our living room and sang about a dozen carols which is one of my favorite traditions. And always, Silent Night, is the final one - it is so special and my favorite carol. Right before the final carol, I slipped in the kitchen and stuck birthday candles in the small cake (the whole box of candles) and lit them. I carried it to our group of family and those three kids' eyes got huge!! I had their attention and everyone's really because I'd not told anyone I was going to do this. I sat the glowing cake on the footstool and I sat down and opened the Bible to this precious section and told them I just wanted to read what we have all been celebrating all these years. I read, my voice was shaky because I was nervous. But all of them were engrossed. I had dimmed the lights as I had come back in the room so the candles truly were the center of attention. And those words on the Birthday cake. The three kids (3-6 yrs old) had gathered really close to me and the cake. As soon as I finished reading from the Bible (and I felt it was important to read directly from it rather than a sheet of paper so it would be impressed upon them that it came from the Truth, the Holy Bible), then I started leading them in singing the Happy Birthday Song to Jesus - they were really understanding now. Then I said "I think the three kids should blow out the candles on Jesus' cake". I didn't have to mention it twice. Those three sweeties blew at the same time and out they went. We then started singing Silent Night. It is one of my favorite memories of their childhood and my adulthood when I decided to care more of what God thought of me than what people thought of me. Sometimes families are harder to reach with the truth about Jesus than are strangers.Perhaps, it would be a special tradition you could start in your family, even if little children are not in your get-together. I think it meant a lot to everyone there - it truly did focus our attention on our dear Savior's birth.Happy Birthday, Sweet Jesusand A Blessed Christmas to you all....Cynthia K.[...]



What One Jew Thinks of Christmas

2009-11-23T02:24:25.232-08:00

(The following remarks were written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning commentary some time ago.)I Only Hope We Find God Again Before It Is Too Late. My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to. In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking. Billy Graham 's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina ).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?' In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem ( Dr. Spock 's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.' Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you la[...]



Won't You Encourage This Soldier? Only Takes 10 Seconds

2009-11-18T11:03:07.909-08:00

(image) There is finally something we can do to encourage our troops!

We can thank them personally. Xerox will send a card to a

member of our armed services - we simply go to their web-
site, pick out a card , sign it and Xerox will forward it
to a member of our armed forces overseas. We cannot select a

particular person, but one of our brave military will definitely

be the recipient.


This is so easy and quick - we talk about thanking our troops

on Veterans Day - let's take a moment of our time to really

do it. Let's not just talk the talk, we must walk the

walk. Click here http://www.letssaythanks.com/ to make a difference in our troop's Thanksgiving as they serve us in a

foreign land without their family and friends.
I heard about this from my new friend, Maggie. You
She is great fun and you will enjoy her. She said that you
can do this several times or send a card everyday.
We can really be a blessing to our wonderful fellow
Americans. Thanks to Xerox for this great opportunity.
Their generosity makes it all possible. The
corporations and big business surely get a really
bad rap all the time. I certainly want to acknowledge
them as they have provided a wonderful way to
serve our country.
Let's make sure our military receive a huge amount
of these cards of thanks, love, appreciation and
encouragement. Wouldn't it be a great idea to send
e-mails about this to lots of people. You could pass
it on by mentioning it on your blog too.
So glad we can be a blessing,
Cynthia K.


(I do not know why it is doing this crazy

spacing, but I'm much too tired to redo.)









God Bless Our Nation and Our Brave Veterans

2009-11-11T02:28:27.051-08:00

Red. White and Blue -These Colors Don't Run!Veterans are the backbone of our nation. No words can ever really express our gratefulness for all they have done for us. Freedom simply is not free. It costs our veterans a huge amount of sacrifice. Sometimes it requires the ultimate sacrifice. The Bible says that no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for another. In the beautiful song , The Battle Hymn of the Republic, I am remembering these words:In the beauty of the liliesChrist was born across the seawith a glory in his bosomthat transfigures you and me.As He died to make men holy,Let us live to make men free.His truth is marching on.Our veterans have lived to make men free. They have given up comforts, family fellowhip and years of their lives. Of course, some valiant servicemen have died to make men free. There was a song a few years ago that had this phrase, referring to our veterans:All gave some;Some gave All. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!Thinking of the tragic incident that took place in Fort Hood Army Base this week , I want to pray to our Heavenly Father. First of all, Lord, help us be aware when there is "a snake in the grass"; when there is an enemy in our midst, who is lying low, undetected, until he is ready to strike.And Dear God, please bless America,Land that I love.Stand beside her and guide her.God please forgive America.God save America;God have mercy upon America; God bless America.Thank you, Lord.A grateful citizen,Cynthia K.[...]



Kindness Leads the Way

2009-11-08T03:22:28.607-08:00

(image) Be kinder than seems necessary because every person
you meet is fighting some kind of battle. You never
know what may be happening in their life. Extra
kindness might help them make it through that
very day. To keep on trying; to keep putting
one foot in front of the other; and to have
just a little hope that things will get
better. That someone might care
and that maybe God has not
forgotten about them.
All because you
were kind.


And then let's be kind to ourselves also.

Sometimes we need the very things

that we gladly give to others.
Things like love, hope,
acceptance and
kindness.
With hope,
Cynthia K.



I'm Back and Being Silly

2009-11-03T21:56:54.114-08:00

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Hi! I've been without my computer for 5 days! I did not realize how much I used it until it was on the blink! I've really missed my blog and checking everyone else's blog. Not to mention my car was in the shop for five days too - I'm ready for good things to happen from now on. Anyway, here is a silly little funny for you to enjoy:



Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after awhile they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married...



One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other was the groom broom.



The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.



After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, "I think I'm going to have a little whisk broom!"



"IMPOSSIBLE !!" said the groom broom.



Are you ready for this?



Brace yourself; this is going to hurt!!!!



"WE HAVEN'T EVEN SWEPT TOGETHER!"



Oh, for goodness sakes...Laugh, or at least groan.



Life's too short not to enjoy....Even these silly....little cute..........And clean jokes!!!!!!



Sounds to me like she's ............been........sweeping around!!!!!!



Happy Weekend.....



Cynthia K.






Vital Steps to Save Your Life In A Threatening Situation

2009-10-12T17:24:37.777-08:00

I debated with myself about posting this subject cause it's not pretty and it's not fun. But I felt compelled to include it in case it might save one life. I felt as a woman that I needed these reminders on safety and that the best way I could show caring for women is to bring to light again these crucial steps to do in case of a dangerous emergency situation. Of course, they aren't new - Oprah has shown them before - BUT, could you list any of them right now? Or could you remember at the very second you might need them? Could your daughter, sister or mother? Me neither. Here we go...Crucial Information from a Police Officer:1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do :The elbow is the strongest point on your body.If you are close enough to use it, do! 2. Learned this from a tourist guide.If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM.Toss it away from you....Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you,and he will go for the wallet/purse.RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION! 3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car,kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the holeand start waving like crazy..The driver won't see you, but everybody else will.This has saved lives. 4. Women have a tendency to get into their carsafter shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit(doing their chequebook, or making a list, etc.DON'T DO THIS!)The predator will be watching you, and thisis the perfect opportunity for him to get inon the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR ,LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.. If someone is in the carwith a gun to your headDO NOT DRIVE OFF,Repeat:DO NOT DRIVE OFF!Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car.Your Air Bag will save you.If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it .As soon as the car crashesbail out and run.It is better than having them find your body in a remote location. 5. A few notes about gettinginto your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:A.) Be aware:look around you, look into your car,at the passenger side floor , and in the back seatB.) If you are parked next to a big van,enter your car from the passenger door.Most serial killers attack their victimsby pulling them into their vans while the womenare attempting to get into their cars.C.) Look at the carparked on the driver's side of your vehicle,and the passenger side... If a male is sitting alonein the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk backinto the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.) 6. ALWAYS take the elevatorinstead of the stairs.Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.This is especially true at NIGHT!) 7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control,ALWAYS RUN!The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then,it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern! 8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic:STOPIt may get you raped, or killed.Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking,well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women.He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle,which is when he abducted his next victim. 9. Another Safety Point:Someone just told me that her friend hearda crying baby on her porch the night before last,and she called the police because it was lateand she thought it was weird.. The police told her'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door..'The lady then said that it sounded like the babyhad crawled near a window, and she was worriedthat it would crawl to the street and g[...]



Their Wedding Is Our Blessing Too

2009-10-06T17:19:40.599-08:00

The following photos and story were forwarded to me in an email. I really thought you would want to read this too, so here it is with a few of my comments....It's not a million dollar celebrity wedding ~ but it might be worth that much just to see this precious example of:Pure Love;Tender Devotion andEarnest Hope.Her name is Katie Kirkpatrick, 21 years old. Next to her is her fiance, Nick, who is 23. This picture was taken prior to their wedding on January 11, 2005. Katie has terminal cancer and spends hours in chemotherapy. Here Nick waits with her while she finishes one of her sessions of chemo.Even in pain and dealing with her organs shutting down, with the help of morphine, Katie took care of every single part of the wedding planning. Her wedding dress had to be altered several times due to Katie's constant weight loss. Here Katie is looking lovely in her dress. Nick's parents are giving them the thumbs up. They are very emotional with the wedding and of course, seeing their son marrying the girl he fell in love with when he was an adolescent. An expected guest was her oxygen tank. Katie had to use it during the ceremony and reception.Katie, in her wheelchair, having so much fun as her husband, Nick, and friends enthusiastically sing to her.In the middle of the reception, Katie had to rest for while and catch her breath. The pain does not allow her to stand for a long period of time.The contented, happy, tired and loving couple. They thought it was worth it all. Nick's wife, Katie, died five days after her wedding. ...I know - I'll give you a minute.Don't you think, though, that they felt so blessed and fulfilled? And so grateful for what they had. I'll bet they would still think it was worth it all.To see a fragile woman dress as a bride with a beautiful smile makes you think....maybe happiness is always there within reach, no matter how long it lasts. Let's commit to enjoying life and not work so hard at making it complicated. Life is so short - let's try to focus on the goodness of it.There is beauty in this life if we just look for it. I know that I certainly need to be more aware of it myself. So I'm noticing more, trying to create it more and appreciate the blessing of beauty.Cynthia K.[...]



Beauty and Blessings? Even As We Remember 9/11?

2009-10-06T19:26:20.794-08:00

Yesterday (I'm writing this at 11:00 p.m. on Sept. 12) was the 8 year anniversary of 9/11. I can't believe it has been 8 years - it's still so real and vivid in our minds. Do you remember where you were when the attack happened? It seems to be one of those unique events that brand into our memory and most remember exactly where they were and what they were doing. For me, the other events in my life were President Kennedy's assassination and the Challenger explosion. Isn't it amazing that television can bring us all together this way so that we all participate and have the same memories and truly experience the event. Just as I truly felt like I had attended Princess Diana's and Mother Theresa's funeral. So, yes, I remember where I was - I was living with my sister and she called me from her office and quickly told me to turn on the TV, that terrorists might be attacking in New York City. I did just that - just like so many of the rest of you - and I cried and prayed all the rest of the day. I had gotten to the TV just in time to see the second tower fall - such horror and fear and suffering of the people in the streets and those desperately searching all day for their loved ones. Pain, anger, uncertainty, death and destruction. But, yes, even then, there was beauty and blessings. We heard the stories of so many miraculous escapes and rescues by our valiant and brave men and women. We saw anew the love and strength and power of good people doing the right and honorable tasks that no one wants to ever have to face doing. We felt the bond of shared human experience and our light shown to the entire world. We were brought closer as Americans - we found our patriotism again. And most importantly, we found that we really needed our faith again - faith in the God whom this country was founded upon. Faith in our God who has so obviously blessed and prospered this nation from the beginning. Why? Because our forefathers recognized Him as the Creator Who endowed us with certain inalienable rights. Because this nation gives and helps and feeds other nations. He can trust America to be a channel to others to share the blessings He gives us. Let us never forget where our strength and power comes from. Beauty? Oh, my, when the rescuers raised Old Glory at center of the destruction. When we saw the huge metal beams form a cross in the rubble. And beauty when we saw the leaders of this country stand together (free of politics) on the steps of the capitol and sing in unison "God Bless America". Beauty when we began to see our flag on so many citizen's vehicles and shop windows. Blessings? Yes, when our President and the Mayor of New York City led us with such dignity and grace. And blessings when airplane passengers prevented the other planned crash in Washington D.C. Beauty and blessings do always come in the midst of and after pain and heartache and sorrow and horror. Thank you Lord. Grace (His undeserved, unmerited favor). Remember it is Amazing Grace. And it is such a sweet, sweet sound and an even sweeter truth. Mercy. The Bible says His mercies are new every morning. So, let us never forget September 11, 2001. Because we know even there and then, God gives us beauty and blessings - now that helps me, through my pain and loss, to be able to face tomorrow. He gives us beauty for ashes as His Word says.

Beauty and Blessings. And those two words are my short prayer for you right now....


Cynthia K.