DINK #214 Best of God, Conversations Around Beliefs and Being Kind

Posted on : 21-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Yep, pretty much those topics in the title of this blog was what I was exposed to this evening when David and I joined our friends Julie and Robert to see Owen Egerton’s film, “The Best of God” along with co-host and fellow author Michael Largo at the Alamo Draft House. Both are in Austin for the Texas Book Festival to tout their new books, Owen’s is “The Book of Harold, The Illegitimate Son of God” and Michael’s is God’s Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man’s Eternal Search for the Divine. The film was a compilation of real films, commercials and television shows exclaiming their beliefs about God.

Michael was rather droll but a good straight man for Owen who was pretty hilarious and “real” at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film but felt somewhat mollified as I looked at my fellow audience members waiting in line with me who all seemed bright, aware and with a sense of humor located somewhere inside themselves. I must admit that I was a bit taken aback when Michael and Owen walked on stage with the backdrop on the screen of their two rather mocking books. Wasn’t quite sure what we had walked into but it actually seemed to be an honest attempt to ignite conversation and awareness about our beliefs. Owen was disarmingly funny and very good at volleying very different concepts and beliefs simultaneously while repeating the wish for people to have conversations with each other and to be kind to each other. In my opinion, can’t argue with that.

This evening did make me wonder about a few things. One of the audience members asked the authors if in their research they acquired a sense of any kind of a “trend” that they were aware of with humanity and our beliefs and Michael Largo responded with a good answer around how in major economic upheavals like we’re in now, etc., we tend to see surges in cults and religions. Still, I sure wish we had time to explore that topic of conversation further. I’ve been hearing from several of my friends and relatives lately about the “mean spirit” that seems to have invaded the American public towards each others, towards just about everyone and everything that does not comply with our own beliefs. Usually when mean spirited behavior shows up or at least when it has shown up in my world, it is because of fear. Fear of being hurt, fear of losing someone or something, fear of abandonment so if a whole lot of people are being mean spirited now, I wonder what it is that we are all afraid of so deeply?

Perhaps talking with each other and really listening to what the other says is a starting point to unlocking the shackles of fear. Just a thought. Oh, and being kind to each other while we’re in the process, that too might help towards our healing.

Who will you start a conversation with today?

DINK #213 Top Ten Ways To Be “Real”

Posted on : 20-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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1.) Breathe from your diaphragm and relax the tension out of your shoulders and back with the release of each breath;

2.) Be honest about what you don’t and what you do know;

3.) Be willing to be vulnerable;

4.) Laugh at yourself. Often;

5.) Pay attention to the quiet voice inside of you;

6.) Be curious about other people because you want to help or contribute to them
and not because you want something from them;

7.) Forgive yourself and others. Often;

8.) Create a willing mind;

9.) Accept yourself and others right here, right now;

10.) Surrender your fight to be right. Instead look for ways to agree without diluting who
you really are. Respect yourself and others.

DINK #212 Ten Ways To Feel Appreciation

Posted on : 19-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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1.) Stop what you are doing for the moment and just breathe;

2.) Notice where you feel “tight” in your body and breathe relaxation into the tension. Let it release;

3.) Recall one moment where you felt grateful. It could be as simple as recognizing avoidance of a car wreck to giving birth;

4.) How does this memory feel in your body? Focus on that;

5.) Watch the movie, “E.T.” and remember the glowing heart.  Practice glowing with appreciation;

6.) When you “connect” with someone through words, touch, sound, communication really “feel” the connection. Is it warm? Is there expansion within you?;

7.) Practice relaxing your heart and releasing from fear into love;

8.) Get giddy about what there is to appreciate. Find as much evidence for things to appreciate as you are able;

9.) Be grateful for the moment, the person, the incident and bless it for you have called it into your life;

10.) Explore what you appreciate to learn the feelings inside of it.  Watch the rain drops falling into a puddle and feel what you see.

DINK #211 Can You See What I’m Saying?

Posted on : 18-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Our Universal Human Rights Teacher played the TED video of Chris Jordan who is an artist who translates statistics into visual language to be felt (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/chris_jordan_pictures_some_shocking_stats.html).  Very impressive. He did things like make a humongous art piece out of 4 million plastic cups taking us right up to the picture so that we could see that what we were looking at were plastic cups and then zoomed it way out so that we could see that there were indeed 4 million plastic cups.  The statistic (please forgive me if my recollection is off) was something like 4 million plastic cups are used once and not recycled by passengers on airlines every six hours.

The idea is that we humans can only wrap our minds around so much math to explain statistics like there are 32 thousand breast augmentations per month in the u.s.  and 400,000 people die of cigarette smoking every year and the U.S. has the largest population of people in prison in the world with 1 out of 4 people in prison.  There’s all kinds of psychology behind the idea that we lose our ability to empathize about a problem when we start talking in terms of what happens to thousands of people.  Chris Jordan used the comparison of 1100 people die of cigarette smoking in America every day and the 1366 people who died in 9/11 and that we (Americans) talk a whole lot about 1366 people dying on 9/11 but we don’t talk about over 443,000 Americans dying from cigarette smoking each year (http://www.inforesearchlab.com/smokingdeaths.chtml). Stats like that makes our brains “tilt”.

Chris believes that we in the U.S. are anesthetized to feeling and I can certainly understand his point of view.  So if we want people to be able to “see” and therefore “hear” what we are saying we’re going to have to come up with ways of communicating that help people visualize what we are saying.  I’m just wondering if you strip it all down to us as individuals, how much our numbness affects our day-to-day relationships with each other.

One of my favorite sci-fi movies is “The Fifth Element” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/) When the cosmic element, Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) is sent to save Earth from evil, she spends some time watching video clips of all the history, art, news, shows–everything that has ever been recorded by humanity–to catch up with what is going on today with humans over the thousand year period that she has been inert (?).  I think that a good portion of us humans can process information much easier visually rather than through hearing although I know some learn by hearing better and some learn by doing better and some have to have a combo of all three. Anyway, the point is that wouldn’t humans being able to feel empathy for the world around them help them to help others and therefore make this world a better place rather than us being all frozen up inside of our brains scrambling about and operating almost on a reptilian brain level to get our needs met?

Oy vey, this is what happens to me when I wait until way to late in the evening to write my blogs!!   Welcome to my inner sanctum!  Conversation, ideas and input gratefully received!!  Picture a happy beating heart…..

DINK #210 True Callings

Posted on : 17-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Today was an interesting day. Jogged a fantastic five-mile run with the Paul dog through the hood. I have a great interview scheduled with Inna Segal who is an international healer, author and television host about her latest book and I Interviewed Attorney John Swomley on www.blogtalkradio.com/Hope42day who succeeded in winning a new trial motion for Bernard Baran, an innocent man wrongly incarcerated for 22 years. Bernard Baran also joined us for the conversation about his experience. There was so much to respect about both men, John for diving into the center of this case which would certainly not earn him millions and Bee for not giving up the hope of someone like John coming through for him so that he could once again be free to join his family. John’s sharing about being able to fight for the rights of the downtrodden had me thinking about actually pursuing law school for myself and simultaneously thinking what a great representative he is for the industry. Wow. Good people do exist in law!

Both Inna and John are people who seem to have answered their true calling. I don’t think that Bee would want to say that being wrongfully incarcerated for 22 years was his true calling; however, what he is now doing with the sharing of what happened to him and offering information and solutions for how to help others may indeed be his calling.

I’ve spent a good portion of my career life helping other people to figure out what their true calling is and am happy to say that many people seem to have found theirs. I’m not sure if I really know what mine is yet or maybe that I am doing my true calling all the time but it doesn’t earn me any money to live on. I keep doing it anyway because it fulfills me. I don’t think I’ve read many books that say that there are cases where people may find their true calling but not earn very much money. I wonder if putting the two together: True Calling and Earning potential is a gross injustice? Gratefully, I am able to blog and interview interesting people on the net without expending any income. I love to help people and to let others know about various solutions and experiences that others have had that may help them find their own solutions.

A new idea did occur to me today after watching a you tube video of Inna Segal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44FGVS2IQ2E about creating abundance. Inna reminded us to be grateful for what abundance we do have in our lives and to make “friends” with the money and she offered an exercise that asked for us to hold money in our hands and bless it. There was something about holding money in my hands and making it my friend that made me stop and think about how many times I’ve had negative energy transferring from my brain to the palm of my hand to the money that I then gave to other people. Yuck. I certainly wouldn’t want to pass on that kind of negative energy. So, it occurred to me to think of money, or the energy that money represents, in the same way that I think of animals, plants, trees and flowers. I love animals and plants and send loving energy to them all the time without blinking an eye; I’m going to start doing that with money and see what happens. If nothing else I can at least send positive energy from my brain, to my palm to the money I’m holding and then giving to another person and that just has to be a good thing?!

What is your true calling and how did you know it when you found it?

DINK #209 Two BlogTalk Radio (Hope42Day) Interviews To Catch!

Posted on : 16-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’m psyched. I interviewed  two fabulous this week ont http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Hope42Day.

I interviewed  Inna Segal who is the creator of Visionary Intuitive Healing (TM) and is an internationally recognized healer, professional speaker, author, and television host. Inna is a gifted healer and a pioneer in the field of energy medicine and human consciousness.  She can “see” illness and blocks in a person’s body by intuitive means, explain what is occurring, and guide people through self-healing process.

And I also interviewed both Attorney John Swomley and Bernard “Bee” Baran.  John G. Swomley is an experienced trial and appellate attorney concentrating in criminal and civil litigation. He has been in private practice since leaving the Brooklyn Public Defenders Office in 1992. John is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the U.S. District Courts in the Western, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He received his juris doctor from Boston University School of Law (1987) and his undergraduate degree from Haverford College (1983).

In June, 2007, John succeeded in winning a new trial motion for Bernard Baran, an innocent man wrongfully incarcerated for over 22 years. Since that time, John has participated in various conferences and panel discussions educating others on how to effectively argue non-DNA innocence cases.

I usually don’t post notices like this in my “notes” but these two interviews are definitely ones that you won’t want to miss so please  go to the website and click on the podcast as soon as your schedule allows!

More later! Promise!

DINK #208 Make New Friends But Keep The Old One is Silver And The Other Is Gold

Posted on : 14-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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When I was a Girl Scout way back when (yes, I was a Girl Scout!)…. there was a song that we learned to sing in rounds when we went on overnight camp outs which was, “Make new friends but keep the old one is silver but the other is gold”.  It’s a good thought to keep in mind especially if you’re extroverted and meeting new people all the time.  One of the positive things about getting older is that if you play your cards right and you’re lucky, you’ll have quite a few friends who you’ve known over many years and who you’ve weathered and enjoyed many experiences with during that time.  Course that also means that they have a lot that they can hold over your head…. but that’s another blog entirely!

Today one of my “gold” friends got married for the first (and only!) time at the ripe young age of 50 plus!  I’ve known Jeri since I was 17 when I met her when I came to live with Jeri’s sister and her Dad the summer after we graduated out of high school.  Jeri was the “big little sister” back then. Big because she was 5 years older than us and little because she was shorter and skinnier than us too!  First of all, you have to know that the boarding school that Jeri’s sister, Janice, and I had just graduated from was very conservative and many of the kids came from families with lots of money. Janice and I were used to getting up every morning for school and dressing to kill with hair, make-up and clothes perfect — just for school!  Then came the summer after we graduated.  I spent half of the summer as a Girl Scout Camp Counselor in Utopia, Texas but left mid-way through due to a rotten case of poison ivy (well, that and I really missed my boyfriend and friends!).  I don’t remember quite how we convinced my parents that it made good sense for me to go live with Janice and her Dad, but somehow they let me and so it was off to Houston.  Jeri and Janice’s Dad had actually been a rocket scientist and had just begun what would become a very successful t-shirt printing business.  I wanted to give you this context for when I tell you about meeting Jeri for the first time.  You have to understand that both Jeri and Janice (and their other sister Judy) were, well, I guess it wouldn’t be putting it too lightly to say that they were wild girls and hilarious.  I don’t think Jeri had been home for a while because she was living with her boyfriend out of a truck that they had made into camper that fit on the back bed.  Jeri’s boyfriend was a musician in a popular band and so she was usually off traveling with the band.  Anyway, I just remember her being so funny and that she sounded so much like Janice. It was my mission to get them both talking at the same time and laughing that same great laugh.

It had become a weekend routine for Janice and I to “borrow” her Dad’s El Dorado Convertible Cadillac and drive down to the Galveston Yacht Club to sleep on the Yacht and party during the days.   Jeri decided to join us one weekend so I will forever remember her image from then in this way, John Lennon round shaped lenses held together with baggie ties because her frames had broken and a bathing suit bottom on top of her head to keep her hair from blowing everywhere as we drove with the top down.  I knew this girl had to become my friend with that kind of chutzpah!

And of course Jeri and her husband, Perry, would want to get married on 10/10/10.  David and I took off in the early afternoon and drove up to Castell, Texas, which is a nice, little, little town (village?) tucked away near the Llano River.  Turns out that one of my very good friends, Vicki, that I made in Austin about 20 years ago is married to a man, Steven, who is one of Jeri’s oldest and best guy friends.  It was fun to get to visit with them at the outdoor chapel and then watch Jeri get married and visit with Janice and her husband Roger afterward.  It’s funny to think that Vicki is one of my newer friends at 20 years but when you think that I’ve known Jeri and Janice since I was 16, well let’s just say they are indeed “golden”.

Do people change over the years? Oh sure they do, you have haven’t you?  Do you “keep” all the friends you’ve ever made? No, sometimes we just naturally evolve away from each other.  It’s equally as important to appreciate both kinds of friendships from the ones who “knew you when” and the ones who “know you now”.  Friends can be our markers for who we were and how much we have grown in addition to all the other gifts that we get from our friendships.

Who are your friends today? Do you have friends that you’ve known a long time as well as some good new ones that you’ve made along the way?

DINK #207 You Can Learn Amazing Things By Just Being Curious!

Posted on : 13-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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There was a good portion of my life that I felt so insecure about who I was and had such a little bitty self esteem and was so self-absorbed that it’s amazing I didn’t trip over my feet more than I did from lack of looking outward.  During the many years of self-discovery and releasing the past, I heard a message over and over which was to become curious of the people and the world around me. If I was at a party or company event instead of feeling incredibly shy and/or insecure, if I became curious about what was going on in the lives of the people who were there and curious about who they were than my insecurity seemed to vanish or morph into becoming a kind of treasure hunt.

It’s helped me over these years in my career as a recruiter because I was naturally curious about the projects that our clients were creating and wanted to know all aspects about the projects and clients from soup to nuts. I was also curious about the people who we interviewed and eventually hired for positions.  I learned a whole lot about software and hardware that I never learned formally in any kind of education because I learned it from just being curious and diving in to find out information.

Today I went to visit a good friend of mine who has just started chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  She was already battling with Lupus and Diabetes to begin with and then throw in the chemo treatment and, well, her vision is blurry and she isn’t very stable standing up or walking around. Luckily, the retirement community where she lives has all kinds of services that she can hire if need be so she’s got some helpers who come in and stay with her during the day and at night to help her manage her life right now.  I knew the minute that I heard her caregiver, Samuel, speak that I wanted to know more about him.  He had an African accent and I love learning about Africa but I couldn’t place which part of Africa he was from.  Turns out that he is from Kenya and is of the Kikuyu tribe (http://www.kenya-advisor.com/kikuyu-tribe.html), which is one of the largest tribes in Kenya. Samuel lives in Austin with one of his sons who is going to college here and has a son and daughter who are attending boarding school in Kenya and when they graduate, they will come to the U.S. to go to college.  My friend, Samuel and I got into an interesting discussion about the many countries in Africa, the politics, all the tribes and all the languages.  Many Africans are trying to make Swahili the national tongue to make it easier for Africans from different countries in Africa to be able to communicate with each other.  We also talked about how much the Geography of Africa has changed since my friend or I were in school several years ago. There are many new countries now. My friend and I also talked with Samuel about how we benefited having grown up in military families as compared to many Americans because we were exposed to other countries and cultures and ways of being. All in all a very enjoyable conversation was had by all. After getting to know Samuel, I was grateful that my friend was blessed to have a caregiver like him to keep her company. Her mind is still sharp as a tack even if her body seems to be skidding sideways most of the time.

As I left my friend and Samuel, I thought about our conversation and how grateful I am that I am curious because I learned so much today and made a connection that felt good.  I’m glad that I have an unquenchable desire to learn.  I must admit to you too that I can sometimes have these extreme hiccups of judgment about humanity in general—that everyone is ignorant and apathetic and pretty much pathetic—but then my curiosity gets the better of me and I start asking questions to learn more about somebody and most of the time my judgments are put to rest.  I’ve learned to cast my highly sensitive nature out to help me feel if someone is a person that I want to be curious about.  When I even get the smallest of inklings that perhaps someone is worth finding out about, I go with the inkling.  Sure, sometimes are more spectacular than others but I always learn something new and I’m a collector of learning.

My hope for you today is that if you are already a curious person that you will continue to explore the world with your curiosity and if you’re not a person who is very curious why not consider trying on curiosity for a week and see what you find out or learn. You may just be pleasantly surprised!

DINK #206 Feeling The Fear And Doing It Anyway!

Posted on : 12-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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One of the slogans we learned when we first took lessons on how to scuba dive was to “Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan”.  For someone like me who can get completely distracted and pretty much leave my body in times of excitement, fear and stress, planning my dive and diving my plan is a great metaphor for what I need to do so that I can live my life well. I’ve blogged before about how I have a love/hate/love relationship with scuba diving. I love it because I love to swim, I love the water, I love seeing all of the fish and plants and animals but I hate feeling claustrophobic and I hate it when I have an anxiety attack about 70 feet down when I have to ascend very slowly to get to safe ground.  For me, planning my dive from how much air I have in my tank to paying attention to my remaining air in the tank that will tell me when my diving time has come to an end, to noting what we’re probably going to see on a particular dive and finally what depths that we will descend to is essential.  I also have to know how my equipment works, that it is working well and have an understanding with my dive buddy about what our signals mean to each other.

The same thing to planning my scuba diving applies to my life above the water.  My friend who I am co-creating a talk show with and I were talking today about this experience of creating this talk show and how we can feel excitement and fear at the same time.  For weeks now we have been putting together the scripts for three pilots, figuring out who the guests will, what topics we want to explore and how we will do this in the time period we’ve allotted for the show.  We’ve also been creating a dynamic web site for the show and exploring how we can give to our audience in this capacity as well.  There is absolutely no guarantee that this bird will lift off the ground and fly so we are just putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next thing on our agenda to accomplish the eventual launch of the show.  Right now I am feeling less fear about whether the show will happen or not than mine friend but I know as we get closer to “D” day for the show to go live and most especially if a producer takes the pilot episodes and runs with it and it actually does happen that I will then feel my fear full throttle.  At that time I might recommend y’all to purchase plenty of stock in pampers!  But by then I will have immersed myself in the show so fully that I won’t be able to back out — which is what I’ve done quite a few times in my life when I have felt overwhelmed with fear.

Today though I have tools to help me create a plan for when I want to accomplish something and then to do the steps laid out in the plan which give me hooks that I can hang on to as I climb the potential mountain of fear that could prevent me from accomplishing my plan.

What instances in your life can you point to that let you know that you know how to feel your fear and do (the action) it anyway?

DINK #205 You’re The One You’ve Been Waiting For!

Posted on : 12-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Had a breakthrough conversations today with a friend who I admire and appreciate.  This particular friend is about five years older than me. He is in that place where a lot of us boomers are now which is WTF!?!  Here I am at this age and something different has got to happen really quickly or I’m not going to be living very well in my old age.  What I realized when I looked over his resume is that he’s got a great combination of skills from two very separate careers that can be merged and dovetailed beautifully into a new career.  He’s also in the place of opportunity that a lot of us boomers are in but often don’t see and that is he has lots of experience and wisdom and self-realization but he’s got to actively participate in either discovering a position for himself or creating a position for himself. In other words, no one is going to just hand him a job because he wants/needs it.

Here are some of the suggestions I gave him:

1.) Invest in getting his resume revamped and brought up to this part of the century.  If you’re reading this blog then more than likely you know what this means.

2.) Treat his mind as if it was a dog that he was obedience training while he looks for a job.. What we learn in obedience training is that dogs like to know what their job is and so your brain is no different. Instead of allowing it to fill up your thoughts and time with negative unhelpful comments about finding a job, give it a research project.  Find 4 companies in the city (in this case it was Austin) that you’d like to live in and find out what the company does, what their philosophy is and who the heck you know that you can find out more information about the company from.

3.) Once you’ve identified at least four places that you’d like to work, look at your experience and skills and find at least four things that you have done that would benefit where you’d like to work so that you can talk about this and have positive energy around it when you are in your interview.  Pay attention to the language that the company uses to explain who they are and use that same language to explain who you are and what you’ve done.

4.) Understand what you’ve done well enough that you can give four examples of things you’ve done in your career that you were passionate about and enjoyed.  Finding a job definitely will feel like it is about you but really, it is about them.  Every company right now is being inundated with people who are desperate for work.  Set yourself apart from the rest by showing that you are interested in what the company does, you understand what they do and you know how you can help them do what they can do. Better yet, find ways that you can punch up what they do a notch or two.

5.) While you are looking for a job/career let the editor/mom voice/dad voice/peer voice  in your brain take a vacation.  So long, Sayonara, arrivederchi .  Tell that voice that you really appreciate it but right now you can handle this (looking for a job without its input). Acknowledge that you understand the voice is just trying to help you but for it to take a break right now and you’ll do this job search thing on your own.

6.) Even if you are talking with friends who you know care about you in the job search process, if you think they can possibly help you find a job or create a position than whatever you do don’t whine! Tell them how they can help you.  Your friends will want to help you but you’ve got to be clear about what you need from them and you have to be very focused on what you want.  For example you may tell them that you are looking for a job/contract/position that allows you to use xxx skill because here is something that you’ve done in your last job for the company you worked at with that skill. Be specific.

7.) This job hunt stuff is world class training on all aspects of yourself so treat it as such and respect the process.  Keep your mind clear and focused, keep your body fed with healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, get some exercise.  IF you’ve done any kind of work in your life learning how to change your way of thinking, implement that work now.  So, you may end up with little sticky notes with affirming phrases all over your house, car and office…okay…worse things could be seen.

8.) Find ways to help others just because you can.  I know this may sound really counter intuitive, but it works. Right now I’m blogging daily (this is blog #205, I’m researching, investigating, scheduling, producing and interviewing guests on blog talk radio and I’m co-producing a talk show that is going to go digitally and be televised soon and I am not being paid one red cent right now for any of this.  I’m doing it because it is helping others, it is allowing me to express my creativity and it is honing my skills.  My intention is that these things that I am doing now will create future money making paths for income in my future.  It helps me also to not feel desperate in between those contracts and clients who pay me because I feel like I am making a contribution.

9.) Be grateful for what you have right now and where you are at.  For whatever reason you are where you are through a series of choices that you have made.  Look at your life and appreciate the good choices that you have made and have some empathy for yourself in those choices that you would do have  done differently then if you had known what you know now.   Recognize and comprehend how you got where you are now so that you don’t keep doing what you’ve always done that you don’t want to do any longer.

10.) If life really is just a great play with the Divine as our great Director, what part are you here to play?

I’m holding out with the idea that we Baby Boomers are not done yet by a long shot. There are all kinds of articles out there right now about how self-centered, self-indulgent and otherwise ME we have been and perhaps that is true to a point but man I sure do know a lot of people with incredible minds, hearts and spirits out there who still have it in them to make a difference.  Who knows, maybe the 11th hour will be our finest hour?

Who are you and what special gift have you brought to share with the world?