Reject Hate, Choose Love #PrayForOrlando


How do we battle the debilitating sense of loss, grief, fear, hate, and hopelessness?

The last two days have been brutal… Orlando has been devastated with so much violence and death…first with Christina Grimmie, the with The Pulse shooting.

We have a choice… Really, it’s pretty simple. To battle hate, embrace love. To fight fear, bitterness, intolerance, and bigotry–hold tight to kindness, faith, forgiveness, and patience. Interlace it with understanding.

Hope. Hold on to it. It’s pretty much all we have.

It’s like the Garth Brooks song says… Here are the lyrics I’m choosing to live:

The Change

One hand 

Reaches out 

And pulls a lost soul from harm 

While a thousand more go unspoken for 

They say what good have you done 

By saving just this one 

It’s like whispering a prayer 

In the fury of a storm 
And I hear them saying you’ll never change things 

And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing 

But it’s not the world that I am changing 

I do this so this world will know 

That it will not change me 
This heart 

Still believes 

The love and mercy still exist 

While all the hatred rage and so many say 

That love is all but pointless in madness such as this 

It’s like trying to stop a fire 

With the moisture from a kiss 
And I hear them saying you’ll never change things 

And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing 

But it’s not the world that I am changing 

I do this so this world will know 

That it will not change me 
As long as one heart still holds on 

Then hope is never really gone 
I hear them saying you’ll never change things 

And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing 

But it’s not the world that I am changing 

I do this so this world we know 

Never changes me 
What I do is so 

This world will know 

That it will not change me

Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men (and Women)

My dear friend Professor Taboo wrote a wonderful tribute to Christmas and peace during the First World War. If you’ve never heard the story and you want to feel the warmth of love during some of the hardest times the world had, click the link. It’s a beautiful story. In fact, the story inspired two of my favorite balladiers, Collin Raye and Garth Brooks, to make two very separate, very beautiful songs that do a fabulous job reminding us about what’s important.

The above is Garth Brooks’ song, “Belleau Wood”. The below is “It Could Happen Again” by Collin Raye with Johnny Cash narrating.

Isn’t it beautiful how a holiday and a familiar song built a bridge to understanding and a cease fire? I actually have both CDs in my collection because they’re wonderful! What are your favorite Christmas albums? Do you have holiday songs that speak peace to your heart?

Finding Your Forever

Tonight I was rehearsing.  In a few weeks I will be singing at a friend’s wedding.  I was so honored that she asked me to partake in her celebration.  There is nothing quite so sweet as witnessing two people joining their lives together.  Merging not only their hearts, but their families, their traditions and their values.

Every little girl has a list.  This little fairy tale of who her Prince (or Princess) Charming is going to be.  Usually it includes things like:  handsome, rich, funny, pretty eyes, great body…  And the list goes on and on.  As we get older, we add to that list.  And we hope and dream and pray that we meet that man.  For me, it’s like Garth Brooks said, “Sometimes I Thank God For Unanswered Prayers”.

My friend is a tough woman.  She is used to going it alone.  She’s been raising her children and enjoying her life.  So when she met her man, she wasn’t ready to rush into anything.  But then something quite wonderful to watch began to happen to her.  She’s always been fiery, sometimes to the point of hot headedness.  She’d be the first to tell you this, so I’m not talking out of school.  But suddenly she just seemed more content.  Happier.  More centered.  Her smiles weren’t just surface movements anymore, but came from somewhere deeper inside her.  You could tell.  She just glowed.

And the thing is, this guy didn’t try to change her.  He didn’t want to.  He simply accepted her for who she was.  The results were awesome!  She was more comfortable in her own skin.  She began to change herself, though I don’t think she realized it.  She felt comfortable and safe.  She trusted him.  For the first time that I remembered, she truly began to share who she was at her core with a man.  She didn’t worry about whether or not it would work out.  She was willing to try.  To grab her happiness by the horns and hang on to it.

In a world of casual relationships and easy outs, it’s refreshing to watch two people still willing to take that plunge and commit themselves to each other.  “Your Love” by Jim Brickman and Michelle Wright will be the song I sing for them on that day.  I truly wish them all the love and happiness I’ve found in the man who didn’t quite fit my fairy tale list…but brought a list of his own of characteristics I never listed but always needed.  I wish for them the love, acceptance, friendship and trust that matter so much more than those little superficial things.

I consider it icing on the cake that my man is also good looking and can cook!  I’d love to hear from you guys…  When you think love and commitment, what do you think of?  What were your childhood fantasies of that person?  Are you still searching?  Or if you’ve found your Mr/Ms Right, did it match what you dreamed of?  Share!