Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
Compiled by Inspirational Powers at 10:03 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Friday, January 20, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Every society is only as good as its people. It follows, then, that to build a better society we need a foundation of brave men and women who do the right thing. Often, that foundation is tested by struggle and conflict, but it may be that those very challenges are what bring out the greatness within people and nations.
For example, the perilous founding of this nation gave birth to such heroes as Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. Almost a hundred years later, a contentious division among states called Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass into service. And several decades after that, a bitter world war shaped the dynamic leadership of Roosevelt and Churchill. Then the right time met the right people once again when Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and others stood up for civil rights.
In each case, and in countless other stories that could be told, challenges and trials gave rise to greatness, and darkness and despair gave way to light and hope. As Martin Luther King reminded us, "When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that . . . God is able to make a way out of no way, and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows."
We may never make headlines or change world history, but in our individual and quiet ways, we too can make a difference. One woman did this by determining not to pass unhealthy family patterns to the next generation. She made conscious choices to give her children the stability she did not have as a child. She resolved to love and support her family unselfishly, and in just one generation, she gave them a new start. The odds may have not been in her favor, but she cared enough to make a lasting change and by so doing blessed generations.
"When our days become dreary," we can remember that the "way out of no way" is to hold on to hope, trust the Power higher than our own, and do our part to make the world a better place.
Lloyd D. Newell
Compiled by Inspirational Powers at 10:19 PM
Compiled by Diane Myers at 10:19 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
During the American Civil War, Lieutenant Colonel William McCullough, fighting for the Union, died heroically trying to rally his troops during an ambush. He was one of thousands who perished in that deadliest of American wars, but President Abraham Lincoln had a personal connection to this soldier. He had become acquainted with the McCullough family during his days as an attorney in Illinois, and the two men had served together during the Black Hawk War.
So when Lincoln heard of Colonel McCullough's death, he felt moved to write a personal letter of consolation to his friend's 22-year-old daughter, Fanny. It was a tense, critical time for the president—the Union had just suffered a crippling defeat at Fredericksburg, and the question about whether or not to emancipate the slaves weighed heavily on Lincoln's mind. But he knew he had to reach out to Fanny, who, according to her family, had shut herself up in her room, refusing to eat, "pacing the floor in violent grief."
Lincoln knew much about grief himself. His mother, Nancy, had died when he was only a child. And Lincoln and his wife were still mourning the loss of their 11-year-old son Willie, who had passed away just a few months earlier. So it was from personal, still-tender experience that Lincoln wrote: "In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it."
But Lincoln's counsel was not simply to expect sorrow; rather, it was to expect happiness. "You are sure to be happy again," he promised. "The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer, and holier sort than you have known before."
Over his career, Abraham Lincoln penned many official communications and almost as many condolence letters. But this one stands out as especially gentle and compassionate—perhaps because it seems to come, as the signature line says, from a "sincere friend," from one griever to another, from one who had "experience enough to know" what it feels like to grieve. And all of this makes its main message to Fanny and to all of us so much more powerful: whatever your heartbreak, you are sure to be happy again.
Lloyd D. Newell