Traditional Irish Blessing

Hi Friends:

After sharing “The Irish Blessing,” it seems natural to also share this “Traditional Irish Blessing” with you. It features beautiful Celtic music, with awesome scenery to accompany the words. I’ve had this “on file” for over 2 years now, and, as I look at the snow which surrounds us … 3 ‘Noreasters in a very few days … maybe another one on the way early next week … and, as we approach Spring here in the Great North Woods, with the forecast predicting below zero temperatures and single-digit lows to greet our version of “Spring,” I look … look … longingly look at those green, green hills in the video … So much so, in fact, that I had to watch the video many times just to concentrate on the words … those “Green Hills” … no wonder they are so famous … So remembered … And, so longed for … Let’s just say all of our hills are white …

Here are the words:

I wish you not a path devoid of clouds,
Nor a life on a bed of roses
not that you might never need regret,
nor that you should never feel pain.

No, that is not my wish for you.
My wish for you is:
That you might be brave in times of trial,
when others lay crosses upon your shoulders.
When mountains must be climbed
and chasms are to be crossed;
when hope scarce can shine through.

That every gift God gave you
might grow along with you.
And let you give the gift of joy
to all who care for you.
That you may always have a friend
who is worth that name.
Whom you can trust,
and who helps you
in time of sadness.
Who will defy the storms
of daily life at your side.

One more wish I have for you:
That in every hour
of joy and pain
you may feel God close to you.
This is my wish for you,
and for all who care for you.
This is my hope for you,
now and forever.

Blessings to you, and your family.
And, forever.

Please note the credits at the end:


The Irish Blessing

Known world-wide as “The Irish Blessing,” this is the popular Blessing that well wishes those coming and going into our lives.
Here are the words:

“May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you In the palm of His hand.”

We are sharing this beautiful version of the Irish Blessing, with photos from Ireland, and lovely Celtic vocals.

Please note the credits at the end, and,
“Until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Blessings to you, and your family.

“The Little Girl:” John Michael Montgomery

It was one of those songs that, the first time you heard it, you wanted to hear it again. I first heard the song “The Little Girl,” sung by John Michael Montgomery, back in August, 2000. It was the first single to be released from the album “Brand New Me.”

It was written by Harley Allen, and reached number one on the Billboard Country Chart.

At that time I enjoyed putting together slide shows (with real “slides” and a real “click, click, click projector”) to songs, and this one was on the list to do, but I never got around to putting pictures together with the song. But, I have never forgotten the song, or wanting to feature it, in some format, some day.

As I think back, and listen to the song again, I am reminded of how, now, I see kids from rough, tough circumstances, and how my heart breaks from knowing, and just imagining, what some children go through.

I think of the parents in this song, and I think about choices we make … and, the choices we don’t make. I think of God’s love and grace, even in the midst of terrible circumstances, and it strikes me now … thinking about this song and the story with it … how these parents had the same opportunity to accept God’s love and forgiveness … yet … they made other choices …

I think of how God can give us a new beginning … even now, as a huge snowstorm is heading our way … I’m thinking of Spring … As I write these words, we are in the midst of a Winter Storm Warning … yet, the hope of Spring and a new beginning also surrounds us …

I think about how blessed I’ve been, how fortunate I’ve been, and, I think of this verse:
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”
Psalm 27:10

Presidential Proclamation: Flags at Half-Mast Today

Today, Friday, March 2, 2018, I was sitting in front of our local Post Office, taking notes as I researched a story I am working on, about the United States mail. As I sat there scribbling on a note pad, carefully observing the building, and the signs “posted” near the entrance, I noticed the large American Flag, just to the left of the entrance. Blowing in the breeze, the United States Flag was at half-mast. I wondered why. At school, I often see our Flag at half-mast, always flown that way in honor of a New Hampshire citizen killed in the line of duty while serving in our Military. For some reason, today, I just stared at the Flag, and sat there, wondering. Why toady? I knew, deep inside, I knew why, but I just couldn’t remember. I can’t explain it, but I just felt I had to find out. So much, in fact, that I got out of the truck and walked in, waited in line, and asked the Postal employee behind the counter. Her reply:

“For Billy Graham.
Presidential proclamation.”

I thanked her, and walked out. I thought about how “out of touch” I’d been in the last few days. While I don’t watch the “national news” or “network news,” the TV in the Library always has the “Headline News” channel on, and that’s where I get blurbs of what’s going on. I’d been on vacation for several days, and haven’t even looked at the local paper. Last news I heard or saw was probably last Friday. I had written, just Monday, a post in honor of Billy Graham. I was aware his body would lie in state in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. And, I knew about the Proclamation. I’ve prayed for the Graham family. While on vacation, I still pray and have Bible Study every day. Just kinda stepped out of the world for a few days.

So, now, back in the office, I try to catch up:

On Wednesday, February 21, the President of the United States issued this statement:

“Melania and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the passing of Billy Graham. Our prayers are with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who worked closely with Reverend Graham in his lifelong ministry.

Billy’s acceptance of Jesus Christ around his seventeenth birthday not only changed his life—it changed our country and the world. He was one of the towering figures of the last 100 years—an American hero whose life and leadership truly earned him the title “God’s Ambassador.”

Billy’s unshakeable belief in the power of God’s word to transform hearts gave hope to all who listened to his simple message: “God loves you.” He carried this message around the world through his crusades, bringing entire generations to faith in Jesus Christ.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001, America turned to Billy Graham at the National Cathedral, who told us, “God can be trusted, even when life seems its darkest.”

Reverend Graham would be the first to say that he did not do it alone. Before her passing, his wife Ruth was by his side through it all—a true partner, a wonderful mother, and a fellow missionary soul. He also built an international team and institution that will continue to carry on Christ’s message.

Melania and I were privileged to get to know Reverend Graham and his extraordinary family over the last several years, and we are deeply grateful for their love and support.

Billy Graham was truly one of a kind. Christians and people of all faiths and backgrounds will miss him dearly. We are thinking of him today, finally at home in Heaven.”

From the White House, dated February 28, 2018:

Remarks by President Trump at Ceremony Preceding the Lying in Honor of the Reverend Billy Graham
Issued on: February 28, 2018
U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.
11:21 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. And, most importantly, thank you to the entire Graham family for honoring us with your presence here today. Thank you.

In the spring of 1934, Billy Graham’s father allowed a group of Charlotte businessmen to use a portion of the family’s dairy farm to gather for a day of prayer.
On that day, the men prayed for the city. They prayed that, “Out of Charlotte, the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.”

We are here today, more than 80 years later, because that prayer was truly answered.

Billy Graham was 15 years old at the time. Just a few months later, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
That choice didn’t just change Billy’s life — it changed our lives. It changed our country, and it changed, in fact, the entire world.
The North Carolina farm boy walked out of those fields, into a great and beautiful history. Starting at a small Bible school in Florida, he soon led a nationwide revival — from a large tent in Los Angeles, to 100,000 people in a single day at Yankee Stadium, to more than 2 million people at Madison Square Garden, over 16 weeks in 1957.

And I remember that, because my father said to me, “Come on, son” — and, by the way, he said, “Come on, mom. Let’s go see Billy Graham at Yankee Stadium.” And it was something very special.
But Americans came in droves to hear that great young preacher. Fred Trump was a big fan. Fred Trump was my father.

In London, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogota, Moscow, New Delhi, Saigon, Johannesburg, and scores of other places all over the world, Reverend Graham shared the power of God’s word with more than 200 million people, in person, and countless others through television and radio where people loved to watch and listen.

In 1978, with the support of the Catholic Bishop who would soon become Pope John Paul II, Reverend Graham went to Poland and spoke of the meaning of the cross to a people suffering under the soulless oppression of communism.

Billy Graham carried his message around the world, but his heart, as Franklin will tell you, was always in America.
He took his message to the poorest places, to the downtrodden and to the brokenhearted, to inmates in prison, and to the overlooked and the neglected. He felt a great passion for those that were neglected.
Everywhere he went, Reverend Graham delivered the same beautiful message: God loves you. That was his message. God loves you.

We can only imagine the number of lives touched by the preaching and the prayers of Billy Graham –- the hearts he changed, the sorrows he eased, and the joy he brought to so many. The testimony is endless.

Today, we give thanks for this extraordinary life. And it’s very fitting that we do so right here in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol, where the memory of the American people is enshrined.
Here in this room, we are reminded that America is a nation sustained by prayer. The painting to my left is of the pilgrims as they embarked for America, holding fast to the Bible and bowing their heads in prayer.

Along these walls, we see the faces of Americans who prayed as they stood on the Lexington Green, who prayed as they headed west, prayed as they headed into battle, and prayed as they marched for justice, and always marched for victory.
Around us stand the statues of heroes who led the nation in prayer during the great and difficult times, from Washington to Lincoln to Eisenhower to King.

And, today, in the center of this great chamber lies legendary Billy Graham, an ambassador for Christ who reminded the world of the power of prayer and the gift of God’s grace.

Today we honor him as only three private citizens before him have been so honored.

And like the faithful of Charlotte once did, today we say a prayer for our country, that all across this land the Lord will raise up men and women like Billy Graham to spread a message of love and hope to every precious child of God.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you very much.
11:28 A.M. EST

From the White House, dated February 28, 2018: The official Presidential Proclamation regarding our Flag flying at Half-Mast today:

Presidential Proclamation on the Death of Billy Graham
Issued on: February 21, 2018

As a mark of respect for the memory of Reverend Billy Graham, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that on the day of his interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty first day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.


“I Can Only Imagine:” A Tribute to Billy Graham

We remember the words of Rev. Billy Graham, speaking from the National Cathedral in Washington, at the President’s request, as part of a special memorial service, following the events of Tuesday, November 11, 2001:
“This has been a terrible week with many tears. But, also it’s been a week of great faith … My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us, and will know in our hearts that he will never forsake us, as we trust in Him.”

Keep in mind that on the morning of that Memorial Service, there was only one civilian aircraft-in the entire United States-allowed to fly. Remember that all civilian aircraft had been grounded … on that day, in November, 2001 … there was only one civilian airplane allowed to fly … the airplane which carried Billy Graham to Washington, DC…

We share this video from Contagious Encouragement, entitled
“I Can Only Imagine”: A Tribute to Billy Graham:”
(Here’s a direct link to Contagious Encouragement YouTube Channel”

Produced by WFSH in Atlanta for KeepTheFaith.
Bart Millard performs his award winning song “I Can Only Imagine” with the London Symphony Orchestra.

May God bless the Graham family during this time.
“I Can Only Imagine” Courtesy of Fairtrade. Written by Bart Millard and performed by MercyMe.

NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part Four: Headline News

Mark Twain is credited with the saying that
“Fact is stranger than fiction.”

I am reminded, also, of the saying that,
“You can’t make this stuff up!”

To close our series, here is the actual newspaper headline from our own New Hampshire newspaper, the “New Hampshire Union Leader,” as it actually appeared, on the day after this year’s Super Bowl. Without doubt, the biggest football game of the year, and the most-watched.

This is the headline, as you can plainly see, from Monday, February 5, 2018, and, as you can plainly see, this is the “Super Bowl Edition.”

Note that this is not the “Sports” headline, but the Headline from the front page. To the left is the quote from Daniel Webster:
“There is nothing so powerful as truth.”

You just can’t make this stuff up!
I am reminded of another saying that
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Closing statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Freedom Unlimited Resources

NFL: No Flag Loyalty-Part Three: “What Happened to the NFL?”

Just a couple of weeks ago, we had a High School basketball game, as a special part of our regular School day.
Before the game started, it was a moment I’ll never forget:
As a student sang the National Anthem, I was mesmerized by a good friend of mine, our “School Resource Officer,” (for those who don’t know, that’s a uniformed Police Officer who is part of our School Staff), who, the entire time the Anthem was sung, stood proudly at attention, in full salute, facing the large American Flag, which is draped from the gym ceiling. It was, simply, a proud moment I’ll never forget. It reminded me of how important it is to recognize the sacrifices made for our freedom, and in his case, also included were the sacrifices made by fellow Police Officers.

It began with just wanting to reflect on things that had happened between the first and last parts of our series, “The Price for Freedom.” The one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue. I thought about this statement:
To those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”

Back in November, that “Reflection” Post was to introduce the final video in our “The Price for Freedom” series, and it was to be titled “Reflecting on the Changes Since Start of Series.” We concluded the series, the same way we began, by featuring a Memorial Day speech from President Ronald Reagan, which supplied our banner for the series:

“The price for this freedom has been high … but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.”

The First Video in this series, “The Price for Freedom,” was posted on June 23, 2017.
Since that time, I have experienced, and witnessed, much sadness and tragedy … As, have many of you.

In July, my beloved Father passed away, and I stood there, near his flag-draped casket, as I witnessed the 21-Gun Salute.

In October, one of my closest and dearest friends passed away, and I stood there, near his flag-draped casket, as the Soldiers came up in perfect formation, performed a heart-wrenching Memorial ceremony (this was conducted inside), and I listened to the words of why the design of our American Flag meant so much to those who live under it … what the flag represented…

Since that first video … This is just since June … I have seen that, just standing for our National Anthem … this same flag which was draped over the casket of my loved one … and yours … just standing in honor of that same flag … has become an issue …
I still can’t believe it … I understand it … like you do … but, I still can’t believe it…

Keep in Mind this Post was originally written, and scheduled for release in November:

I do know that one of the things I most look forward to, before a football game, is the National Anthem.
Now … “they” don’t even show it during a regular football telecast.
A league advertising“Salute  to the Military” … yet, they have ceased, made a conscious decision, to not even show the singing of our National Anthem … I get it … You don’t want to see your sport being booed … But, to say you “support” the Military, our Military, and, then, make a decision, a Corporate decision, to not broadcast the singing of our National Anthem….

Hey, America … I watched the World Series … Every Game this year, for the first time in many, many years…
Every game, I saw the players stand, and remove their hats, and stand … and stand … like Americans … for the singing of our National Anthem.
Can you imagine what would have happened if just one baseball player … just one … had kneeled during the National Anthem???

My close friend, speaking of the NFL, says “It’s too late.” Major League Baseball, which didn’t “pour it on” with “Military Salutes” during the World Series … well, the best part was the first part … The National Anthem…

A moment to explain the background behind this “It’s too late” statement. A close friend was pretty angry (that’s a polite phrase) that, at the height of this “National Anthem” fuss, one football team did not even come out for the singing of the National Anthem. Yes, they refused to even come out to the field for the National Anthem. However, they did allow one player to come out to the edge of the tunnel, where he stood at attention, hand over heart, for the Anthem. Note that this particular player is a former Captain in the United States Army, in which he served as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor, and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. I don’t know if the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) team tried to tie him up, or chain him, or something else to prevent him from coming out in honor of those who have served and died for our Country, but he, somehow, made it out at least to the edge of the field. Maybe he would have faced suspension if he had actually stepped onto the field? Anyway, another high-profile member of the team wrote something of an apology for the team, saying that intentionally not coming out for the Anthem may have been a mistake. You think??? So, there I was, and this was back in the Fall, there I was, trying to, and this is true … I tried to defend the apology of the player, that he had, in his own way, tried to apologize for his team’s actions. That’s when I got the response, “It’s too late.”

By the way, the game in question was at, and you can’t make this stuff up … the game was at “Soldier Field.” I just read that this particular player’s jersey was the top selling jersey on the NFL’s official store in the 24 hour period after that Sunday’s games.

So, back in November, I wrote this:

What Happened to the NFL?

What happened to the NFL?
They used to play for you and me
Now, they only seem to play for “ME.”

Before each game
I would wait for the Anthem to play
Waiting to stand to give honor to our country
Now, they won’t even show the Anthem on TV
That’s one more channel on which I can’t stay

You won’t stand in honor of those who have died?
You won’t stand in honor of those who have served?
You play a game, yes, play, yes, play a game,
Yet, you won’t stand for those whose honor is deserved?

You kneel, but not to pray
You kneel, yet are allowed to play
Yes, play, a game
You are still allowed in this country, to stay?

If you don’t stand for our flag
What do you stand for?
If you don’t stand for our flag
Whose flag do you stand for?

You say, proudly, that this isn’t about you
It’s about others, and what they are going through
That this isn’t about “ME,” you then stand and say
That it isn’t about “ME,’ what you showed us today

When the anthem plays, we all know to “remove our hats and stand”
We all remove our hats, yes, our hats we all doff
So, I have this question for you all:
If this isn’t just about “YOU,”
Why, then, as you kneel, do you take your helmets off?

So, then, it’s not about “THEM,” it’s about “YOU”
Otherwise, you would leave your helmet on
How else could they get a close-up of “YOU”
Instead of showing the Red, White, and Blue?
If you don’t stand for the American flag
Which flag do you stand for?
If it’s not about “YOU,”
Why do you take your helmet off?

You’ve done your job
You’ve shown yourself to me
So have the networks
Now, they don’t even show the Anthem on TV

While you kneel there,
Thinking you are great,
I must agree with my friends,
For the NFL, it’s too late
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

To those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”