Category Archives: VIDEOS, POWER POINTS, AND PHOTOS TO SHARE

Here are videos, power point presentations, and photos, which have been shared with us, and we’d like to share with you.

I Remember: “Bruno!” “Bruno!” “Bruno!”

And now, I must write about Bruno Sammartino.

I once wrote that “Mickey Mantle … was … well … Mickey Mantle.”

Bruno Sammartino was … well … Bruno Sammartino.

To me, like so many of you, when you hear the name “Bruno,” there is only one man’s image who comes to mind.

Many times, I’ve been to Madison Square Garden, “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” and marveled at the large poster-displays of legends like Elvis Presley, Walt Frazier … and, Bruno Sammartino.

Bruno Sammartino.

If you are a baseball fan, you “just remember,” just know, Mickey Mantle’s lifetime batting average, how many home runs he had, what number he wore, etc.:

Please keep in mind that in these “I Remember” posts, I never research … I just write from memory, so here goes:
.298
536
Number 7
Etc.

I’m thinking that, in much the same way, you remember Bruno Sammartino:
Headlined at Madison Square Garden … and sold out Madison Square Garden … 188 times.
No one has even come close.
No one has even come close to coming close.
Set the World’s Bench Mark Record, “benching” 565 pounds. He held the weights for 2 seconds on his chest, before raising the weight. He did this without wrapping his wrists or elbows.
Known as “The World’s Strongest Man.”
Superman … “The Italian Superman.”
The Living Legend.
Wrestling 18 minutes with a broken neck.
A true gentleman.
Class personified.

Just last Summer, I was in Pittsburgh, in Bruno’s “hometown,” and spent time in Bruno’s old neighborhood, the “Oakland” section of Pittsburgh. A neighborhood where both Dan Marino and Andy Warhol were raised.

Yes … I know it was Professional Wrestling … but … Bruno held the World Championship longer than any man in history. He beat Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds (I still know that!) at Madison Square Garden, to win his first World Championship. That was in 1963.

Bruno would hold the World Championship (this first time) until January 18th, 1971. Think about how long a time that was. You guessed it:  No one has even come close. No one has even come close to coming close. I have to look this up to make sure: seven years, eight months, and one day (2,803 days). I think of those who grew up during the Great Depression. The only President of the United States they knew was Franklin Roosevelt. In much the same way, kids growing up during this time only knew Bruno Sammartino as Champion.
Bruno lost the title to Ivan Koloff, at Madison Square Garden, on January 18, 1971.
I mention that date to bring back the memory.

A couple of days ago, I watched that match on YouTube. At the end of the match, the announcer said, “You can hear a pin drop at Madison Square Garden.”
Grown men were seen weeping in the crowd.
Later, Bruno would say that he thought he had suffered ear damage, because he could not hear the crowd. His ears were fine. The sold-out crowd was just that stunned.

 Interestingly, one of our favorite shared videos, and most popular, features Ivan Koloff, sharing his testimony of how Jesus saved him, and brought him into the ministry.

Here’s a quick link to that story and video:

https://pastorappreciationblog.com/2013/07/26/special-video-testimony-ivan-koloff/

Yes, Bruno would re-gain the World Championship in 2 years, defeating Stan Stasiak. Remember that?

As I’ve gotten older, do you know what I remember most, think about most, when I think of Bruno Sammartino?
His story.
And … how it inspires me.
How much his family went through.
This is what I remember:

What a thrill it is to see those old videos of Bruno, and, in the introduction, “From Abruzzo, Italy” … I have a special connection to Italy … Yes, Bruno’s family would move to Pittsburgh, but, the way his story began …

There were seven children, and Bruno was the youngest. Four (yes, 4) of the children would die during Bruno’s childhood. Bruno’s father would go on ahead to Pittsburgh, but, before his children could follow … World War II broke out, and Germany invaded Italy … Bruno’s mother took her children, including a young, sickly Bruno, and hid out in the nearby mountains. They would hide all day in the mountains, and then, at night, Bruno’s mother, Amelia, would sneak into town, under cover of darkness, gather whatever food and supplies she could find, and bring them back to her children …

It was a miracle, but, Bruno, underweight, and sick, somehow survived. I’ve heard Bruno speak of this … how sick and weak he was … how he wished his mother “could see her little Bruno now … “

When Bruno arrived in Pittsburgh with his remaining family, he was little, weak, and sickly. He could speak no English. Want to imagine what a target he became to local bullies?

Accidents happen. Even in a well-planned event.
On April 26, 1976 (I did have to check the exact date), at Madison Square Garden, Bruno wrestled Stan Hansen (yes, we remember “the Lariat” and Borger, Texas). Something went wrong. Bruno suffered a “neck fracture.” Yes, a broken neck. Bruno literally, and I mean literally, for real, had his neck fractured during the match. A broken neck. In the middle of the match. I’ll never forget it … because of what happened next … and, next … and, next …

Bruno Sammartino wrestled for another 18 minutes … another 18 minutes … with a broken neck … a broken neck …
He wrestled for 18 minutes with a broken neck. Bruno would later say that his doctors advised him that he came within a millimeter of being paralyzed from the neck down. I remember the cover of the Wrestling magazines, with Bruno on a stretcher … with the neck brace on, and everything …

Keep in mind that I, like many of you, lived “way out in the boonies,” so we only got a couple of local TV channels, so we only got to “see” our heroes in magazines … which made them, somehow, even more of a hero …

Was this real? Yes, it was. I’ve written how, because of how honest my Father was, I never doubted the story of Abraham Lincoln walking 5 miles to return a book. In the same way, I never doubted how tough Bruno was. My dad was that tough, so I never doubted how tough Bruno was. 

By the way … remember? … the rematch with Stan Hansen had to be held at Shea Stadium … Madison Square Garden would have been too small to hold the crowd … Yes … Shea Stadium … I’ve seen that match, too …

I’ll probably watch that one again tonight …

Today, Saturday, as I do laundry, the grocery shopping, the bills, and, instead of going outside to enjoy the first “almost warm” sunny day in recent memory, I write … I remember … What a privilege it is, to be able to share my thoughts on the great Bruno Sammartino.
Not the wrestler.
The man.
The gentleman.

This week, once again, grown men, including myself, were “seen weeping” over a Bruno Sammartino loss … The Great Bruno Sammartino …

Here is a video announcement of Bruno’s death, from KDKA Television in Pittsburgh … where we hear Bruno speak of his Mother … Note the look in his eyes … the sound of his voice … as he says, “My Mom showed the courage of a lion … I don’t know if I’d been man enough to do what she did …”

 

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The Slide Show: John Michael Montgomery’s “The Little Girl”

Recently, we featured the song “The Little Girl,” written by Harley Allen, and sung by John Michael Montgomery, from his album “Brand New Me,” which was released in August, 2000.

I wrote how I had wanted to do a “slide show” of this song, but never got around to it. Years later, I had never forgotten the song, or wanting to feature it, in some format, some day.

Here’s a link to that post:
“The Little Girl:” John Michael Montgomery

I found a “slide show” done to the song, and feature it now.

I will admit, readily, that, frankly, I went “back and forth, back and forth” about sharing this. Yes, I received notes like “That’s the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”

When I featured the song, I wrote:
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

I thought … and thought … about sharing this slide show. It does have some disturbing images.
But … Not all of them are.

However … it is about life … which can, for so many … carry “disturbing images.”
But … Not all of them are.

However … I then realized that … it’s not about the beginning … it’s about the ending …
Now, that’s a familiar theme …

Now, I’m reminded of this verse:
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.”
Ecclesiastes 7:8
That was written by King Solomon, considered to be the wisest man who ever lived.

The beginning of this story does carry some disturbing images.
The beginning of many of our lives carry some disturbing images.

I thought, “Our only goal, our Mission Statement here, is
“To bless, inspire, and encourage.”

Well … this story “ends well.” In fact, it blesses, inspires, and encourages me.
My heart breaks at the beginning … and … guess what?
When I went in and watched this, just now … for “the hundredth time” … those were real tears I was wiping away …
Why do I feel “it’s the right thing to do” to feature this?
Because those tears came at the end of the slide show … not the beginning …

Disturbing images?
Maybe … just maybe … I need to be disturbed … I need to “feel as He feels,” heart breaking, as He sees choices made, and “at what cost.” Maybe I do need to be reminded to care more … to pray more … to do more … Maybe I do need to be “disturbed” …

Plus … I really love the ending … It “gets me every time.” The fact that it features the Police and Military, two groups I respect and admire … and, then … there is Jesus … He died for me, too … He loves me, too … He cares for me, too …

It’s not about the beginning …

In my research, I found this profound statement on the website, Greater Grace World Outreach,” in a commentary on the verse from Ecclesiastes:
“We are not able to know how something will end by the way it started.”

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.
Now.
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

“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.

Tortured for Christ [The Movie] – Official Trailer

We share this from “The Voice of the Martyrs:”
Visit their website at https://www.persecution.com/

The Voice of the Martyrs presents the inspiring new movie, Tortured for Christ, a cinematic retelling of the testimony of VOM founder Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, as written in his international
bestseller “Tortured for Christ.” This movie was produced to honor the 50th anniversary of the book’s 1967 release.

Filmed entirely in Romania, including in the very prison where Pastor Wurmbrand endured torture and solitary confinement, this powerful film uniquely presents the story with live action rather than interviews. The dialogue is presented in English, Romanian and Russian (with English subtitles) to hold to the authenticity of this true story.

The movie opens in theaters on March 5, 2018.
Advance tickets can be purchased at www.TorturedforChrist.com.