Flowers in the Wetlands

A wildflower is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted, even if it is growing where it would not naturally. In life we hear the term ‘bloom where you’re planted’, and many times we see this happens were it’s not intentional. However, both serve the purpose of bringing beauty to the world. Wild Flowers in the Wetlands – Black and White Nature Photograph – Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella

The Power of Prayer

I’m a firm believer in prayer. … and prayer in numbers. In the Bible, Chapter 18, verses 19 and 20, it says (Catholic version): “l Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. .. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”. ‘The Power of Prayer‘ Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella.

We Remember 9/11

Photo: ‘We Remember 9/11′ – Copyright 2016 Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved.

A Silent Parade Of Fire Trucks Only To Honor Those First Responders That Have Died In 9/11 And In The Past Years. Before The Parade, All The Participating Firefighters Gathered For A Church Service Honoring The Fallen and Victims of Terrorist Attacks.

On September 11th, let us all remember to pray for peace in America and throughout the world. Let us also remember the victims, the courageous first responders who lost their lives, and all of the families who lost loved ones in this momentous tragedy.

God of Love, Strengthen Us In Hope.

Goals Are Just Problems Waiting to Be Solved

Photo: The Bike Race – Black and White – Photograph Copyright 2010 Frank J Casella

Tons of material has been written about setting and achieving goals. Almost nothing has been written about intentions. Intentions are the foundation for goal achievement. Intentions are the power behind goal achievement. Intentions create both resolve and desire. The resolve and desire to achieve. What are your intentions?

In business, when you get your sales plan or sales quota, do you intend to achieve it? Or are you defeated the moment you look at it? How about that home project that you’ve put off? Or in developing your holiness?

Mentally change “gonna” to “intend.” I’m gonna lose ten pounds. I intend to lose ten pounds. Which do you think is more powerful? Intention makes things happen.

Here’s a way to begin understanding intention: take a resolution or a goal that you did not achieve. Write down why that achievement did not occur. Not excuses, the real why. Now write another paragraph on what you could have intended to do that might have made that goal, or that resolution, a reality.

Many people I know convert setting goals into problem solving. In other words, instead of setting a goal just look at that goal as a problem that needs to be solved. This method tends to make goal setting more digestible.

You may have a goal, or you may have been given a goal, but your intentions will dictate the outcome of the effort ( or lack of it ).

Morning Sunlight Through The Pines

Photo: ‘Morning Sunlight Through The Pines‘ – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella.
The late winter morning sunlight through the pine trees created a silhouetted abstract pattern showing the details of the tree branches. How much more when we allow the Light of God to shine through our lives.

Smarts and Intelligence

Photo: Complimentary Medicine – Street Documentary Art Photograph Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella

Some people seem to be smart, as in intelligent, bright, or knowledgeable, and others not. What makes, or causes, the difference?

Someone asked how I come up with my topic for each blog post. Well, basically, I wake up in the morning and spend much quiet time, not to allow outside influences, and discern what is the most pressing thought or issue on my mind from the past week.

Today that happened to be about smarts. That is, I have come to realize how often people tell me how smart or intelligent I am. Or I find out others have said this about me. This troubles me a great deal, because I don’t believe anyone is really smart, it is just simply how we give to and treat others.

For example, in the business world I find many people make decisions based on how much providing their service or product costs them, or how much money they make from a business relationship.

The people who are smart understand by investing in these opportunities through what benefits others will always come back with more opportunity. Not always direct business, but sometimes referrals, or some other interaction.

It’s the basic principles of following what the Bible says about money, and the Ten Commandments, with a sprinkling of experiences and practicing integrity. Sometimes I’ve had to make business decisions that looked as if it, or I, was failing. But the decision was based on what most benefits others in the matter.

Sometimes months or years later I learn how my decisions like this really benefited others, other times I have confirmed how my decisions didn’t work at all, even though I had to struggle. And struggle is the key, because you don’t get wisdom without struggling through learning from experience.

Same goes for the struggle to develop the habits of reading the Bible daily, or seeking from a mentor and then taking action. Jesus struggled so that we could have Salvation, being submissive to God.

Books don’t make you smart, until it is how you give that knowledge to others that makes them see your wisdom. It’s not smart to keep that wisdom to yourself.

There are certain areas in business that I am not very good, and I found this out by trial and mostly error. So I decided that I would only do the things that I am highly skilled at, and turn to others who are highly skilled in the things I am not. Other times this taught me how I can be very good at something I didn’t think I was good at.

So when you mostly do only the things that God has gifted you with, is the smart thing to do. It is learning through our mistakes that we’re able to see the ‘red flags’ in situations, and respond to them more intelligently in this way.

So, again, this is the message for today: That to be considered to have smarts means, to me, that you give from your best self, skills, experiences, and following the Bible, in a way that makes a positive impact on others and in the world.

Changing Seasons of Time

Photo: ‘Changing Seasons of Time‘ – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella.

When I see one tree almost bare from the falling leaves of Autumn, and another not even changing colors, it reminds me about the changing seasons of life, or a reminder how each of us is different.

All of us are individuals to the point that each of us has a right to our own opinion. I learned this in a profound way from a very good friend of mine. And as we get older we tend to change who we are, and what we think, based on our experiences.

Ask anyone who is married for a few decades and they most likely will attest to this.

If you look at the age of the trees, many variables cause them to grow to a certain size, in different directions, and how they react to the seasons over the years, etc. …

So the lesson, or point, here is that as we go through the seasons of life over time to ‘just move with it’. Be open to others viewpoints and how they change or respond to their environments, and not take everything too seriously.

It is then we truly notice the beauty of life and the blessings of this world we live in.

May God’s blessings Fall on you like the leaves of Autumn.

Wood Bench and Yellow Flowers

A place to rest along the preserve trail, this wood bench I found very inviting, especially with the yellow flowers ( that some may call weeds ). When I get a chance to walk the trail here at the Homewood Izaak Walton Preserve in Illinois, located a short drive south of Chicago. I love to see people at this bench in deep thought or enjoying the scenic environment, where there is always a breeze right off the lake. Wood Bench and Yellow Flowers Copyright 2016 Frank J Casella