The First Bud Of Spring- A Love Story

 

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It was a long, cold, dark winter. One that she didn’t think would ever end. There was snow, rain, and sleet. A couple of times there was enough ice to nearly break the branches on the trees. The little girl held on. She waited for the warmer weather, the better times, the warmth of the sun. She knew it would come, it was just a matter of time. As she waited patiently, she would say her prayers, she would thank God for protecting her and her mommy and daddy during these cold, dark, winter nights.

Finally, the day had come. The first bud of spring appeared out of the ground. The bud peeked out of her shoot and could feel the warmth surround her. She was filled with so much joy that, at first,  she didn’t notice she was the only bud sprouting. After basking in the warmth of the sunshine for a few minutes she looked around, startled that she was the only one. Where was everyone else? Was she going to be all alone? Did she come out too soon? Was colder weather coming back and she would die because of her eagerness to sprout? She was filled with fear and doubt but she stayed strong. She knew God had a plan for her. It was then that a little girl saw her and started yelling for her dad to come see the new flower. The little girl was so excited that the bud could not help but smile. Her excitement was contagious.

A little while later another bud awakened. He also took a moment to take in the warmth around him. He then looked to see if the others had awakened and that was when he saw her. She was within inches of him and he knew he would love her. It didn’t take long for her to notice him either, even though it took the help of a little girl yelling “Look, daddy, now there’s two!”

 

They welcomed the spring with all the other buds that started to awaken. With all the other flowers around them, they knew they were meant for each other. When the rains came, he would lean towards her to cover her petals. When the strong winds came they would lean into it together, holding stems. They were inseparable. When the bees came they opened their petals for them so they could spread their seeds to other lands where there were no flowers. They also knew that the bees relied on their pollen to take back to their hives for food. It was a beneficial relationship.  Everything was new and exciting.

Then summer came. It was a scorching summer, one like they had never seen. There was no water. Many flowers died but not our couple. They shared what they had with each other. Every little drop of moisture was shared between them. Luckily, they were also planted where they had shade for part of the day. They counted the hours down together until they were cooled by the shade. Every once in awhile the little girl would come out with a can of water and feed them, helping to keep them alive. They were often too tired to open their petals wide enough for the bees to come but they did their best. They knew the only way to survive this summer was with the help of others. They prayed their prayers for rain, for cooler temperatures but it was not to be. Sometimes in life, God doesn’t answer prayers and there are reasons only He knows why. They had reached a point in their relationship that they were still together, but they didn’t talk much. Too much too worry about, too much life got in the way. When was their next rain drop, how would they make it through another day without food, why couldn’t they be like they were in the spring? Did they waste this whole season of their life? They knew better because they still shared the little water they had, they still  protected each other but the excitement was gone.

Before they knew it Autumn was here. They had made it through the difficult summer and were enjoying another season of their life. The rains came again, as well as cooler weather. When he looked at her she was still the most beautiful, most loving, most caring flower in the garden. When she looked at him he was still the bravest, strongest, most handsome flower this side of Eden. They held each other’s petals more each day, knowing that their days were winding down. They reflected on the spring and the summer. Days when their love was new and days when they didn’t know if they would make it. They thought of their seeds spread far and wide, soon to be new flowers that would spread their love and beauty around the world. It wasn’t easy, they had moments of doubt but they fought for each other, they fought for their love. They survived.

Soon the cold winds blew again. They held on for as long as they could but with each passing day, their petals would fall off. They knew it wouldn’t be long now but they held on for each struggling moment. Relying on each other to get by. Praying for just one more second. She was the first to go, as she was the first to sprout. He wasn’t far behind her.

The little girl, all bundled up from the cold,  looked at her daddy and said, “Look, daddy, the first two here are they last two to leave. I wonder if they were happy here, I wonder if they were in love.”

“Now, now,” said the daddy, “we know flowers can’t fall in love but if they could, those two would definitely have been like me and your mom. Through all the seasons and all the weather, the rain, the sun, the cold, they were standing right beside each other. Holding petals all the while.”

The little girl giggled. Through the cold, dark, winter nights she was safe as she anxiously waited for the first bud of spring to blossom again.

I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman –  

Then by Brad Paisley – 

Stand By You by Rachel Platten – 

Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice – 

The End Is Not The Answer by Three Days Grace – 

Worth Fighting For by Nine Days – 

When I Said I Do by Clint Black – 

Forever Changed by Carrie Underwood – 

Remind Me by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood – 

Would You Go With Me by Josh Turner – 

I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders – 

Meant To Be by JJ Heller – 

What Faith Can Do by Kutless – 

Love Not Hate- The Virus

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History of the birds:

Love, Not Hate: Part 1

Love, Not Hate: Part Two

Love, Not Hate: Christmas Eve

Love, Not Hate: A New Chapter

Love, Not Hate: A New World

Love, Not Hate: The Division

Love, Not Hate: The Reconciliation

Love, Not Hate: Tragedy At Mandalay Bay

Love, Not Hate: Continue To Love

Love Not Hate: Love On Trial

Love Not Hate- Trick or Treat, Halloween Night

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The eagle could not believe what he was hearing

Almost all the birds chirping, the birds fearing

At first, he thought he had to be dreaming

The eagle could not believe what he was seeing

The birds were taking every seed, every fruit

When they gathered all, they started digging at the roots

He flew down to the biggest oak

He thought for a minute and then he spoke

“Do you not understand what you do?

By hoarding all this food

Half of it will rot in your nest

While the ones in need starve to death

Instead of taking only what you need

You’ve taken every single seed

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I made the land to replenish itself

But in your greed, looking out for yourself

In all your worrying

You’ve taken everything,

Trust me, the food will start to grow again

But birds, I implore you, until then

Stay calm and keep a level head

Share your food until every bird is fed

In times like this, we must come together

Because these times do not last forever

We’ve been here many times before

It’s time for us to spread our wings and soar

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We must no longer digress

We need to give more and take less

Many of you are looking out helplessly

We need to give love, compassion, empathy

You younger birds who are on hiatus from school

There’s so much more you can do

Don’t waste these weeks away

Improve yourself each and every day

You can help heal this land

Start by lending a helping hand

Take this time to reconnect with your family

Take this time to learn to love more deeply

And for you vultures, listen to my warning, take heed

For those that hoarded more than you need

Hoping to price gouge when you resell

There’s  a special place for you in hell

We must bond together in these trying times

It is now when you will see heroes rise

Their names you may never know

But their stories will forever be told

Now all you birds, fly home and be patient

Let us come together as one nation

Let us all be benevolent

Let our love be prevalent”

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Keep Your Head Child by JNR Williams –

I See Heroes by Vision Vision –

Better Than Today by Rhys Lewis –

I Don’t Have To Know by Cana’s Voice –

Every One Of Us by Rick Astley –

The Hope Song by Citizen Way –

A Fight Worth Fighting For

 

She took her place at the back of the bus

The other passengers looked at her in disgust

She was brave, walked to the front and took a seat by the door

Rosa Parks knew this was a fight worth fighting for

Abraham Lincoln said a house divided against itself cannot stand

Civil war ensued and divided our great land

All persons held as slaves shall forever be set free

The fight he fought forever changed our history

Martin Luther King Jr. helped create the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Non-violent protests, Ending legal segregation forever more

He had a dream, all will be treated by their character and not the color of their skin

Sometimes I wonder when will we begin?

Barbara Johns was just sixteen years old

Protesting the conditions at the school she was enrolled

A boycott of classes, Four lawsuits filed across the nation

In 1954, the Supreme Court outlawed public school segregation

July 26th, 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed

A progression in recognizing all people of all categories was defined

All people should be treated equally, even when they are different

Common sense if you ask me but the passing of this act was significant

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Susan B. Anthony and many others fought for years

For women’s rights for all their peers

They fought for fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave and child care

They fought for equal wages, to be treated fair

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He said : I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love  have always won

Gandhi fought for Indian independence and in 1947 it was done

He believed  different religions could live together peacefully

A seeker of the truth he taught endlessly

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She said: Not all of us can do great things but we can do small thing great love

Sister Teresa fought for the poor and was an angel from above

She lived to help all those in need

God’s very own servant indeed

Tortured, beaten, murdered for what they believed in

They know that Jesus  died for all their sins

Death was no longer feared, lives filled with hope and more

They knew that was a fight worth fighting for

 

We can all work together to unite the world

Every nation, every man, woman, boy, and girl

Hold each other’s hands through open doors

We all know it’s a fight worth fighting for

Glory by John Legend and Common –

Dear Hate by Maren Morris – 

Messengers by Lecrae (feat For King & Country) – 

Love Wins by Ty Herndon – 

Love Feels Like by TobyMac – 

Love / Hate (On and On) by Disciple – 

We Will Never Give Up by Sanctus Real – 

Worth Fighting For by Brian Courtney Wilson – 

Something Worth Fighting For by Josh Auer – 

Woke Up This Morning by John Legend –  

Waiting on The World To Change by John Mayer – 

Pride (In The Name Of Love) by U2 – 

World Changers by Matthew West – 

Your Hand To Hold

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Forgive me, I know I haven’t been myself

Sometimes I feel like I’m somebody else

I’m trying to do all I can

It’s nice just to hold your hand

I know we have had some good years

But the memories slowly disappear

When I forget where I am

It’s nice just to hold your hand

I know many times I ask you to repeat

I appreciate how you humor me

Now I don’t know God’s plan

But I sure am thankful He gave me your hand

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Thank you for remembering the foods I like

And for making my darkness so bright

Thank you for remembering who I am

I know I love holding your hand

One day my brain will forget to tell my heart to beat

I’ll be gone and you’ll no longer be with me

I’ll wait patiently in Heaven so grand

Until again I can hold your hand

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Remember For Me by Gordon Mote-

Throw Me A Party by Rita Wilson-

While He Still Knows Who I Am by Kenny Chesney –

Remember Me by Chris Mann-

Blank Stares by Jay Allen –

 

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Love Not Hate- Trick or Treat, Halloween Night

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History of the birds:

Love, Not Hate: Part 1

Love, Not Hate: Part Two

Love, Not Hate: Christmas Eve

Love, Not Hate: A New Chapter

Love, Not Hate: A New World

Love, Not Hate: The Division

Love, Not Hate: The Reconciliation

Love, Not Hate: Tragedy At Mandalay Bay

Love, Not Hate: Continue To Love

Love Not Hate: Love On Trial

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All the little birds wanted to trick or treat

But tonight, their nests they would not leave

It was Halloween night all through the land

But you see, trick or treating had been banned

The parents said the world had grown too dark

And they placed walls around their cold hearts

The land had been taken over by evil and hate

The parents told the little ones they would have to wait

You never know if that bird behind that hockey mask

Is looking for candy or up to some sinister act

Or that bird dressed in that scary disguise

Is carrying a gun or even a knife

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The little ones had tears in their eyes

Please let us trick or treat tonight

The little ones begged and said you can protect us

And talk to the neighbors you haven’t spoken to since Christmas

You stay inside and don’t do what the Eagle has said

It was out of love his blood was shed

The eagle said do not live in fear

But it’s what you do keeping us locked in here

How can we spread love and dispel hate

If you keep us locked here in this cage

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Then the parents were quite surprised

Those words hit home they realized

And they soon came to understand

They have let fear and hate rule their land

In fear they had locked themselves in their nests

Letting hate take over while love took a rest

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They didn’t even talk to their neighbors or their friends

They didn’t spread love to strangers and love they did not defend

The light they carry they had let grow dark

But their children’s words had ignited a spark

They realized they had made their homes a coffin

Because of their children, the parents’ hearts softened

Then they said we will go out on this Halloween night

Instead of letting hate rule we will let our love be the light

Tonight we must start to let love grow and hate decline

Yes, tonight in the darkness our light will shine

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Hey Papa by Natasha Bedingfield-

Fire Away by Disciple-

Dreaming by P.O.D. –

In Our Blood by Tyrone Wells-

Community by Kira Willey –

 

 

Love Not Hate: Love On Trial

So I posted this at 1030 this morning, and then I posted it to Facebook.  Now it is no longer on WordPress and it can not be found on Facebook.  I think the forces are out for people not to read this one.

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As with humans, the birds keep repeating history instead of learning from it. Catch up on their history with the links below.

Love, Not Hate: Part 1

Love, Not Hate: Part Two

Love, Not Hate: Christmas Eve

Love, Not Hate: A New Chapter

Love, Not Hate: A New World

Love, Not Hate: The Division

Love, Not Hate: The Reconciliation

Love, Not Hate: Tragedy At Mandalay Bay

Love, Not Hate: Continue To Love

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Some of the birds were in pain

Some of the birds cried in the rain

Another shooting, another tragedy

An opioid epidemic to escape reality

Nothing in their world was making sense

Every bird suspicious and on defense

One question asked by the birds of prey and the birds of love

Where is the eagle? Why has he abandoned us?

All of you were born with a heart to love

The cardinal, blue jay, vulture, warbler, the dove

But love has gone away over the last few years

While anxiety has increased, and with that fears

What can we do? The birds ask as depression looms large

Darkness has overcome the land as it seems no one is in charge

Then out of nowhere the eagle lands

Only to be taken into the trial to take his stand

“Where have you been?” the birds proclaim

On vacation or don’t care,” his reputation they try to defame

They all throw words of hate at him, both birds large and small

The birds all say you said would love and stay and defend us all

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Then the eagle looks at the birds scattered around, clears his throat and boldly speaks

“Your schools, your courts, your homes and some of your churches, you asked me to leave

I say love all and teach acceptance

But you preach intolerance

While the poor become poorer and the rich become more prosperous

Have I ever said not to help the least of us?

I ask you to lend a hand, to help each other out

But you scream hate and racist remarks you shout

I ask you to pick a brother up when he is down

But you use your beaks and claws to stomp him in the ground

I ask you to protect each other with your lives

But you kill each other with words as sharp as knives

I ask you not to store possessions but to give to those in need

But instead of sharing most of you would rather bleed

I give each of you a light inside yourselves to change all of our kind

But each of you denies that light, instead, acting as if you are blind

You ask where have I been? I say I have never left

I will even go so far as to say you have never been more blessed

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But what have you done with all these blessings

That’s a good question, many of you will be left guessing

But some of you will recognize the truth

I have given it all to the elders to teach all the youth

Parkland, Las Vegas, El Paso, Dayton. When will it stop?

I tell you when you love and all this hate you drop

You place me here on trial

But you, my friends, are in denial

I was there when the bullets took your loved ones away

I was there when you cried those tears of pain

I was there when the questions came

I was there when it was I who you blamed

I was there even though you have asked me to leave

I was there in your moments of joy and your moments of grief

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I was there in the deaths of the battlefields

I was there, protecting you with my shield

I was there when it didn’t rain in your barren lands

I was there when food was bountiful in your hands

I was there in every misfortune and every blessing

I was there when your tongues cursed me and when they were professing

I was there in those moments you felt uninspired

Yes, I was there when those shots were fired

Now I have answered your question on where was I

And I have said that hate is the answer to the question why

But I leave you with this when you wonder if I am here at all

Where is the love? Where are you all birds big and small?

Where is the compassion, empathy, and kindness? Listen to what I say

Fight for love, do not let the land be taken over by the birds of prey!”

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Why God by Austin French-

Where Is God by Michael Farren –

Questions by Tori Kelley-

Parkland by Duff McKagan-

Common by Maren Morris-

What If by India Arie –

Change by Mavis Staples-

1000 Promises by Building 429 –

 

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Rodney The Raccoon – Inside The Mask

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(image credit: Mari Jones from Journey of a Million Miles)

“Oh, hello there.  My name is Rodney. It’s nice to see you. I don’t get many visitors. Most people see the mask and think I am bad.  I must tell you, I am not! At least most of the time. I am honest if nothing else. My mom always told me honesty is the best policy.”

“Come on down and have a sit. I don’t have rabies or anything. My uncle Phil had rabies but he is long gone. Only one in the family to get rabies but everyone usually thinks we are all rabid.  It’s like your family. I bet you have one bad apple in that tree.  Does everyone think you are bad because of them?”

“Let me tell you something else. We eat a lot of different things from pesky insects and small rodents to fruits and nuts. Yes, that was me in your trash can the other day but I could not find any other food. I had to feed my family. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  You know how many of your kind I have seen trying to find food in trash cans. It’s sad if you ask me.  I mean me, I’m an animal and I don’t have anyone looking after me except maybe my near family. Your kind though, you throw away about half the food you eat. I see it in your trash cans and land fills. Shouldn’t you be helping others of your kind out instead of throwing it away?  How about buying less so there is less to throw away and using that extra money to give to a food bank or something? I once helped a deer out. Not typical for me but I just could not eat anymore berries so instead of tossing them to the ground, I gave them to the deer. Next time you see that homeless guy, look past what you see and feel what’s in his heart. You won’t miss that dollar or that sandwich you give him. Maybe even your heart will  grow three sizes that day if you did.”

“The mask?  What’s up with the mask you ask?  Take a look around you, everyone wears a mask.  Some you just see easier than others. My mask is for me to be able to see better at night. Look at that person over there? Do you think her mask is to protect her from her past?  She would love to take off her mask, get rid of her past mistakes but she is too scared to take it off. You don’t see a mask? Trust me, it’s there.  Look at that guy.  Do you think his mask protects him ? He looks like he is big and tough and can take on the world but inside he is hurting, he is begging to be loved, he is a big softy but no one will ever see that.  That little girl over there? Yes, another mask. She tries to put a smile on and be happy but I see her eyes. Her pain. She gets yelled at everyday. Her parents fight all the time. She doesn’t think she is worth anything.  That’s sad to see a mask on someone so young. I think you humans can do better. Take off the mask. Like my mom always said, honesty is the best policy. It will release so much stress and hurt.”

“What? You thought I was an animal to stay away from?  Why?  Because of my mask and the rings on my tail.  Really?  Take a look around you. Do you stay away from everyone that looks scary?  The guy with all the tattoos?  He is the nicest guy I ever met. The black man over there gave me his leftover food one day. I took that right home to my kids. They were so thankful. The white guy over there killed a snake one day and brought it over near my home. I eat anything.  Dead carcasses are sometimes my favorite. The Asian guy over there came right up to me one day, just like you did today, and just started talking. I sat there and listened. The Muslim lady over there wept with me one day when my youngest baby was hit by a car.  I don’t discriminate. I need all of you to survive.  Sometimes I help you, sometimes you help me.  That’s the way it should be. ”

“It doesn’t matter who you are. I will come up to you. That scares most people who only see my mask. Do you know I have a friend names Jesus who was the same way?  He talked to everyone, and there were people who were afraid of Him. He only wanted to teach people about His father and the love He has for all of us and how we should treat others.  Yet, people were afraid of Him and had Him crucified. He died for all of us. That includes you. Isn’t that awezing?”

“What? That’s not what you are taught. That’s a shame my friend. A real shame. I can call you friend, right? That’s what you are to me. I think you should take my words to heart. Go out and look at what’s inside a person. Get to know them.  Get past the masks and the colors.  You might be surprised what you find.”

“Have an awezing day my friend.  What’s that? You don’t know what awezing is? Oh, that’s a word I made up combining awesome and amazing. See, never know what you will find once you get to know someone.”

(image credit: Laura Ross)

Walking Blind by Javier Colon – 

Chosen Ones by Blanca – 

Get To Know Me by Mateo – 

Colors of the Wind by Tori Kelly – 

Heal The World by Michael Jackson – 

Where Is The Love by The Black Eyed Peas – 

Unite by 1GN – 

World Changers by Matthew  West – 

Love Feels Like by TobyMac – 

Rainbow Connection by Gwen Stefani (original by Kermit the Frog) –