Sunday, December 16, 2007
This is the name of Radio Broadcaster A.L. Alexander’s collection of poems from his popular radio series which began on March 31, 1935, known as “Good Will Court.” Later in 1937 Alexander produced and presented to a nationwide audience the Court of Human Relations, also known as A.L. Alexander’s True Story Court.
Since discovering this treasure chest of poems, selectively chosen by A.L. Alexander, the book has remained one of my main sources for weddings, funerals, memorials and for the pleasure of reading. There is no doubt that the collection affected thousands over the years throughout the 1940’s into the 1960’s. Since its first publication there have been twenty-five reprint-ings. From 1956 - 1961 there were five more printings of a revised and enlarged edition. Fortunately my copy is one of the enlarged editions.
In the Introduction to the book, Alexander offers the following: “The object of the program (also called the Mediation Program) was to educate the public to the existence of a method by which grievances, when submitted to a board and approached tolerantly and sympathetically, can be heard and settled with a minimum of delay, with justice, with impartiality and, in most cases, with finality.”
He went on to explain, “Whatever any or all of the broadcasts had or did not have, there was one feature common to all of them. Each had the capacity to start the community thinking and therefore prepare the ground for the advancement of progress. Because of their realism and human interest they touched the heart and often inspired the desire for reformation. All were related in the sense that they grew out of the same basic purpose and human need.”
Alexander noted, “There was one other feature common to all of these programs, the custom of concluding each of them with an appropriate poem.” He added, “I have always had the conviction that poetry of a human and simple nature satisfies a hunger that is part of nearly every person’s make-up. Such expression served to point up and summarize what had been said in the more general way on the program proper, and I found it the most gracious and effective way of bringing the hour to a natural and logical conclusion.”
In the future when I use a poem from the A.L. Alexander collection, I will provide his comments about the impact of poetry in his radio programs and the initial skepticism from editors and broadcast executives. Alexander said, “Tens of thousands from every conceivable walk of life wrote of their being lifted up by a simple verse having the capacity to inspire patience of heart or rekindle hope and faith.”
The collection has had the same impact upon me. Perhaps you will begin to understand how a poem can strengthen your life, and why it is such a pleasure to have you join me over the next few years as we read “Poems That Touch The Heart.”
The Junk Man passed the house today
And gave his call in his plaintive way,
Any ol’ clothes to throw away?
Any ol’ dishes …any ol’ plates,
Any ol’ pants or hats or skates,
Any ol’ kettles or pots or pans,
Any ol’ bottles or ol’ tin cans,
Any ol’ dresses or any ol’ shoes,
Any ol’ things that you can’t use?
I searched the house and made a heap
Of things that I didn’t need to keep,
Outworn garments and out-read books,
Clothes that had hung on rusty hooks
For the dust to grime and the moths to chew.
And thus the old made way for the new.
I thought, as the old man went his way,
How grand it would be if every day
The Junk Man passed the house to say,
Any ol’ woes to throw away?
Any ol’ grudges…any ol’ hates,
Any ol’ miseries or sad ol’ dates,
Any ol’ sorrows or any ol’ spites,
Any ol’ fusses or feuds or fights,
Any ol’ sighs or any ol’ tears,
Any ol’ wishing for yesteryears,
Any ol’ quarrels or any ol’ frets,
Any ol’ tears or ol’ regrets?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Yes, I am speaking of children. At this joyous time of year, when families are out and about and in a festive mood, there is often a sense that everyone in the park, stores, malls, churches are all joined in one devoted attitude, namely a giant family affair.
This harmony can be shattered so very quickly, when a parent turns to speak to their child or grandchild and that child is not present. Distraction for a brief moment without keeping the child insight can leave an opportunity for those who are at the gathering for one purpose only...to take a child.
Our entire life as parents and grandparents has been one of zealous monitoring; however, that same attention is not totally practiced by everyone. Keeping a child safe begins with some very deliberate programmed learning.
Perhaps your children are teens, and you feel confident in their ability to gage their surroundings, but it is important that you share these seemingly "child only" rules for safety with them. Even if your older children are nearing college age, the ideas projected in a few simple rules will seep through for their own protection. As you tell them that these rules are being discussed to protect little ones, the older children will indeed listen and learn as they are being equipped to protect the most vulnerable, and perhaps unknowingly themselves.
There are so many details to share with a child, but I would like to ask each of you to read the few "Rules for Safety" which are provided by The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children. They are provided “exactly" as originated by this marvelous organization, for that is the only rule for their publication.
Remember... these "Rules for Safety" MUST BE DISCUSSED WITH FREQUENCY FOR THEM TO HAVE IMPACT.
Knowing My Rules for Safety
1. I CHECK FIRST with my parents, guardians, or other trusted adults before going anywhere, doing anything, helping anyone accepting anything, getting into a vehicle or leaving with anyone.
2. I TAKE A FRIEND with me when going places or playing outside.
3. I TELL someone NO if they try to touch me or do things in ways that make me feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused, because it’s OK for me to stand up for myself.
4. I TELL my parents, guardians, or other trusted adults if anything happens to me.
Sometimes there are people who choose to trick or hurt others. There is no excuse - no one has the right to force, trick, or pressure people into doing things they don't want to do. So use these rules, and remember you are STRONG, are SMART, and have the right to be SAFE. Always
> CHECK FIRST
> TAKE A FRIEND
> TELL PEOPLE "NO" WHEN THEY TRY TO CAUSE YOU HARM
> TELL AN ADULT YOU TRUST IF ANYTHING HAPPENS
For more information to report a missing or sexually exploited child, and/or to provide information about a missing child, please call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit the website at http://www.missingkids.com/.
The most important holiday gift we can offer is this opportunity to begin a dialog with your children, and your friends who have children, and share these Rules for Safety.
Stay Safe ...through sharing! Blessings...T. Wade and Elisheva
Monday, November 5, 2007
If you believe in a good and gracious God,
you must rise above the defects in any
religious beliefs which deter, deny and
advocate that happiness be limited to a
America is not only based on the pursuit
of happiness, but its character is defined
by the right of an individual to obtain it.
American character is defined by the
determination of the most gifted, most
secure, most abundantly blessed to assure
that happiness can be a reality for all, even
when happiness by so many is but a dream,
Look deeply into your faith and if any
religious or political leader, who is secure
in his or her own pursuit of happiness, yet
devoted to the denial of others to have that
same right, then look away from that person,
group or organization, and find fellowship
with those in diligent pursuit of awakening
the best in our nature.
To do nothing or support the diminishment
of another's happiness is a distortion of that
which is good and gracious. People are
endowed with the capacity to rise above
any dogma perpetuated by men. When
Scripture is not allowed to bring out the best
in humanity, it has no attachment to that which
is proclaimed to be good and gracious...and
certainly no God worthy of recognition and
praise would associate with such perversions.
It is simply not logical to believe that happiness
must be confined. You will not have to look too
deeply to recognize those who proclaim their
selfishness by advocation or simply adherence.
Once known...take the path which allows you
to reach your higher self for the least able
among us. If you are in need of a purpose, this
rates among the most divine human objectives.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
When you're tired and worn at the close of the day
And things just don't seem to be going your way,
When even your patience has come to an end,
Try taking time and confide in a friend.
Perhaps he too may have walked the same road
With a much troubled heart and burdensome load,
To find peace and comfort somewhere near the end,
When he stopped long enough to confide in a friend.
For then are most welcome a few words of cheer,
For someone who willingly lends you an ear.
No troubles exist that time cannot mend,
But to get quick relief, just confide in a friend.
Washington Post, December 27, 2006:
Spouses Have A Hand in Quelling Anxiety
In the study, 16 married women underwent a series of trials in which they were shown an image of a red X, indicating a 20 percent chance of a mild electric shock to an ankle, or a blue O, indicating no chance of a shock. Each woman variously held the hand of her husband, a stranger or no hand at all.
Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) scans to assess how the women's brains responded. Holding any hand helped relax the women, they found, but holding the spouse's hand had an especially powerful effect."
"Holding any hand at all calms regions of the brain that are responsible for the body's physical stress response," said neuroscientist James A Coan of the University of Virginia, the study's lead author. "But only the spousal hand affected regions of the brain that are responsible for worrying...This is the region which is thought to be associated with your experience of pain."
The findings are in line with other research showing that social ties have beneficial effects on health. Married people are , on average, healthier and happier than unmarried people, researchers have found. And those in the happiest marriages tend to have lower risks of infection and faster recovery from injury than people in less blissful unions. Similarly, although all of the couples in the experiment rated themselves as happily married, women in the most satistying marriages experienced the most potent calming effect of holding their husbands' hands.
"We discovered that spouses may be acting as a kind of analgesic in the high-quaility relationships," Coan said.
- Christopher Lee
From Reverend Clegg:
The best way to go through life's challenges is to share our experiences.
We are all connected. At any time we find ourselves as both student and teacher to each other. So I'd like for you after reading this article, to feel free to add your comments, with your feedback and/or your experiences, which may help some other couple to deal with situations within their lives.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
“Creating personalized, original ceremonies incorporating practices, rituals, prayers, poems, readings and music honoring the cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of each couple.”
A personalized ceremony is much more than the action of arranging and selecting poems, rituals, readings, etc. The ceremony is the CORE of the wedding and should capture the depth of meaning for the couple’s journey together. Each couple is a co-creator of their ceremony in expressing their love, commitment, hopes and desires for their future.
I use many avenues to accomplish this goal. One such avenue is the completion of a questionnaire by the bride and groom individually which allows them to express themselves fully while offering the necessary answers which allow me to get to know each on a deeper level. My role as a wedding minister is very sacred to me. To be a part of a couple’s commitment to travel the path of life together is one of the truly emotionally gratifying experiences.
Reverend Clegg is assisted at most weddings by her husband of thirty-five years.
About Reverend T. Wade Clegg III
Reverend Clegg completed all written requirements at The New Seminary (TNS) in New York in May 2003. Due to health complications, he delayed ordination in New York, and continued the ordination process while in Florida.
He was ordained by Lighthaven Interfaith Seminary, an affiliate of Universal University of Holistic Spirituality (UUHS) in Clearwater, Florida, the only accredited interfaith university in Florida, with college headquarters now in Panama City, Panama. He received his ministerial assignment to Universal Oneness United in May 2005.
Reverend Clegg was registered as a premarital preparation provider and affiant in Florida prior to moving to Virginia, where he is presently registered for ministerial duties in the Commonwealth of Virginia by the Fluvanna County Clerk of the Court in Palmyra, Virginia.
Reverend T. Wade Clegg III is a retired Air Force Officer,former businessman, broadcaster, and certified organic farmer. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Radio Television Journalism (1966), and received a graduate certificate in Communication at the Norman Campus of the University of Oklahoma (1972).