Visit Fridays Inspiration Online - Click Here!
Friday's Inspiration Weekly
Up, Always Up

Menu: This week's tasty bits. Click an item to view!

      Back to top

Love is bigger than our fights and fears.
Let grace and goodness be the principal loadstone of the affections. For love which hath ends, will have an end; whereas that which is founded on true virtue, will always continue.
What keeps me going, when the going gets difficult?

Entrée:  Simplifying Simple by Eliza Bloom
      Back to top

I have a 440-page guide on how to simplify my life, but I haven't found the time to read it.

Like you perhaps, my once-quiet world now clatters with the joy of a large family. Amid the din, I've had to simplify my quest for the simple. The advent of a simpler life can be launched with a concept so simple it takes only a few words, yet its implications and manifestations have given birth to entire institutions and provided intellectual fodder for philosophers for centuries.

Still, it is better, more accessible, easier to implement - at least for me - if I can keep the message simple.

Too much interpretation waters down the message. Too much debate strips it of its power. Too much explanation distracts us from its essence, and gives us an excuse to avoid getting down to the business of doing it, of living it. And to live it is to change our lives in sweeping, everyday ways.

It is this: Live in love. Whatever contributes to the love in the world, do it.

I suppose I've taken the risk of sounding airy-fairy and hippie-dippie. But just for a moment, allow yourself to recognize that love is the only gift you will always have in abundance. Recognize how different you feel when you extend it to others. Recognize how its unrestricted sharing infuses you with new energy in your own everyday life. And allow yourself to see how such recognition could change your life. If, just for today, you made it your simple goal to wholeheartedly extend yourself in love and kindness. To love lavishly. Haphazardly. To smear it all over the place.

Once as a junior in college, I found myself in a bar with a group of graduate students. I was the only underclassman in the bunch and they were debating ethics, lobbing names of dead philosophers like bocce balls with not a small dose of intellectual pride. I was quiet, soaking in all of the ideas and insights, when someone who had too much to drink asked the underclassman what she thought. "Whatever contributes to the love in the world, do that," I said.

Silence followed as they waited for me to expand, to elaborate, to offer proof. "That's pretty much it." I said.

It's not new advice, but it's certainly simple. For me, simplifying your life is not to add another "should." It's simply to recognize that your degree of happiness equals your degree of compassion. If someone curses you, hold her in your mind and bless her. If you feel like cursing someone, bless her, too. Recognize that the feeling of overwhelming compassion is available to you any time you wish to call upon it.

Leading the simple life is to witness how extending love brings you joy in a fundamental down-to-the-marrow sense. A joy you can feel in your belly. And then to surrender the rest. To surrender anything that takes way from that - whether it's an activity, a possession, a relationship, a feeling, or a simple thought.

Gandhi said, "Renounce and rejoice." It doesn't get much simpler than that.

About the author:

Eliza Bloom's new book, The Bloom Method, is now online, and you can read it - in its entirety - HERE. Eliza also invites you to join her private mailing list, where you'll receive an uplifting message each week. To join, visit's subscriber page.

Main Course: The Look
      Back to top

Right now, I am unemployed.

In the professional sense, I mean. Not in the spiritual sense, however. In that respect I always have work to do; it is a career that I have thrown myself into, and the projects come faster than I can bid on them. It is joyful work, even when the going gets tough.

I have said before that I love what I do, and that I have never had a bad day at work. Difficult days, yes. It is the same in my spiritual work. Dark days have come, but never one so bad that I wanted to quit, pack up and leave the building, as it were. Never that!

I looked into the face of my newest grandson this last week. Just four months old, and he looks so much like his daddy. Why do I know that? It is because he has that same look on his face that his father did at that age. I am sure of it, because his dad, now in his thirties, still has that same look: one of positive anticipation. Like everyday is his birthday, and the presents are about to be handed to him.

Life's surprises are coming - some may not be what is expected, but expectations are wasted energy (I have learned) that lead to disappointment. Life's gifts are coming - some may be so gratifying as to humble me to my knees in tears; others may knock me off my feet in a not-so-pleasant way, that I may learn humility in that manner, too.

Here comes the present. Like a child, I am learning to live in the moment. Let's see what happens...

I would not wish for this life to be one of leisure. I wouldn't change my subjection to physical law, being exposed to hunger and cold, and the necessity of conflict with the material world. I would not change the weather so that it is always temperate and pleasant, nor would I make the vegetation so lush as to anticipate my every want, or earth's minerals so ductile as to yield to me without skill or strength. I would not wish for everyone to be so agreeable in their thinking or their actions that I could find no difference between me and thee, Heavens NO!

I see goodness in a Plan that places me in a world where labor alone can keep me alive. In the same manner, I see wisdom in a Plan that brings me spiritual growth and prosperity through spiritual labor and trial. I don't want to be a child to which a doting Father provides everything!

What strength would I have if never a muscle, physical or spiritual, were exercised?

I look into my own face, this morning, and I see that same look: one of positive anticipation. Thank God, it is still there after all these years. Today, right now, it is a day just like a birthday, and I am looking forward to today, because it is a gift - the present is here, now.

Yeah, I need another gig - but that will come in the due course of my life. I have things to do, in the meantime. It is time to get back to my other job. Happy Birthday!

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2003

Second Helping: A Gift from the Heart of a Friend by Steve Brunkhorst
      Back to top

She stares at me, and then closes her eyes. A tinge of early dawn plays on her cheek as it peeks through the glass curtains by my desk. I grow warmer, waiting in silence for her first uncertain word and the gentle touch of her hand. She fidgets and rocks in her chair. She cannot hold her thoughts inside much longer.

We've been meeting like this for months. Some days she rambles, pouring out her soul. She talks of yesterday's sorrows and tomorrow's distant shores. She tells me her needs, desires, dreams and passions. Sometimes she teases me with impossible notions that she only wishes she believed. When she's feeling light, she weaves amusing tales and tells me jokes. I accept her as perfect - always perfect as she is.

Finally she opens her eyes, and a tear drop falls. The emotions are about to flow. "Okay." she whispers under her breath. I see her desperation, and project my own inner light toward her. Her eyes glow with expectancy. She pours out her soul, and discovers buried treasures.

She paints a portrait of her father, and rehearses what she will tell him after all these years. She's filled with hope that he will finally understand. Her spirit lifts. My mind dances furiously recording her thoughts and prayers. Perhaps if she explains honestly, he will listen, and they can finally heal the relationship. Today she isn't muddling in the past. She is moving forward. Today is a new beginning.

She connects with the core of her being, and pauses briefly to reminisce. She plays with a vivid memory, and more tears come - tears of joy. She pauses again, and I wait. I grasp every privileged thought and confession. Her emotions rush like unrelenting rivers until she's quiet, still, and at peace.

She whispers, "There's nothing more to say now."

She asks me to remember her most secret longings, to guard them like precious mysteries. Again, I do. She leaves feeling lighter, at ease, and confident. Will she call him or write to him? I won't ever ask, and she will tell me when the time is right.

Sometimes I wish I could feel emotions like she does, and tell her what to say that would make everything alright. But I will not interfere. I have no delicate heart like hers - only a large and finite memory to preserve her most endeared treasures.

I'm simply her computer, a faithful ear in the early morning hours when she pours out her soul through my keyboard - a precious gift from the heart of a friend..

About the author:

Steve coaches talented individuals who want to enhance their sense of personal empowerment, self-confidence, and creativity. He is also the editor of Achieve! Ezine, inspiring, motivating, and entertaining 60-second nuggets to lighten up your day, and help you reach a greater level of achievement. Steve invites you to visit his website today at

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
      Back to top

C.F. (Sandy) Pofal, from 52Best, wrote "Hi Michael, I just re-read Disappearing Act. What a powerful story." Disappearing Act was chosen for January 2004 First Place Award at, and has been featured at,, and - it remains one of the most popular articles I have written. Thank you, Sandy. Coming from you, that is high praise for the life of a wonderful man, now passed on to his reward. I miss him!

Sherry wrote, "I enjoyed Friday's newsletter and passed it on... these extended families, finally just all become "family" to those of us who are willing to let that happen, don't they? Lord knows, it took every last one of us, not just a village, to get all of mine turned into viable adults, with still some shred of sanity left, among a few of us....I think. ;)" Thanks to all subscribers who pass on this newsletter!

N-Spire yourself!® with a no-frills daily email, containing a simple quote from Friday's Inspiration, each Monday thru Friday. It' just enough to get ya thinkin'... Just click the InboxInspirations link to subscribe, or click on the feedback button below, and ask for a one-time email sample. InboxInspirations is part of YahooGroups!

Your prayers for the health and well-being of NancyJ (ill with a severe cold) and Sister Cheryl (found a lump in her breast) are requested. Prayers for Bob and Vicki Woodyard are requested (see the 'Mountains' link in "Appetizers" above). NancyB wrote to express her thanks and appreciation.

If you would like to express your concerns for loved ones, or yourself, in the form of prayer requests, send them to so we can help share the burden. Good news is welcome too! Write to and let's celebrate together!

Click to send your FEEDBACK to me right now!

Just Desserts: Also Highly Recommended
      Back to top

There have been more than 400 NEW AND UNIQUE visitors to the website during the last month - Thank you for your continued support! Over 500 of our partners on the Internet have graciously recommended visitors to Friday's Inspiration. Please take time to visit the "Highly Recommended" links below.

Powerquotes Plus - Creating Inspiration and Insight Daily - I want to let you know about a great daily service that you will enjoy and benefit from. Powerquotes Plus features a quote and some questions to reflect on, related to the quote. It arrives in your inbox each weekday. To subscribe to Power Quotes Plus, another great product of Kevin Eikenberry and The Discian Group Web Family, just go to - a community for life. "An international movement with more than 2000 members (and children) the Bruderhof rose from the ashes of the First World War, a time of turmoil not unlike our own. Our basis? Jesus' teachings on nonviolence, love of neighbors and enemies, and faithfulness in marriage - plus a firm conviction that these teachings can and must be practiced in daily life. We come from varied backgrounds - professional and blue-collar, urban and rural, well-heeled and dirt-poor. But such distinctions are unimportant to us. It is Christ, not people or personalities, who holds us together. In him we are all simply brothers and sisters." Visit Bruderhof for no-cost ebook downloads - 34 different titles to choose from!

Check, Please!: Brought to you by F.I.'s *Shameless Commerce* Division:
      Back to top

Everyone can make a difference. In the United States over 500,000 children are in foster care because they cannot safely live with their families. Nearly 70,000 National CASA volunteers serve approximately 280,000 of those abused or neglected children every year. Please join the National CASA Association in their mission to make sure every child in need has a voice. A child should have a childhood and a safe, permanent home. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of products and services advertised here will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children - CASA.

Our Own V-Store: Check It Out!!! Purchase products and services from FI's new *Shameless Commerce* online store, and help us help CASA! Nutritionals, environmentally safe household products for you and your pet, MCI Neighborhood telephone services, magazine subscriptions of every kind, and so much more! Visit the V-Store today!

Save $15 on McAfee Internet Essentials - Protect your computer equipment, your email address book and your family by purchasing these fine McAfee products. I can personally recommend this stuff, after the recent MyDoom worm thing. Get it, before the worms get you!

Print real coupons from you computer at! Fine dining coupons, grocery, automotive, and more - all in your area. Save money here.

Party's over, go home - The rest of the stuff:       Back to top

Your suggestions for inspirational topics and inspiring authors are welcome. Guest Authors are encouraged to submit their article to - Article length should be limited to 600 words in any format, and should be on an appropriate subject for our subscribers. Please include a short biography and picture. Absolutely no business or marketing related articles will be accepted.

Friday's Inspiration continues to be visited by inspiration seekers from around the world! Help spread the word about this one-of-a-kind website. You are welcome to invite your friends to join us by recommending this site. They may subscribe by sending a blank email to

Peace and Light,

Sign My Guestbook Get your own FREE Guestbook from htmlGEAR View My Guestbook