The Love of Trees

I couldn’t see it at first. From the trail it just looked like a gnarly old oak tree but something beckoned me to take a closer look. I thought I should beware of rattlesnakes in the grass but my curiosity got the best of me. I walked off the trail through the thick wild grass and stood before the tree’s massive form. And there it was, staring at me with a gaping mouth, like it was trying to speak!

oak-tree_earth-day_copyright_Linda-Eichberg

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues,” – Dr. Seuss

 

TREES ARE VITAL TO OUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET.

As stewards of the Earth, Earth Day is a good time to renew our commitments to the Earth and give thanks for its constant support, beauty and inspiration. This year I honor the trees.

Trees are beautiful and make people feel good.

Exposure to trees and nature has a positive effect on our health and mental attitude. Recent research has shown that trees not only filter pollutants from the air so we breathe easier, but they help make us feel better emotionally as well. ¹

Research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology shows that trees help people to feel more alive. And another study, in the Journal Landscape and Urban Planning, shows evidence that being around trees could actually decrease levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Acacia-yellow-flower_I planted a variety of drought tolerant trees around my home including this attractive flowering Acacia tree. I enjoy its beauty so much. It’s the first tree to bloom in late winter. With a burst of color it offers the hope of Springs eminent arrival.

Laboratory research shows visual exposure to settings with trees, produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension. – Dr. Roger Ulrich Texas A&M University ²

Trees conserve energy.

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can lower summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. – Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research ²

Trees increase property value.

The majority of realtors believe that having well cared for trees in your yard, will have a significant impact on the value and salability of your home. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. – USDA Forest Service.

Trees cool our cities.

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased. ³ The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. – U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Trees combat climate change.

Excess carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs, six tons of carbon dioxide, the amount of carbon dioxide produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. ³

Trees provide oxygen and clean the air.

One acre of forest puts out four tons of oxygen. According to the U.S.D.A., this is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

“In a study published in 2014, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year.” ¹

I love trees. Trees are an amazing creation. Let us show our gratitude with action by protecting our trees and rainforests, for they are the lungs of the earth. Together we live or together we die. – Linda Eichberg

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Love our earth and be blessed, Happy Earth Day!

~ Linda

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. – Psalm 33: 8-9

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-being-around-trees-help-people-feel-good/
  2. https://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm
  3. https://www.treepeople.org/resources/tree-benefits

It’s All In How You View It

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” – Epictetus

Consider what your life might be like if you changed your perspective. Getting a different point of view can make life tolerable, even interesting, like the colorful shades of a sunset.

crystal-cove-newport-beach-sunset

My friends and I visited Newport Beach beach last week. While we were watching and photographing the sunset, a young lady rushed up to the beach with her camera just after the sun disappeared into the ocean. “Oh, darn I missed it,” she moaned, as she walked away disappointed.

The woman’s point of view was that the sunset was all about seeing the orb of the sun disappear behind the horizon. My friends and I knew to wait and see what magic awaits after sundown.  

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

More often than not, I have found the best part of sundown is the afterglow. The hues become deeper and more vibrant as the hidden sun reflects upward. I was not disappointed on Crystal Cove Beach that evening – same sunset but different views, same beach but a distinctive new horizon.

crystal-cove-newport-beach-afterglow

Crystal Cove Dining and Watersport’s

Crystal Cove in Newport has magnificent sunsets and a wonderful restaurant on the beach called Beachcomber Cafe. A little further down the road, I tried two good restaurants at the Crystal Cove Shopping Center. Javier’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant, has fabulous food and gorgeous decor but forget about going on the weekend. It’s very popular. Babette’s specializes in local organic produce and meats. They offer an eclectic array of dishes including delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Their cocktail menu features a variety of unique handcrafted cocktails.

My travel companions and I worked off part of our delicious dinner by enjoying kayaking in the Newport channels the next day. Southwind Kayak Center is a great place to rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and more. It’s in a superb location off Newport Harbor.

Making Memories and Getting Another Perspective In Relationships

I love seeing familiar things through new eyes but also making brand new memories with people. I can build successful relationships and become a better travel companion by blending my point of view with an other person’s. We never really know someone until we consider things from both their perspective and our own.

I like to look at all the angles of a person or situation. I’m learning not to make assumptions about people. It’s a challenge to view things based on the mind set of who I’m with while still being true to aspects of myself.

“Each person is like a multifaceted  gem that is to be viewed and appreciated from many different angles.” – Linda Eichberg

Getting a New Perspective On the World Around You

Take a trip – Travel, especially international travel, is a good way to broaden your world view and change the way you look at things. It has always taught me something.

Volunteer – Volunteering to help others in need is also a great way to break out of your mold, widen your perspective and grow compassion. When I give hope to others, it gives me a reason to hope.

Practice Gratitude – Reflecting on God’s perspective and character will adjust your attitude. I see life differently when I am gratefully counting my blessings.

newport-beach-sunset-at-crystal-cove

Look for the daily miracles God pours into your life and your perspective will change. When your perspective changes, your life changes. ~ Linda Eichberg

What will you see? Keep your eyes full of the light of God’s goodness.

Blessings ~ Linda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” – Luke 11: 34-36 (NLT)

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Keeping Your Peace In Tumultuous Times

Linda-Alberici-Eichberg-The-Gratitude-Life-Joy_2

Choosing to look forward to a bright future is exactly that, a choice. The world seems a little scary right now. Every day, whether in the news or in our personal lives, we are presented with a multitude of problems and troubles. I yearn to keep this negativity from taking my peace.

“While it may sometimes seem impossible, inner peace is possible despite the emotional influences from world events, media, negative people, and our own judgments.” ¹

Peace is a State of Being.

I am not in denial. There is real evil in the world. Peace does not necessarily mean a world without problems, pain, or persecution.

This latest horror in Nice, France, on July 14, hit close to home because, Nina, the daughter of my good friends, was a couple of blocks away from the violence and she was caught in the stampede of panicked people that followed. Nina Heintz found refuge under a restaurant kitchen sink where she hid for an hour, not knowing if anyone was coming in with a gun. Thankfully she is physically fine but it will take a while for her to heal emotionally and regain her inner peace. “I wish I was more fearless like I use to be, but everyday gets a little better,” Nina said, “… and in the long run it will make me stronger…”

Peace state of mind_1

Finding Peace In Chaos

During a time of crisis strong emotions can overtake us and our very existence may come into question. Taking time to be alone with our thoughts and feelings is a valuable tool to develop a strong foundation of inner tranquility and hope.

I recall the day I drove by San Bernardino, right after the mass shooting on December 2, it was like a war zone. Numerous helicopters flew overhead  and dozens of police and SWAT vans zoomed past me. My heart pounded and my stomach turn with nervousness. The tragic details played over and over for days in the news. It took a while to work through my feelings of confusion and despair.

“Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.’” ― Marianne Williamson

Pursuing Peace

Some of my friend take periodic fasts from the news. Turning off the outside world from time to time is important. What helps you feel peaceful? For me it can be: meditating on peaceful thoughts, a walk in nature, yoga breathing, prayer, a day by the ocean or sometimes just time to rest and enjoy a book or a movie. Taking care of ourselves goes a long way to maintaining a calm state of mind. Self-care can easily be intertwined into our daily routine.

Creating A Peaceful Mind

Keeping our thoughts on happy memories and taking into account all the the wonderful things we are grateful about will also help us keep a hopeful attitude. Remove thoughts of “need,” “must” and “have to” from your life. These words communicate life-and-death direness that probably doesn’t exist and robs us of happiness and peace. ²

“An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too.” – Dalai Lama

Riley-Krugh-New-York-Policeman

Preserving A Peaceful Heart

Doing kind deeds or supporting others who are doing a good service, helps me to maintain a feeling that the world is becoming a more peaceful, loving place. Just looking at this photo of my grand-niece, Riley, and this New York policeman as she shares her plush unicorn, named Uni, and he shares his police cap, gives me a nice, serene feeling.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body.” – Proverbs 14:30

Positive Outreach – “To Protect and Serve Ice Cream”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police department bought an ice cream truck dubbed, Operation Polar Cops . The police men and women hope their ice cream truck and free ice cream will help kids see them as positive role models and develop a better relationship with the community they protect and serve. Surely, it couldn’t hurt! The idea spread from the Boston Police Department; they also have their own ice cream truck.

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St. Louis Police hand out ice cream

Using our creativity in a peaceful and harmonious way can give us empowerment when we face injustice and feel like the moral compass of the world is spinning out of control.

First keep peace within yourself, then you can bring peace to others.” – Thomas a’ Kempis

My friend Theresa Bishop Miller created this graphic as a creative contribution toward unity and understanding and to move her own consciousness and purpose in a positive direction after a string of senseless killings throughout America.

Unity-Flag-Theresa-Bishop-Miller_

This photo is a reminder of our potential together as fellow human beings.

We need to do whatever we can to spread love, dismantle hate and become the people we aspire to be as a nation.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

 

Peace That Transcends Understanding

The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances: if things are going well, then we feel peaceful; when things go awry, the peace quickly dissipates. Jesus made the distinction between His peace and the world’s vacillating peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). ³

Christ’s peace has to do with having a right relationship with God, reconciled through his love and sacrifice. 

My faith is tantamount to why and how I can maintain peace in my heart. I know God is pure goodness. His goodness in the face of the atrocities that exist in the world are beyond my understanding but I know God is Sovereign above all, and desires that I come to Him with childlike trust and rest in His compassionate presence. Yes, I receive His supernatural comfort, protection and peace.

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden

The bible reminds us to: “pursue”, “seek”, “promote”, “search” or “run after” peace (Psalm 34:14). I’m not trying to add work or pressure to your life; quite simply, peace can be promoted with something a easy as a smile or a prayer. In Christ we are free! Jesus paid it all. So, be grateful, lighten up, rejoice, have a little ice cream and laugh a lot. It’s good medicine!

With a grateful and peaceful heart, Linda

~~~~~

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

References:

1. Quote from – Sandra Lee Schubert, an interfaith minister. http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/2008/10/9-ways-to-find-peace-amid-chaos.aspx?p=2

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-purpose/201309/lighten-and-laugh

3. http://www.gotquestions.org/peace-that-passes-all-understanding.html

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Capturing the Aloha Spirit

Aloha is indeed a way of life, an attitude. The kahuna David Bray interprets this code of as “Come forward, be in unity and harmony with your real self, God, and mankind.” Be honest, truthful, patient, kind and humble to all life forms.

Kaanapali-Molikai-L-Eichberg

North Kaanapali Beach

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. It is also used for hello, good bye or love. But aloha stands for much more than that; its deeper meaning is “the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo).”

To Hawaiians, the joyful sharing of this life energy is the secret for attaining true health, happiness, prosperity and success as long as it is shared and used with love.

I endeavored to captured the essence of Hawaii aloha in photography. My experience in Maui last month was one of tranquility, beauty and friendliness with an awe of creation.

Maui-Kaanapali-North

 

Sunsets – God’s Artistry!

Maui Sunset by Linda Eichberg

 

I have visited Maui many times but there are always new surprises and new life. I had never seen a hibiscus with this unusual combination of colors.

hibiscus-tri-color

Hibiscus with extraordinary coloring!

 

We stayed in sunny Kaanapali but only a short 15 minute drive away to Kapalua, toward the rain belt, the landscape changes significantly.

Kapalua__Hawaii

Kapalua

 

Hawaiian Blessing

The spirit of aloha is about giving blessings. 

Bless everyone and everything that represents what you want by giving recognition or emphasis to a positive quality, characteristic or condition, with the intent that what is recognized or emphasized will increase, endure or come into being.

 

sunset-sailboats

Gathering of the sailboats to honor the sunset

 

Focusing on the blessing, acts to increase the same good in your life.

The positive occupation of your mind stirs up the positive, creative force and allows that same energy to come through you.

 

plumeria-yellow

Nothing can compare to the fragrance of Plumeria.

 

When you bless for the benefit of others instead of directly for yourself, you tend to bypass any subconscious fears about what you want for yourself.

What is so wonderful about this process is that the blessing you do for others helps them as well as you.

 

Kaanapali-beach_

 

As you bless, imagine the person or thing you’re blessing is surrounded with some of the same peace, grace and positive energy that surrounds you.

To the Hawaiians of old, Aloha meant “God in us.”

 

Linda-Eichberg-Kaanapali-beach_

I cherished my morning meditations and beach walks.

 

The Aloha Spirit is a well known reference to the attitude of friendly acceptance for which the Hawaiian Islands are so famous.

group-Whalers-Village

Our traveling companions, Jack and Chris!

Experiencing the aloha spirit is best shared with friends. One of the highlights of our trip was our canoe excursion to a fantastic snorkeling spot where we swam with friendly sea turtles and tropical fish.

Chris and I enjoyed the freedom of not having to style our hair. We just let it air dry. She came up with the mantra, “beach hair and I don’t care.”

Maui friends

We ran into some other good friends, John and Madi, who just happened to be on the island the same time were, an unexpected treat!

Together we experienced the spirit of aloha, fantastic food, hospitality and breathtaking scenery.

Double-Rainbow-Hawaii_

A magical moment-a double rainbow!

I hope you captured some of the aloha spirit too. Give a double portion of blessings and you will also be blessed.

With gratitude, Linda

~~~~~

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs – 11:25

 

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Earth Day – Gratitude In Action

Earth Day is the perfect time to honor our common home for the bounty, beauty and sustenance God and Mother Nature gives us for free. It’s also the perfect day to esteem people who are making  a difference in preserving the beauty of our planet.

Earth Day Prayer

“The greatest gratitude is gratitude for existence, the greatest reverence is reverence for life and Mother Earth makes it all possible. With gratitude, reverence, and humility in our hearts we honor her today. Let us work to keep her sustainable so we may in turn be nourished and sustained.” – Deepak Chopra, MD

Maria-Lauren-Linda-Eichberg-yoga-Alberici-Sisters-Crystal-Cove

My sister, Maria, and I sharing Earth Day gratitude!

We bend our bodies toward the earth and the beauty of all creation.

We open our hearts in thanksgiving for the mighty, deep, blue oceans.

We unite our breaths with life, inhaling the fresh and fragrant breezes.  

We turn our minds to gratitude for the sun’s radiant energy. 

~ Linda Eichberg

 

Earth Day Action

My husband and I love our solar panels, they are producing big savings on our energy bills. If you can afford the initial investment, I highly recommend buying solar energy.

My sister, Alane Degli Esposti, and her son, Marco, grow and distribute organic sprouts and wheatgrass from their Campi Verde Foods greenhouse. I must say, they offer the freshest, most delicious sprouts I’ve ever tasted!

The nutrient content of wheatgrass and sprouts are powerful and readily absorbed. Plus, they’re unprocessed, straight from Mother Nature. Buying from local  growers and farmer’s markets are some of the most effective ways to eat nutrient-rich food and reduce the carbon emissions of transportation and food processing.

 

THE FACTS 

Carbon Emissions

“In damaging our climate we become the architects of our own destruction. While the planet can survive the scorching of the earth and the rising of the waters, the human race cannot. The absurd thing is that we know exactly what needs to be done; we know we cannot adapt sufficiently to go on as we are, nor can we build ourselves a new atmosphere. To avoid catastrophe we must restrict climate change to less than two degrees, which requires a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions.” – The Prince of Wales, from his speech to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference

Ocean Health

If the current rate of ocean pollution continues, in less than 9 years there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of ocean fish, according to a report by the 5 Gyres Institute.

“Currently, up to 95% of plastic packaging (valued at $120 billion) is lost after one use. The irony is, recycling plastic can take 90 percent less energy than making plastics from raw materials and, if managed correctly, plastic is virtually infinitely recyclable.” – Jose Minski, CEO of Wellnext

My family is invested in saving our precious oceans and I am an avid recycler but I know I can do more.

We are only here on this magnificent earth for a short time. We must stay mindful of making a positive impact on our environment and how we are respecting the world we are leaving for our children.

In Gratitude, Linda

 

“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.” – 1 Chronicles 16:33

 

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Year of God’s Abundance

This has been a challenging, perplexing and emotionally painful year for me and for many of us; all the more reason to hold on to the hope of God’s faithful promises.

Recently, I had a big scare about a mysterious medical problem my husband was going through. It has been resolved, but in the midst of the crisis, I was on an emotional roller coaster riding the turns between processing grief and standing strong; moving up and down between fear and courage. A very tumultuous ride to say the least. I leaned on friends, my faith and sought counseling. Relief came when I released my white knuckled grip and rode with my hands raised up to God. 

Letting Go

The human psyche is delicate and complicated. Our flesh and God’s Spirit are at odds with one another.¹ This could be the subject of a lifetime of blogs but, right now, I will stick to this one simple thing. Whatever difficulties you are going through, my prayer is that meditating on these promises of God will comfort you as they have me and help bring you into healing, restoration, transformation and joy. 

As we let go of the old and embrace the new, I wish this New Year to be an exceedingly abundant year of grace for you, beyond your wildest dreams.

Ephesians 3-20

Praying the Promises of God

Abundance
“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” – Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Purpose
“The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” – Psalm 138:8 (NLT)

Comfort
“The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34: 18

Favor
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” – Psalm 84:11

Guidance
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” – Psalm 32:8

Compassion
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” – Psalm 103:2-5

Righteousness
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” – Proverbs 4:18

1 John 1-9

Forgiveness
“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

Endurance
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Healing
“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14

Restoration
“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” – Isaiah – 44:22

Fellowship
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7

Meditation
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

Harmony
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

John 14-27

Peace
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Safety
“For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” – Proverbs 1:32-33

Provision
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

Courage
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

Judgment
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4

Priorities
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

Assurance
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” – Romans 8:38 (NLT)

Hebrews 10-23

Hope
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

Understanding
“What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” – 1 Corinthians 2:12

Prayer
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” – 1 Timothy 2:1

Goodness
“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” – Psalm 145:9

Acceptance
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” – Romans 15:7

Health
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:7-8

God’s Kingdom
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.” – Romans 14:17-18

Psalm 27-1

Strength
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1 (KJV)

Mercy
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” – Ephesians 2:4

Purification
“I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.” – Jeremiah 33:8

Reconciliation
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

Gratitude
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

Faith
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:1-2

Truth
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

1 John 4-19

Love
“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

Kindness
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” – Galatians 1:7-8 (NLT)

Freedom
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” – Romans 6:14 (NLT)

Wisdom
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17 (ESV)

Thoughts
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Victory
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57

Transformation
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)

Direction
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NKJV)

Desire
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

Power
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)

Grace
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

God’s Children
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:16-17 (ESV)

Thanksgiving
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 107:1

Perseverance
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

Romans 15-13

Joy
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Self-worth
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:13-14

Trust
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” – Psalm 28:7

Redemption
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:24 (ESV)

Deliverance
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” – Jude 1:24

Salvation
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” – Acts 16:31

Eternal Life
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

God is with us; God is for us. May these words live forever in our hearts! From our house to yours have a Happy New Year filled with the blessings of God’s promises.

Eichberg Family Christmas

Be kind to yourself. 

With love, Linda

 

References: Bible verses are from The Holy Bible NIV, unless otherwise stated.

  1. http://ptl2010.com/2011/02/03/where-is-my-miracle/

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Creating the Warrior Spirit

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“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

I am continually amazed at the gifts God gives us, the variety and the beauty! Some are subtle, almost unseen but still so necessary; while others are obvious, prominently displayed in the forefront. All receive equal honor because the Master’s hand created them.

God – The Giver of All Gifts

When I work in my job as a yoga and Pilates teacher, I remember my faith and that God can use me for healing and health-giving purposes. Since I am very flexible, I have to keep in mind that I can push my students too far. It’s a delicate balance between healing and harming.

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Warrior 1 opens the heart with hands reaching towards heaven and feet grounded on a firm foundation.

I don’t always get it right, but looking up to God, the giver of all gifts, I have hope and motivation because I know I am His craftsmanship he is not finished with me yet. He is still carving, shaping and polishing to create something special for His grand design and His plan for my life.

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8

I am grateful for God’s patience and guidance. I know He will take me exactly where I need to be. Wherever I am, I have the opportunity at all times, to do good works and reflect God’s love.

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Warrior 3 (or Balancing Stick pose) requires balance, strength, grace and mental focus. 

 

Warrior of the Lord

This week I had the chance to see a very unusual and remarkable creation, a God breathed sculpture carved from a 2,000-year-old redwood stump.

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The “Warrior of the Lord” is a dramatic 7-foot-tall carving and has an impressive 9 foot wing-span. With his wings spread and his cloak is flowing. The majestic archangel stands ready to take on his fight against evil.

warrior-of-the-Lord-SafonovThis beautiful piece of art carved by Alexandre Safonov, stands in front of an antique store in mountains of Agoura Hills. The artist’s creation was inspired by the Holy Spirit. “I feel the Holy Spirit”, Safonov said. “I put the energy of God into this piece.” ¹ Alexandre prayed every time he started work on his masterpiece.

“This is a warrior; he represents God and the word of God.” – Alexandre Safonov

His eyes seem to be looking up in adoration to God.

The Armor of God

When I saw the statue, I immediately thought of several scriptures, particularly Ephesians 6:10-18, about spiritual warfare and putting on the ‘Armor of God’. ²

alexandre-safonov-warrior-of-the-lordThe archangel’s “Sword of the Spirit” carries a ‘B’ to represent the Bible, the word of God. His “Belt of Truth” bares the cross of Jesus and his massive “Shield of Faith” is emblazoned with the initials of Jesus Christ, ‘JC’.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. – Ephesians 6: 10-12

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Warrior Fathers – Men of Honor

Happy Fathers Day to all the men who are warriors for their families and especially to my husband, Steven, who is an amazing and supportive dad to our daughter and devoted to his family. He is a warrior for our family each and every day. We are blessed and I continually thank God.

Many blessings,

Linda

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Footnotes:

1. http://www.theacorn.com/news/2015-06-11/Community/Woodcarver_uses_faith_talent_in_work_of_a_lifetime.html

2. Ephesians 6:10-18 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A+10-18&version=NIV

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A Mother’s Blessing

i-have-no-greater-joy-3-john-1-4What a day! On May 21st, my youngest sister, Alisa, delivered the 21st of my nieces and nephews. I can say I am a very blessed Aunt! That’s a lot of hugs and kisses and yes, that is a lot of birthday checks!

Alisa-JulianAlisa amazes me, two days after a cesarean section, with staples still in her stomach and not getting sleep for days, she manages to look so good for this photo.

Behind the smile, Alisa lives with the fact that baby Julian was born with a hole in his heart and with a leaky heart valve. She has to navigate several medical options for him. Not knowing what lies ahead for her son, Alisa has stayed calm and joyful. She and her husband are standing strong in faith, taking it one day at a time.

A Rough Start

The arrival of my newest nephew reminded me of my daughter Lindsay’s early years. I started out as an awkward mother. After having a C-Section and being in pain, I didn’t have a lot of desire to bond with my daughter right away.

Lindsay was a beautiful baby with pink rose bud lips but she was a colicky baby, an inconsolable crying ‘thing’ that left me sleep deprived, cranky and depressed. I remember my father trying to cheer me up; he told me, “Lindsay is going to be your best friend some day.” I heard the words but at the time, I had a hard time conceiving of such a thing.

Lindsay moved on from her colicky phase. and into her ‘wild child’ era. She was only about 2½ or 3 when she dragged a chair to the 2nd story opening over the recreation room, stood on its ledge and waved good-bye to me, announcing that she was, “going to fly like Dumbo.” I never moved so fast in my life!

Motherhood was a wild ride. Lindsay was challenging, but today, Lindsay is one of my best friends and our love continues to grow. She’s a joyful, compassionate and giving woman, a devoted daughter who makes herself available for her friends and family. I wish I could take credit for how she turned out but the truth is, I had to surrender the whole motherhood thing to God early on. delight-yourself-in-the-lord-and-he-will-give-you-the-desires-of-your-heartI knew from the start I was in way over my head.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

We all have supreme hopes and desires for our children. I pray and put my hope  in God, but learning to “Delight in the Lord”, what is that exactly? How do I best do that? Am I walking with Him in love, joy and strength? I still ask myself these questions every day. My life line is this, I am grateful because my God is with me and for me. He will never leave me or forsake me. 

Persevere through the hard times; good times are coming! 

Joy For This Journey

On Mother’s Day, Lindsay gave me a special personalized gift and a sentimental note. Her words were so beautiful and heartfelt. I wish I could see myself the way she sees me.

Lindz also took her dad and I out for a cruise on her boyfriend’s family boat. His family’s generosity was amazing: flowers, food, great scenery and witty conversation. Everyone made it a lovely day.

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Mother’s Day was followed by a very romantic get away with my honey, Steve. I am thankful; at this moment life is sweet.

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God’s Promises to Never Leave Us

1. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

2. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

3. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5

4. “May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us.” – 1 Kings 8:57

5. David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” – 1 Chronicles 28:20

6. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. “They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.” – Psalms 37:28

7. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” – Psalms 94:14

8. “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 41:17

9. “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

10. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

 ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈

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God promises are true. “His word is above all! We can move forward because, He goes before us. And if God is for us, who can be against us”?¹

With a grateful heart, Linda

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Jesus in Matthew 28:20 ²

Footnotes:

1. http://www.thejourney2grace.com/index.cfm?i=11059&mid=1000&id=324730

2. Matthew Chapter 28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28&version=NIV

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Denzel Washington on Grace, Prayer, Blessings and St. Elsewhere

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A couple of friends, who are in the entertainment industry, shared a inspiring video with me of Denzel Washington talking candidly to a group of young actors. He packed a lot of wisdom into a few minutes and what he revealed is worth remembering. 

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you, sent beforehand, to indicate that it is yours already.” – Denzel Washington

Prayer and Grace

Denzel goes on to say, “Understand this also… dreams without goals, remain dreams… Between goals and achievement are discipline and consistency. I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you got to get on your knees in the morning to find them, right? And while you’re down there thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory.”

Denzel Washington on prayer, blessings and St. Elsewhere

“We all got plenty. If you just start thinking of all the things you got to say thank you for, that’s a day; that’s easily a day, right,” the Oscar winner asks? “So you have all been given these gifts.”

Sharing Gratitude and Blessings

Denzel Washington feels very blessed to be in a position to be able to share what God has done in his life. He explains, “You’ll never see a u haul behind a Hearst. Now I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can’t take it with me and neither can you”, he said. “So it’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you have and we all have different gifts, some money, some love, some patience, some the ability to touch people. But we all have it. Use it; share it. That’s what counts.”

Faith and Humility in ‘Tinseltown’ 

This two-time Academy Award winner is one of Hollywood’s highest profile Christian actors. Spirituality is important in every aspect of his life. “I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word“, he said in a 2012 GQ interview. ¹ Although Denzel admits to straying from the Christian faith for a short time, he is now a church-goer who prays before starting his work in entertainment. He’s a family-focused man who likes to say this prayer of his mother’s, “Heavenly Father, we come before thee, knee bent and body bowed, in the humblest way that we know how.” ²

I met, Denzel Washington after he landed his first major acting role as Dr. Philip Chandler in the television show “St. Elsewhere,” back in the early 1980’s.

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I played the part of a dancer in one of the St. Elsewhere episodes. At the start, I was very excited about showing off my tap dancing know-how, but it turned out, the partner I was given to dance with was good at other styles of dancing but only knew a little about tap dancing. So our routine was limited to a few time steps. That was a bit disappointing.

As they were rolling tape for our scene and we were about 30 seconds into our dance, the director abruptly yelled, “cut”! We stop taping. I thought to myself, “oh no, we weren’t dancing well enough”. The funny thing was, apparently, the director wasn’t looking at our feet. Within seconds, he had the wardrobe people pinning up the top of my costume. “Too much bounce,” they said as they tucked me in. Then they mumbled something about the censors, cleavage and discussed with each other the guidelines of exactly where everything should be. We then re-shot that part on the scene.

Let me just say, my top was no where near as revealing as some of the outfits High School girls wear today. But that was the 80’s, when prime time TV was always G rated. It’s crazy how many ‘warnings’ you have to read before viewing most television shows now a day.

Despite the humiliation and the fact that I didn’t get to show off my dance skills the way I wanted to, I was still very grateful to have been featured in the show. St. Elsewhere was cutting edge television at the time and a model for the popular hospital/doctor dramas we have today. Denzel was extremely nice. He had a million dollar smile that radiated warmth and gratitude and still does. That was best part of the whole experience, his genuine smile!

Life is a journey of love, gratitude and grace. Hopefully, we can offer the best of who we are and leave behind some beautiful smiles and stories and for other sojourners to glean from and enjoy. 

The Grammy’s last week also brought back a flood of memories. Seeing Tom Jones wail to, “You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ with Jessie J. was very cool. I have an interesting story about Tom Jones I tell it in my book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

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Tom Jones with Dean Martin’s Golddiggers: Deborah Pratt, Maria (Alberici) Lauren-Riccio, Robin Hoctor Horneff, Susan Buckner, Linda (Alberici) Eichberg and Patti Gribow

Here is a short excerpt of that story – Tom Jones – He’s Still Got That Lovin’ Feeling! 

We all have something wonderful to offer. “Use it; share it. That’s what counts.”

With gratitude and love, Linda

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3 :23

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2: 4-5

Footnotes

1. http://www.gq.com/news-politics/blogs/death-race/2012/09/excerpt-from-our-october-issue-denzel-on-romney-and-obama.html

2. http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Movies/2007/12/Denzel-Washingtons-Ministry-Of-Movies.aspx

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Grateful Life Quotes From Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. He had a birthday this week and it got me thinking about him. In the summer of 1977 I had the privilege of touring with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Frank was one of the most unusual men I have ever met, he was in a class of his own.

Happy birthday Frank Sinatra!

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Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra share birthday cake

“I’m for decency — period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man.” ~ Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Traveling Buddies – Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra

“If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all neighbors.” – Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Fun times with Frank and his pal Dean

When Frank Sinatra accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, he had this to say:

“I’ve been thinking about why you have to get famous to get an award for helping other people. If your name is John Doe, and you work night and day doing things for your helpless neighbors, what you get for your effort is tired. So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and all of you who give of yourselves, to those who carry too big a burden to make it on their own, I want you to reach out and take your share of this. Because if I have earned it, so too have you.” – Frank Sinatra

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“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

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“My greatest teacher was not a vocal coach, not the work of other singers, but the way Tommy Dorsey breathed and phrased on the trombone.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in Music: A Book of Quotations 

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“People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.” – Frank Sinatra

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“I love all those girls the same as they love me. I get thousands of letters a week from girls who love me…. Every time I sing a song, I make love to them. I’m a boudoir singer.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in His Way: An Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra

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On the set of the Dean Martin Variety Show, Frank and Dean with the Dingaling Sisters

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in And I Quote

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“Don’t hide your scars. They make you who you are.” – Frank Sinatra

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“A friend is never an imposition.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Good Friends – Frank, Sammy and Dean

“I’m not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I’m not looking for the secret to life…. I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” – Frank Sinatra 

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Sinatra family, the early years

“I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Frank loved to laugh and he loved his friends. When we toured together, he traveled with a large entourage of people. Among them were some of the best musicians in the world. Sinatra was a pretty intense guy to work with because he demanded excellence in his music. I’m extremely grateful to have watched and learned from his musical genius and to have met some of the members of his family. It was a blessing.

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Backstage with Frank Sinatra and The Golddiggers, that’s me on the top right.

In our book “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”, my sister Maria and I share stories about our time with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and The Golddiggers. We also give insight into what is was like to work with the ‘Stars’ on Dean’s TV Show, The Tonight Show and more. Dozens of musicians and entertainers contributed to the book. Read the inside stories from people who were there.

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BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters is available on:

Amazon & Barnes and Noble

For more info visit – www.BeyondOurWildestDreams.com

With gratitude to God,

~ Linda

“I will be fully satisfied with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you”. – Psalm 63 :5

 

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