As we wind down another year, winter and its delights are settling in. The lights are strung along homes and public spaces to shed a little extra light in the darker times. The sun is low in the southern sky. Colder air is seeping down from our northern reaches. The trees are all happily showing their wonderful skeletal frames. The evergreen trees and plants are our colorful respite from the greyer tree line.

There is also much traditional and recognizable music in the air. In the homes, shops and musically filled spaces we hear the old, some very old, classics being sung out. It is a peaceful and inspiring sound we are given. Most people really love it. They feel a harmony and hope for all of mankind, a peace on Earth that has been nipped at, and at times gobbled up, by the material world and its events. If the music of this season moves you, let it. If it does not, please listen more deeply. Let the spirit find you. We all need peace, love and smiles now more than ever.

Today’s books are biographical, and share the life and story of a voice we hear often around Christmastime, Bing Crosby. We are sharing two books for your consideration. The first is entitled ​A Pocketful of Dreams b​y Gary Giddins which was written in 2001. The second is called 18 Holes with Bing - Golf, Life and Lessons from Dad​by his son Nathaniel Crosby. This was penned in 2016. The first book shares Bing Crosby’s early and formative first their-seven years of life, and the second a more intimate family view of Bing. Together they give a pretty well-rounded story of the man.

We all have passions in life, hopefully ones that follow a purpose-filled path, sharing our personal and unique gifts with the world, and in turn giving us a sense of peace and meaning in life. We all have the gifts. Sometimes it is a little challenging to identify and truly utilize them. It requires diligent personal searching and work. It requires faith. It requires trust and an ability to ask for help. It requires love.

Bing Crosby is most well-remembered for his extraordinary singing ability. His voice and style is very recognizable. He sang from the heart. He had a gift and he utilized it for the benefit of others. He also benefited from using his gift in an unselfish way. He would laugh, and the little bit of money he received as a kid and even into young adulthood, he would spend on his other passion and gift - golf.

Bing Crosby was a consummate player and teacher, walking rounds with many interesting folks, and he understood the value of the game beyond simple obsession. It requires a lot of mental stability to play golf well. It also allows for a good walk outdoors, exercise, fellowship and a real sense of being in the moment with each shot. There are many benefits in the game of golf, and Bing saw and shared these with his son Nathaniel.

If you ever wonder what your own gifts are, stop and ponder what it is you love. We speak a lot about what we do or do not believe in, and that is fine as far as discussion, but to find our gifts we need to be quiet, listen to our hearts and then follow our love. It may be music, surfing, helping others, golf, acting, healing arts, writing, fixing or building things, dancing, playing games with kids, coaching or a hundred million other possibilities. The key is identifying our personal lives, and then acting on this on behalf of others. It makes things simpler, and the abundance will come from this practice in many ways.

Enjoy and read on!

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