Loving One Another

Archive for April, 2019

Adding Meaning to Life C=Connections


C = Connections

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Cultivate the art of making connections.
See how your life is intimately related
to all life on the planet.”

 

Different Kinds of Connections

The connections we have with our family and friends enrich and add meaning to our lives. For most of us, that’s a given.

Us w HopeDrewX +Chris

But what about random connections?

The poem by John Donne reminds us,

No man is an island,
“Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own,
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore send not to know
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

Our lives are richer, fuller, more meaningful when we realize “No man is an island,” and we allow our hearts and our bodies to be touched by the lives of others. Feel the connections!

Feel the Intimacy

All of us are connected, whether we know it or not! We may feel the connections, but do we feel the intimacy?

pexels-photo-1645634

Gunilla Norris wrote, “This is intimacy: its touch is ever new, revealing the precious moments we have to live and to connect with things. No love is ever lost in this universe.”

Connection with Things

Some people say they have never felt closer to God than in their garden or out in the woods or on a river. They connect to the plants, the trees, the water, the earth… and the intimacy they feel with things fuels a greater love and appreciation of the divine. Out in nature, they are freer to be their true selves.

Are you one of those people?

agriculture backyard blur close up

 

people riding jon boats

 

Connections Make Us Stronger

Like a chain, linked together, we are stronger, more effective, when we are connected.

We can keep evil at bay more convincingly when we are connected. We protect one another.

cyclone fence in shallow photography

We can invite more joy and create more good when we are connected.

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Today I am volunteering again at the Medical Center. As a “Purple Lady,” I am connected to a group of ladies who “woman the desk” five days a week, greet people who enter the door, and help them feel welcomed and taken care of. Our fund raiser each year (a Home Tour event) raises thousands of dollars. The money is donated to the hospital for needs such as x-ray machines, physical therapy equipment, a crash cart, blanket warmers, etc. Connections make us stronger and more effective… and friendships are formed that enrich our lives immeasurably!

What connections have added meaning and enrichment to your life?

Adding Meaning to Life … B = Beauty


B = Beauty

How does

paying attention to

and creating beauty

add meaning to your life?

pexels-photo-730055.jpeg

Photo by Nripen kumar Roy on Pexels.com

 What IS Beauty?

One dictionary says,
1) the quality present in a thing or person
that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind,
whether arising from the sensory
(as shape, color, sound),
a meaningful design or pattern,
or something else (as a personality
in which high spiritual qualities are manifest),
or 2) a beautiful person or thing
(as work or art or building),
or 3) something excellent of its kind
(My old car was a beauty)

selective focus photography of black car

Photo by Maria Geller on Pexels.com

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
with a sub-title of “Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life,”
authors Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat wrote:
“Walk the path of beauty.
Relish and encourage its inward and outward expressions.
Acknowledge the radiance of creation.”

Find Beauty in Others

Observing and appreciating beauty
is a spiritual practice for me.
It enhances my ability to see the world
through Jesus glasses!
There is beauty in each of us.
Look for the beauty in others
and watch your happiness factor increase.

 

Find Beauty Within

Last weekend my grandson, Chris, and I went to see “Breakthrough.” It’s a new movie starring Chrissy Metz, a true story of a high school-aged boy who fell through the ice in a lake and was underwater for ten minutes before being pulled out. Presumed dead after a long and arduous attempt to resuscitate him, the story focuses on the power of prayer and the results of a loving, passionate mom who would not give up. The beauty of Chrissy Metz as she superbly played the role of the mom was undeniable.
(You may recognize her… she starred in the TV series, “This is Us” and told her personal story in the April edition of Guideposts Magazine.)

When we see compassion and love in the eyes of another, in the behavior of another, we see the inner beauty that shines through. We are encouraged to emulate that behavior.

Chrissy’s ability to passionately demonstrate the power of
unconditional love and an unwavering faith
showed us what beauty there is
in the treasure of life.

Chrissy Metz.JPG

Find Beauty in Nature

While looking for greater meaning in life, I find inspiration in the beauty of nature. A week ago as we were experiencing snow in April, and last Sunday when our Sunrise service was drenched in rain and no sun was visible, I wondered if spring would ever come to my part of the world. Yesterday we had a gorgeous sunny day. Hooray! This morning, look what I found outside my kitchen window:

Yes, this is a sign of spring… it’s here! Never give up hope!

Enjoy the beauty of nature

Let it remind you of God’s unfailing love for our earth and for us!

alberta amazing attraction banff

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

animals avian birds branch

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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animal bee bloom blooming

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What beauty catches your eye – and adds meaning to your life?

human eye

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

Adding Meaning to Life A =Attention


A = Attention

How can paying attention add new greater meaning to life?

Duh! That seems like such a rhetorical question, doesn’t it?

In their book, Spiritual Literacy, with a sub-title of “Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life,” authors Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat wrote: “Pay attention. Stay awake and totally alert. See with receptive eyes and discover a world of ceaseless wonders.”

What are some “ceaseless wonders” that add meaning to your days?

Do you pay special attention to:

  • daily sunrises?
landscape nature sky sunset

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • trees in bloom?
white flowers in bloom

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

  • grass greening?
alpine clouds daylight europe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • waterfalls?
landscape photography of waterfalls surrounded by green leafed plants

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com

  • ocean waves?
ocean wave

Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

  • wild animals?
brown deer standing on snow

Photo by Annika Thierfeld on Pexels.com

  • the unconditional love of precious pets
black dog beside little girl

Photo by bin Ziegler on Pexels.com

  • the companionship of friends
silhouette of people jumping

Photo by vjapratama on Pexels.com

  • the laughter of children?
pexels-photo-225017.jpeg
  • a beautiful, nutritional meal?

beef-string-beans-1.jpg

  • a warm, comfortable bed?
woman lying on bed holding white bear plush toy

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

  • a beautiful sunset?

Sunset@Placerville

Paying attention to these and other “ceaseless wonders”
WILL add meaning to your life.

What other “ceaseless wonders” are a part of your daily observations?
How do they add greater meaning to your life?

 

See you tomorrow…

What would you list as your “B” word

for adding meaning to

and defining purpose in your life?

Adding Meaning to Your Daily Life


Looking for Greater Meaning

I am always exploring ways to add more meaning to my daily life. Are you?

I want a greater understanding of:

  • who I am,
  • how to decode the world around me
  • what my purpose is here on earth,
  • and how I can live more intentionally to fulfill that purpose.

Do we need to have reached some “state of enlightenment”
in order to decode the world around us?

photography of book page

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Some traditions do see such understanding as
a gift or ‘awakening,’ but we believe it is a skill
that can be developed.”

Seeing the Spirit Within

“Such understanding” is defined by the Brussats as the ability to decode the world around us by seeing the sacred in everyday life. They suggest that we look to see the working of the Holy Spirit in our common activities: cooking, eating, working, walking, listening, visiting, praying … Recognize the Spirit moving in our lives through encounters with places, things, people, nature, and animals. Know that the message of the Holy Spirit personifies the greatest commandment: Love One Another. Cultivate the ability, the skill, to tune into the Spirit within you.

close up of tree against sky

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Loving Unconditionally

Loving One Another unconditionally is made possible by our ability to see the divine in one another. When we value each other’s gifts, when we see every other human being  as a Child of One Creator, then we are better able to respond to the Spirit within us.

In his foreword to Spiritual Literacy, Thomas Moore wrote, “It’s odd that after thousands of years of great spiritual example… we have to remind ourselves that spirituality is to be found in everyday life.”

Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy

The Brussats created an Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy with pointers on how certain practices can spell greater meaning in our daily lives.

I have an affection for using the alphabet as a stimulus for positive thoughts. I wrote an A-Z series last year on the subject, “What Makes Me Happy?” It was the start of my 180 consecutive days of blogging here at JanBeek.

So, I am naturally attracted to the Brussat’s Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. I intend to use it as a new A-Z series here on JanBeek. In so doing, I hope to encourage you, my readers, to cultivate a spiritual vision while keeping an eye on the secular world. I hope to learn with you how we can unite our world views with our spiritual views. Wake up our Spiritual Literacy!

Restore Lost Bonds

I don’t want to live in La-La Land. I don’t want to experience a broad, impenetrable chasm between my social and my spiritual life. Thomas Moore explained that the Brussat’s purpose in writing Spiritual Literacy was to “restore lost bonds between spirit and matter, body and mind, church and home, work and prayer.”

I want my secular and spiritual lives to be in alignment. Do you?

Joint Effort

Let’s explore together ways to add more meaning to our daily lives, ways to decode the world around us, ways to live more intentionally to fulfill our purpose. Okay? Are you with me?

Let’s begin with A.

Tomorrow.

A = Attention

How Would You Answer These Questions?


“What is the one aspect of your life… that you wished [people] understood better?”

The answer this presidential candidate gave was so honest, so transparent, and spoken with such elegance, it made me wonder if I was faced with that question on national television (or just here on WordPress), how would I respond?

How would YOU respond?

I am not familiar with that articulate candidate’s name. I think it starts with a K. Do you know her?

If you are a USA citizen, are you listening to the Presidential Town Hall discussions?

Mental health vs physical health treatment is a part of the discussion.

“The scourge on our country” – waiting lines for veterans to get mental health help, and the number of suicides among veterans is such an important subject. How would you deal with it if you ruled the world?

What are the issues that matter most to you?

What are you doing about those issues?

The aspect of my life that I wish people understood better is:

  • I am not who I used to be
  • I am not who I am going to be
  • I am a work in progress

Please don’t judge me by my past, nor confine me to a predetermined path for my future.

Our Presidential Town Hall forums are a great way to see the people running for our USA President –

How is breaking up big businesses like Google & Amazon good for me?

Did you listen to the answer Elizabeth Warren gave to that question?

How would you answer it?

What are some other questions that are important to you? This young man asked,

How can I know you’ll back legislation that keeps our law enforcement safe?

Along with that answer, the issues of racial discrimination and gun safety and universal background checks were raised.

What other questions/subjects are important to you?

How can we know who would be the best candidate, the most effective next president? How do we know our vote will count anyway?

How is our Democracy going to proceed through all of this?

Where is my “Loving One Another” in all this?

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Be Led, Not Driven


On this Monday following Easter, I am revisiting some of my old blogs.

The emergence of spring in the air and the “drive” to get some spring cleaning done has me reflecting on life and its purpose.

commit-purpose

Some of my newer followers may not have seen this thoughtful post. Please click below and contemplate with me this idea:    via Be Led, Not Driven

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Easter Reflections


I found these reflections to be quite interesting. I didn’t know some of those symbolic origins. I hope you’ll enjoy this repost.

via Easter Reflections

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