My blog, “Loving One Another” is all about how to love, encourage, and inspire one another. Cristian Mihai of “The Art of Blogging” says we need to be able to express in 6 words or less why we blog and what we blog about.
I answered his query saying, “I spread love and inspiration daily.” That’s six words.
I augmented my answer by adding, “I plan to inspire, inform, entertain, and encourage.”
If we want to shine, to inspire and encourage others, to be unconditional, effective lovers, are there some tips we need to keep in mind?
Yes, I believe there are habits that lovers of people, lovers of animals, lovers of nature and of God, need to develop. I think they include these SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE LOVERS:
1. Listening with Intent
Effective lovers perk up their ears and really hear the voices, the sounds, the cries and laughter, the heart of everything around them.
2. Seeing non-judgmentally
Effective lovers look for the best in others. They see what they’re looking for. They see the person, animal or object as the Creator intended them/it to be. They imagine perfection, wholeness, beauty. They bring out the love that’s embedded in what they see.
3. Feeling with Compassion& Empathy
Effective lovers feel what others are feeling. They are compassionate and empathetic … not sympathetic. They don’t look at someone or something and say, “Oh, I feel so sorry for you/it.” They try to put themselves in the others’ shoes. They look for solutions. They offer real help. They fertilize the dying bush or bring the parched animal a drink.
4. Reaching Out
Effective lovers extend a helping hand without being asked. Their “feelers” are out looking for ways to help. They have a servant’s heart.
5. Taking Time
A habit effective lovers develop is the act of taking time for others. Whether it is visiting a friend who’s sick, caring for a pet while its owner is away, watering a garden, going to a nursing home, building a birdhouse or helping to complete a project, the effective lover is ever ready.
Knowing your own power is limited, knowing we’re all imperfect mortals who need divine guidance, effective lovers pray for others, pray for world peace, pray for endangered species and help in times of disasters and seemingly insurmountable struggles. Effective lovers reach for help beyond themselves.
We know our own limitations, and we know our own weaknesses. We know we do not always exhibit the kindness, patience and gentleness that effective lovers need. So, we ask for divine guidance and help from the One who strengthens us.
Effective lovers have staying power. They are tenacious. They are in it for the long haul. They are not quick to let go. Instead, they continue to love through thick and thin.
Like this beautiful spider web that is covered with snow, but hanging on for dear life as the wind howls outside my sanctuary, this web has a job to do. It will capture any insects that survive the storm … it will provide food for the spider that created it. It hangs on and fulfills its given purpose.
Being an Effective Lover involves listening, seeing, feeling, reaching, taking time, praying, and being tenacious… and it’s worth all that effort because you know:
“What you bring into the lives of others comes back into your own.”
Do you agree with these 7 habits or qualities for “Effective Lovers”? Do you have others you might add?
In today’s sermon, Elaine told a story of A lighthouse keeper:
On a stormy night, He climbed the rocks to the light; Turned it on and fell.
He fell and he died That night on the rocky hill After doing his job.
A sailor that night Saved his passengers and crew Because of the light.
The lightkeeper died So that others might be saved From falls in darkness.
Elaine Hundley, who delivered the message in church today reminded us that, like this lighthouse keeper, Jesus died that we might live. He gave His life for us. Likewise, we are reminded to share our lives – give what we have – to brighten the lives of others.
Elaine read from Luke 12:13-21, and she reminded us – “All we have is on loan to us From the Lord, the Almighty. If we have extra, we are told To give it away; don’t hold tightly.“
These are eleven of the WordPress bloggers who provide sunshine in my life – They share the writing talents they have been given; They are my choices for the Sunshine Blogger Award :
Dear Readers, you will enjoy checking out the blogs listed above. They are always inspiring. If any of these people wish to accept the award (Big Sky Buckeye already did – he sent this to me) and put it on their blog site, check back to see the rules posted yesterday on JanBeek.
Among the rules, I was asked to answer 11 questions and then create 11 questions for my Sunshine Award recipients to answer. Here are my questions:
When did you start blogging?
Why did you start blogging?
How often do you generally blog?
What’s the main topic of your blog (your “niche”)?
Is there a particular time of day when you generally blog? If so, when and why?
Who is your most faithful follower?
Do you have a tendency to post with that person in mind? Or do you have a different technique for personalizing your message?
Of all your posts, which one would you save if all were lost except one?
What’s one piece of advice you can pass on to beginning bloggers?
Where do you get most of your ideas?
If you could improve one thing about WordPress, what would it be?
Today’s sermon notes from the message delivered at The Madison Valley Presbyterian Church Ennis, Montana by Rev. Steve Hundley inspired by the message Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: 1Cor.1:1-9
It’s really not OK to live in your own little world, keep your gifts to yourself, and fail to step out with courage and faith to share the spiritual gifts God has given you. Today’s message focused on the problem we have when we hoard our gifts, keep the to ourselves, fail to use our talents to glorify God and benefit others. Steve Hundley called his sermon “The Gifted Church.”
I listened and noted the message through my own filters writing:
Paul wrote four letters To the Corinth people. The church there had problems; They struggled ‘neath their steeple. But it wasn’t a typical Place with steeple on a peak. Instead, they met in a house Large enough to fit those who who seek To worship God through Christ. It was an urban setting. The church was being attacked By the townfolk who were vetting Their frustration at Christians. There was a gap between rich and poor. It was a hindrance to worship When the poor were scorned by those with more.
Corinth was a diverse city. The church was diverse as well; But their real problem was their gifts With which they were gifted. (Do tell!) We are weakest at the point Of our greatest gift, when it Is a crutch, not shared, not used To glorify God, help others, and send it Out to make the world better.
But when we use our gifts To be part of something bigger – And we thank God who lifts Us up, then our gifts are used To make our talents worthwhile. Like the people of Corinth, We must not let our gifts go into a pile Where they are lost and wasted.
Talents not shared are wasted gifts. There are talents everywhere, But until we use them for others, who will know? Who will care? This is a church full of talented people Whose gifts are very apparent. You use them here and in the community. You spread your joy; your love is transparent.
If Paul were alive today, He would write a letter to praise you. Keep on sharing, caring, using your gifts – And let His loving spirit raise you To His blessings.
What talent are you willing to share this week? Make your gifts count!