Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Shedding Our Bark — Roth Poetry – Reblog


Shedding Our Bark

57m ago

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The Willow trees in our back yard were only saplings when we moved here nine years ago. They are extremely fast-growing trees which are now at least thirty feet tall. As I sat in their shade, I observed the wide splits in the bark. The old years growth sheds away as the tree expands. Eventually it falls away back into the soil. We are like trees. Those who grow the most continue to shed things they no longer need; negative attitudes, hurts, ideas, stereotypes, resentment, and bitterness, etc. Some are trapped in their own bark unwilling to let go and change for the better. How are you at shedding your bark?

Growth brings expansion
Stretching us //sometimes to our limit
Breaking us out of our comfort zone.
Growth causes cracks in our perception
Finding, perhaps there are other ways
Of thinking or feeling that may be different.
Growth brings change
Change is often painful
Forcing us to cast off old ways of thinking;
To have growth, we will have to change.
With change comes new strength;
New strength moves us beyond the present;
Fulfills our dreams for today…
Knowing tomorrow, we will again
Expand, stretch, and shed our bark.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Ubuntu!


Ubuntu!

 

Guest Minister

Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.

Pray for Jean

Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Sunday Surprises

Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).

He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning:

lunch table

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

There was a woman in Africa named Dorothy
Who embodied the spirit of Ubuntu
She was all about community and humanity.
Her kitchen was open to all … she’d welcome you.

She lived the spirit of Matthew 25:
If you see someone naked, clothe them.
If you see someone hungry, feed them.
We’re all one; you should never loathe them!

Dorothy was like a mother to all
Who entered her village; she’d invite
The hungry and poor to dine in her kitchen.
The sense of community was pure delight.

Like Nelson Mandela who invited his captors
To enjoy his inauguration feast,
Dorothy welcomed one and all –
Didn’t label anyone as one of the “least.”

Instead she lived a life that demonstrated
“I am who I am because of who we are.”
She knew “We are all connected.”
Her love lifted all people to “par.”

Everywhere in the world what we need
Is more Dorothys who live out Matthew 25.
Regardless of religion or color or creed,
We need Ubuntu to spread far and wide.

We must fill our world with love and joy.
We must fill the world with God’s peace.
We must feed the hungry and show respect
And love to all. Come and join my feast!

Shalom!

Ubuntu!
Have a Matthew 25 Sunday.
“I am because we are.”
We are all connected.
colorful dancers

pexels-photo-887349-2
See you tomorrow.

 

Fun with My Writers’ Group


Every first and third Friday our Madison County Writers’ Group meets in Ennis, Montana. We may have just two participants, or we could have eight or ten. Last February during our third Friday meeting, there were just two of us. I recently came across my notes from that meeting.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We begin our meeting each time with a prompt we draw from a bag. Anyone can add prompts to the bag at any time. On this particular Friday, Steve drew the prompt, “Writer’s Block.” We had ten or fifteen minutes to write on that prompt and then share with one another what we had written.

I decided to write a Haiku. It ended up as a 5 stanza poem… each stanza a syllabic count of 5-7-5 syllables. What would you have written with the prompt “Writer’s Block”?

Let me share mine with you.

Writer’s Block can trap
You and me in wordless haze
Floating in nothing

Nothingness can hold
You and me in dilemma
Pen in hand stands still

Stillness can reveal
Treasures in the quietness
You just can’t force it

Forcefulness is great
If you adamantly feel
Thoughts begin to swirl

Swirling thoughts spin out
With contemplation and ease
The Block disappears

We had so much fun sharing our ideas on Writer’s Block that we decided to draw another prompt. This one was “Words.” We gave ourselves another ten minutes.

This time since I was on a roll with the Haiku rhythm, I wrote a 3 stanza poem. Sharing it later with my husband, Bob, he asked, “What determines if your Haiku is going to be one stanza or 3 or 5?”

“You write what you have to say,” I told him. “When you have said it, you stop. The thoughts dictate the length.”

Here’s what I wrote to the prompt, WORDS:

When words just fail me,
I sit back and dream awhile.
Dreams don’t have to speak.

When dreams are wordless,
My imagination spins –
Motivating scenes.

Let pictures emerge.
Print them on your mind and soul.
Eventually: WORDS!

These kinds of dreams come to us as writers, but they come to painters and potters and musicians as well. It’s a capacity of the human brain that needs to be cultivated.

A productive life is one that can get beyond writers block, can use words to express inner feelings, and can listen with heart to the unspoken words of those around them.

I hope you are a proponent of the kind of arts education that promotes such critical thinking. Let your curious mind fly free.

Be a wise consumer of words and thoughts and dreams! Do you have a Writers’ Group? If so, tell me about it. If not, think about forming one. It’s such fun to share your creative thoughts with others face to face, not just on WordPress.

See ya tomorrow. Cheers!

Don Urban – A Worthy Reblog


How to Improve your photography

by Don Urban | Aug 12, 2019 | Equipment, Rambles and Rants, Uncategorized | 0 comments

How to Improve your photography

Why Reblog? Well, Don is my 600th follower!! I want to honor him and his blog and invite you to see his work. I love his photography. I think you will, too. Thanks, Don, for visiting and following JanBeek!!

Gear DOES Matter

One of the best ways to improve your photography? Buy gear. Yes, that’s right. Buy gear. You are a photographer. It is your passion (hopefully!) so why not buy gear?

Gear motivates, inspires and allows you to realise your vision.

I would recommend though, buying gear only if you really need it. Buy second-hand gear off eBay or Gumtree (Australia). Cameras, lenses, flashes and bags are tools- if you need them, buy them.

Branded portrait, headshot and model test photography, Inner West Sydney portraits

Some will make you a better photographer because you will be able to capture what you envisage. Some purchases will be duds. Avoid the duds. Don’t make impulse buys. Research the hell out of each purchase to guarantee you get a good bargain and you know why you are getting that new piece of equipment.

I have only just bought my first speedlight flash with softbox and umbrella. Continuous lights served me well for a long time, and I still use them, but they are limiting when it comes to travelling and I needed stronger, directional lights, so I bought a cheap but highly regarded flash- a Godox flash. I didn’t by a Nikon one at four-times the price with less features. I shopped around, weighted up options, put it off until I felt limited in my photography.

Don Urban portrait photography Newtown, Sydney studio photography

Same with lenses. I bought a Tamron 90mm 1:1 Macro lens. My other lenses, a 50mm and 28mm, I bought second hand off eBay. I mostly photograph people, still life and flowers- 90mm becomes the most useful lens. I shoot a few landscapes, so a second hand 28mm suits me well.

It has to be justified.

If you are struggling to achieve a look with your equipment, then it is time to buy gear. The sad thing is, I see so many photographers buying gear thinking it will make them a better photographer. It wont.

But having gear, suitable for what you want to create, will make you a better photographer.

Buying the right gear will elevate your photography. And no, there are no affiliate links here. I never recommend gear, because what is good for me, may not be suitable for you.

Buy gear for yourself, not for others.

Until next time, best wishes, Don

Voice – a Quadrille


A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, not including the title, using a specific, assigned word. Today’s challenge on d’Verse is Quadrille #85 – Raising our Poetic Voices – and VOICE is the word.

Here is my quadrille:

Voice

Every writer has a voice.
You may not hear its tone
or timbre on paper
but its Intent,
Heart,
Compassion,
and Grace
Speak loudly.
In only a page or less,
you know
if you like that voice
or not.
Does
your voice
speak love?

Jan Beekman
http://www.janbeek.blog

https://dversepoets.com/

Just Be Yourself


Be yourself.jpg

Does “Just Be Yourself”
Allow you to be hateful?
Nope, I don’t think so.

 

Does “Just Be Yourself”
Allow you to hurt others?
Nope, I don’t think so.

 

Does “Just Be Yourself”
Give you permission to lie?
Nope, I don’t think so.

 

Just read the last line
You are to be wonderful
That’s being yourself!

 

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

red and white ribbon

See ya tomorrow

Surviving with Doubt


Doubt

Today’s Sermon

The sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was delivered today by Elaine Hundley, Christian educator extraordinaire. She titled it, “Perfect Weakness,” as she focused on the messages in Isaiah 40:1-8, 28-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Is there Perfect Weakness?

The Apostle Paul spoke of his weakness, his struggles, and his ability to find strength in spite of his troubles – by leaning on the Power of God. But, is there “Perfect Weakness?” The message today said, Yes, there can be, but not without giving our weaknesses to God… and letting Him take away our doubt and give us the strength found only in His Power.

Poetic Sermon Notes

Here are the notes I took away from the message as I heard it this morning:

 

Is doubt your constant companion?
Do doubts creep into your heart?
Do you read or listen to the news
And wonder when the next war will start?

person holding a burning news paper close up photography

Photo by Connor Danylenko on Pexels.com

.
The mass murders in the USA
Are so many in number this year
That there have been more deaths by far
Than there are days, I fear.

photo of man holding rifle

Photo by Maurício Mascaro on Pexels.com

.
Struggles abound – and it’s hard
To keep our chins up!
Can there ever be peace on earth?
God, says, “Believe, trust I’ll fill your bins up!”

.
But we are a fragile people
Who struggle to see our future bright.
We wonder if we even have bins –
Let alone bins that are filled up bright.

focus photo of yellow paper near trash can

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

.
We need to remember that God is HERE
And He can lift us up.
We need to trust His power
And know He’ll fill our cup.

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.
We need to know that He knows
Our every struggle – our loss –
He’s here beside us by the grace
Of Jesus, who took our loss upon the cross.
.

Let’s follow His lead –
Accept His grace –
And just love one another!!
Can’t we???

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

.
Breaking News:
29 dead and many more injured
in the past 13 hours
in the USA
in two mass shootings!

When will these senseless
tragedies cease?

What can we do??

I pray:
God bless the families,
the friends,
the loved ones of those
involved in these mass shootings
in the USA yesterday and today.
May they somehow find comfort in their faith
and in the compassionate comments,
hugs, and support of their friends.
.
I beg:
Lord, help us find solutions
for the problems of
mental illness
that rampage our country –
and the proliferation of assault weapons
that are in the hands of unstable civilians.

.
pexels-photo-887349-2
See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

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