On her September 26th blog, aroused calmkate posted this:
I think kindness is the key to all that I might be
if I’m kind to others they might be kind to me
if I live in kindness there will be more harmony
any kindness I convey radiates an awesome way
if no kindness in their heart for me move away, let them be
they are kind to others I will see just healthier for me to flee
please try your kindness key it might just set us free
I responded with, “…Kindness is indeed the key to living a meaningful, happy life. It is ours to give, whether or not it is reciprocated. The ones who lack the “Kindness Key” are locked out of so much joy, but they don’t have to rob ours! Our kindness is ours to give – and the more we give away, the more we have. It’s like love that way.”
The 6 Keys to Kindness
Yes, kindness is a key… but there are keys to kindness, too. Here are a few that come to my mind:
Self acceptance (it’s hard to be kind to others while being mean to yourself!)
Compassion (we need to open our eyes to others’ needs and exude empathy)
Courtesy (being kind involves being courteous – even in the face of rudeness)
Gentleness (yes, responding with a gentle heart is a necessary turn of the key)
Grace (this word is a gift from God… sometimes it is only through the help of the Holy Spirit that we can return kindness in the face of hurt)
Patience (often I need to count to 10, or 25, before I can respond with kindness… it’s not my human nature for my first response always to be kindness)
A Natural WHAT? You want to be NATURAL… But, NATURAL WHAT?
In today’s sermon, Rev. Steve Hundley at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church used this as his sermon topic: “The Natural.”
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know I have a habit of taking notes in poetry while listening to the sermon. It helps me listen better, and recall the message later on. I like to share my notes with you. Here are today’s:
The advertisement asked for A new pastor for a tired church, Worn down and worn out. They were left in the lurch.
The Hebrew Church felt
The way this ad describes.
Weak knees and weak hands was
How they were depicted by scribes.
Jesus, the High Priest, is superior, The scribes reminded them. Pay attention to what He said and did. They were given a long list from Him.
Be kind to strangers, remembering You may be entertaining angels. Be kind to one another, because You, too, will someday be strangers.
Be kind and compassionate Until that behavior is natural. When people call you Christ-like, Be sure that remark is factual.
Remember those who are suffering As if you’re suffering, too. Pay attention to those around – They surely need love from you,
Behavior becomes a habit If you practice it enough. So, practice loving behavior Until sharing it ain’t so tough!
Become a NATURAL Christian, One who loves without a second thought. Help us, Lord, to use our lessons daily – Being as Christ-like as we’ve been taught.
If I have the courage to “be myself” while realizing “I am a wonderful person,” then I need to be analytical. WHAT is it that I have been TAUGHT? And are all those lessons the ones I need in order to be a “Natural” at being a “Christian”? What does being a “Natural Christian” mean?
I need to ask myself, “Have you practiced loving behavior enough to be a natural at it? What’s your first response in the face of strangers?”
What do you think, friends, what are you a Natural at?
Dr. Perry, posted a blog titled, It’s OK to Have a Bad Day. It caused me to internalize this inward journey for peace and think about the habits I have worked to develop in order to be my own best friend.
He quoted Emerson, who wrote: ““Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ten Habits of Peaceful Living
Traveling inward, looking for contentment, I have found that I need to consciously adopt habits that foster inner peace:
Recognition of Limitations
Confrontation of Temptations
Elimination of Blame
Hope in the Face of Despair
Celebration of Where my Hope Lies
In the process of traveling the Road to Inner Peace, it is important to stop every now and then to look back. Consider your progress or regression. Have you every noticed when you’re traveling up a hill that you don’t realize how steep it is until you look back at the incline you have just traversed?
Likewise, when the road is on a decline, you may not realize how drastic the angle until you stop and look back up to the place you began. Reflecting on where you started and seeing how far you have improved or deteriorated can be very helpful.
Dr. Perry, in the post I referenced above says it this way, “After a period of time, reflect on what you have learned and gained from the negative event or interaction in your life. More often than not you will find that you have learned something. Perhaps you will discover an inner strength that you were not aware of or a higher purpose for your existence.”
In her September 27th, The Godly Chic Diaries posted a WordPress guest writer. She introduced Matik Nicholls by saying, “I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find ‘joy unspeakable’ in the process….”
Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls wrote: “Every gift, ability and blessing we have is for the service of others. We are blessers not blessees! We carry the presence of God wherever we go for a greater purpose than just for us to be happy. It is our privilege and purpose to transfer the blessings of God to others!”
Take Joy in the Journey
Traveling life’s road, I take joy in the journey. Spreading it’s my goal.
With The Godly Chic’s help, I discovered this new website, and decided to subscribe to it. The author, Matik Amilcar Nicholls, has created an inspirational web blog at http://www.Authenticjoy.org. This handsome, positive-thinking young man resides in the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
On his site, he shared, “I am an engineer by training, having graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. Computer and Electrical Engineering (with honours). More recently, I completed an M.B.A. with the Heriot-Watt University. I also have a certificate in Applied Theology (class valedictorian) from the Millennium Bible Institute and currently I am pursuing an online programme with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Coach.”
Naturally, reading about him, I am inspired to want to learn more. My Road to Inner Peace is made more successful when I can join hands on the journey with people like Matik. People in other parts of the world. People whose life stories are far different from mine, but who share the common purpose of wanting to “Be a Blessing.” I encourage you to let Matik’s JOY infect you as I found it to be quite “catching” indeed!
Like me, spreading joy – and the source of his joy (his FAITH) – is what Matik says he is all about. He wrote, “I love Jesus. I love spending time with Him. I love His mercy that keeps flowing endlessly in my life. I love what He stands for: love, grace, mercy, peace, truth, freedom, humility and transformation. I am committed to these values. I’m committed to doing my part to preach the gospel, heal the sick, feed the poor, comfort the hurting and free the oppressed… I enjoy seeing people walk in the fullness of all that God has for them to be and do.“
Walk in the fullness Of all that God has for you Find that Inner Peace.
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?
A glimpse of Paradise Is here in the heart Of a home where love is – Where living is an art.
We each carry a paradise With us here on earth. It’s in hearts of compassion. It’s in expressions of mirth.
When we count all our blessings Living a life of gratitude, Heaven is felt and seen In the joy of our attitude.
Edward Hays wrote this story in his book, Feathers on the Wind,
Once upon a time there was a woman who longed to find out what heaven was like.She prayed constantly, “O God, grant me in this life a vision of paradise.”She prayed in this way for years until one night she had a dream. In her dream, an angel came and led her to heaven. They walked down a street in paradise until they came to an ordinary looking house.The angel, pointing toward the house, said, “Go and look inside.”
So the woman walked in the house and found a person preparing supper, another reading a newspaper, and children playing with their toys. Naturally she was disappointed, and returned to the angel on the street. “Is this all there is to heaven?”
The angel replied, “Those people that you saw in the house are not in paradise. Paradise is in them!”
Paradise is not distant. It’s the place where we live – If the Son shines within us And His love is what we give.
Hark, my Blogging Friend, What is it I see? Is that a glimpse of paradise I see in thee?
Oh, by the way, I saw this quote below posted by Cristian Mihai this morning on his “The Art of Blogging.” He was giving us tips (as he does EVERY day) on how to be better bloggers. One of his recommendations was this:
“Decide on a realistic posting frequency For me this is every single day, without exception. For you, it may be every other day or twice a week. Whatever you decide on, announce it to your readers on your blog. Announcing it accomplishes two things. One, you’re creating and managing your reader’s expectations of when new content will be posted. Two, you’re making yourself accountable to your readership. It’s harder to blow off posting when you know there’s a bunch of people out there who are expecting to see something new on a given day.”
So, taking his tip to heart, I am here to tell you, I blog at least once daily. This is my 313th day of consecutive blogging. I’ve been at it for more than six years, but I got serious 313 days ago. It’s paying off because you can count on me… and so I can count on you, too.
For example, on 7/6/19 I had a wonderful 550 followers. I was on a roll… and now, less than 50 days later, I have 614 followers. For those of you with thousands of followers, this might not be a big deal, but for me, it proves the importance of tenacity.
It’s the number of you who click into my blog and the ones who click “like,” and most importantly the ones who leave a comment – those are the folks who keep me going, give me encouragement, and help me know I am not blogging into empty space. Thank you!!