Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘courage’

Just Be Yourself


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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

Wit & Wisdom


Wit & Wisdom

My friend, Sue, shared with me this morning the page below from a Hallmark gift book of collected saying, quotes, short stories, titled Wit & Wisdom of Women.

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Today is the day my friend, Carol,
(I wrote about her earlier in  My Friend, Carol)
made her journey over the “Rainbow Bridge”
to her Eternal Home.

When Sue read this page to me, I told her,
“That perfectly describes my friend, Carol.
Her 95 years on this earth were a testimony to kindness,
strength, courage, wisdom and wit,
as well as her impact on others,

and her ability to connect in very profound ways.”

Rest in Peace, dear Carol.
You certainly brought a “special touch
that no other person has.”

You will be missed here on earth,
but your legacy will live on
in each of us who had the privilege of
knowing and loving you.

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My prayers and condolences go out to your family.
They were certainly blessed to have you as their mother/grandmother!

God bless them.

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See you in Tomorrow Land!

Morning Prayer


Morning Prayer

(adapted from The Open Church Foundation’s
prayer by Wallace Fridy)

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“This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

God, I am truly grateful for:

  • another day,
  • another morning
  • another hour,
  • another minute,
  • another chance
    to live and to serve You.

Please, God, today, free me from all:

  • fear of the future,
  • anxiety about tomorrow,
  • bitterness toward anyone,
  • cowardice in the face of danger,
  • laziness from work,
  • failure before opportunity, and
  • weakness when Your Power is at hand.

But, O God, please fill me with:

  • Love that knows no barriers,
  • Sympathy that reaches all,
  • Courage that can’t be shaken,
  • Faith strong enough for darkness,
  • Strength sufficient for my tasks,
  • Loyalty to Your Kingdom’s goal,
  • Wisdom to meet life’s complexities, and
  • Power to lift me to You.

 

Please, O God,
be with me for another day,
and use me in Your Will.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray.
     Amen

Be Led, Not Driven


The Purpose Driven Life

I have an affection for Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. It has so many words of wisdom – and it helped me as I was trying to define my purpose for living. I had recently suffered a burst appendix and had almost died. Prayer, God’s grace, a skillful ambulance driver, and a careful surgeon gave me back my life. I looked earnestly for clues about how I might live purposely for God to thank Him for my survival.

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This book of Daily Inspirations is a complement to The Purpose Driven Life. I used it as a devotional and as a journal, writing in the margins and at the top and bottom of the pages each day.


Soul Feast

But recently I read a quote by Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, Soul Feast.

Thompson wrote, “I admit I do not care for the language of ‘driven-ness’ in recently popular books and seminars…” She went on to explain “… it is significant that the Bible likens us to sheep, not cattle.”


My Haiku

Giving overtime thought to Marjorie J. Thompson’s  quote I wrote the following Haiku:

Live from a posture
Of profound trust and deep love
Be sheep, not cattle

 

Deep Conversation

My husband and I had a deep conversation about life and death, purpose and the difference between being led and being driven. When I am weary, Jesus leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul.

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Cowboys here in Montana drive their cattle to the next pasture and farmers in Switzerland drive their cows in the springtime up to fresh grass from the lower meadows where the beautiful animals have spent the winters.

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

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But Bob’s point as my hubby discussed the difference between being driven and led, was that cattlemen drive their cattle for the same reason shepherds lead their sheep. They have their best interests at heart. (Well, they may be driving them to market!)

There is a connotation to the word “driven” in our American culture. It seems to imply push-push-push, a relentless effort toward getting to the top.

 

Hope for the Flowers

I was reminded of a book for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)  titled, Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus. It was copyrighted in 1973, but it is as pertinent today as it was then (and it still is available on Amazon.com).

As I recall the story, the caterpillars in this clever little tale are climbing over the top of each other, creating a  “caterpillar pillar.” One little creeper is on the outside edge, getting tired of the climb, wondering if it’s worth it. She asks a fellow climber as she looks at the daunting distance to the top, “What’s up there, anyway?”

“Just other caterpillars pushing each other off so they can be on top,” her climbing companion explained as one of the fuzzy creatures came tumbling down and crashed to the ground.

(How sad, huh? I am fascinated by these wonderful creations and their metamorphosis.)

caterpillar close up hairy insect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Right about then the disillusioned climber caught the eye of a beautiful butterfly cruising by. “Climb on down,” he encouraged. “Spin yourself a chrysalis, rest inside, and eventually you will emerge a butterfly like I did. Then you can join me.”

(Of course those quotes are from my memory, not the actual book. I loaned it out to someone…. don’t remember who… but I have ordered a new one. Hope for the Flowers is a terrific book to have on hand as a reminder of my journey!)

Moving Down the Administrative Ladder

I discovered this beautiful, child-like, but profound, paperback when I was working as a curriculum coordinator in the district office at a school district in central California. My office was waaay too far from the children. I had been an elementary teacher for over 20 years and the principal of a K-6 school with over a thousand students for nearly a decade. The “caterpillar pillar” (that ambitious climb to greater “success”) led me to the district office. I knew after only about three weeks that it was not where I belonged.

I stuck it out for two years. Did the best job I knew how. Wore at least a half a dozen hats (Federal Programs director, language arts and music coordinator, in-service leader for new teachers, mentor for new principals, etc.) I learned a lot, and am glad I did it,but generally, I was not happy. My love & my gift was teaching children and helping “my staff” grow to be their best selves. I loved the interaction with the students, the teachers, and the parents.

As I climbed back down the “pillar” and announced that I was going back UP to the classroom (as soon as I rested a year and earned my butterfly wings), I was told, “What are you doing? That’s the wrong direction!”

Some warned, “You can’t go back down! People will think you’ve been demoted!”

“Yes, I can,” I insisted. I slid into my chrysalis, listened to The Voice of Reason and Transformation, rested, and devoted more time to my family, myself and my God.

I emerged a happy butterfly and was led back UP to a group of first graders. At the end of that year I led them on to second grade. What joy! I still hear from some of those children twenty years later. Several of them are my Facebook friends!

Best move I ever made!!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


The Voice

Contemplative time
Creates vessels of vision
Hear the “still small voice”

.
Let God fill you up
with new creativity
Receive fresh insight

.
I encourage you
To let contemplative time
Be a microphone

.
Let unstructured time
Be a transformative time
Listen to The Voice!


Take time to rest.
Build your chrysalis.
Listen to your heart.

Find your True Purpose!

You may want to consider getting Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life,
and the accompanying inspirational/journal:

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and look for Hope for the Flowers. It’s out there…

Be Led, Not Driven

Trump’s State of the Union


Do we have the courage

to seize this opportunity

to win for our country?

Is there power in

American pride today?

What were you thinking

as you listened tonight

to the State of the Union?

You can’t go wrong

by honoring and saluting

American war and space heroes.

Space travel promises and

Promises of quality of life

For all our citizens are

Words – Ideals we all embrace.

Common good – yes!

Political stalemates – no!

Greatness or Gridlock?

Duh, uh, I’m not sure.

Which do you choose?

”We are just getting started!”

I can believe that.

Can you?

So, what’s next?

Economic growth

and greater employment…

Opportunities for the disabled…

Show me!

Pompous claims – divisive smirks-

Divided applause – UNITY?

An ocean of white –

Chants of USA, but not by all.

Ridiculous partisan investigations?

Partisan wars?

Nominations stuck?

Bi-partisanship?

Mistreatment of veterans…

All agreed that should end.

Alice Johnson – prisoner –

Unfairness of criminal sentencing –

Tears, Joy, Accolades, Redemption

and Unity of Destiny.

Matthew Charles – released by

First Step Act – Unity!

Urgent National Crisis –

End border problems –

Solutions? 3,750 troops!

Protect lives and jobs

of our citizens, and acknowledge

contributions of legal immigrants.

Accusations of the speaker:

reduced jobs, increased crime,

very cruel attitudes of those who

advocate open southern borders.

Gang members streaming in.

Horrible heartache of Debra –

Compassion for her loss.

Oh yes, the folks who come

across our southern border

are all a threat to our safety…

Do you believe that?

Play on our fears  –

Convince us that sadistic

traffickers are all illegal aliens!

Common sense proposal

Sounds so sensible, yes?

Build a wall!

Smart and strategic.

Walls up, tunnels under,

Border cities, dangerous,

Fixed. ‘Cuz walls work. Do they?

Look at those 58% of women

Who filled new jobs last year.

They scaled the sexist borders!

Women in the work force = Unity!

Women in Congress = Right!

Congratulations!

Economic Empowerment for Women,

Chinese theft of USA – what?

Taking advantage of weak leaders!

Hmmm – trade blunders – who’s fault?

Bring back manufacturing-

4 Beautiful words =

“Made in the USA” – and rebuild

“Crumbling infrastructure” –

Unity!

Let’s protect those

with pre-existing conditions

and lower drug costs –

Unity!

Will a bill to lower costs pass!?

We see the value of

American freedom.

Will it bring politicians

to an agreement for the

benefit of all Americans?

Will it cause us to join

in a fight against

Childhood Cancer??

Grace Eli – so darling –

Brain cancer victim-

raised $40K for cancer fight –

completed her chemo.

She touched all of us.

Will her story inspire us all?

Paid family leave for parents

of a newborn child -yes!

What about the late-term abortions?

Right side stood and applauded.

Left side sat – but some clapped.

Where’s the unity for unborn,

late-term babies? Where?

Defense spending – military build-up,

INF treaty withdrawal, agreements –

outspend all others? Unity, nope!

Relationships with Korean leaders –

Divided applause.

Venezuelan connections – divided applause.

Socialism – Bernie Sanders- USA –

Complex and divided theories-

Israel and our relationships –

Divided reactions.

Wars abroad – new approaches –

End of endless wars – divided response.

Time to welcome home our troops:

Divided response. Where’s Unity?

Try for peace. Defend our people.

Kill leaders of the opponents…

Divided response.

Hero of USA – Cole – honor him!

Iran Nuclear deal withdrawal –

Divided response.

Where is our Unity!?

Confront prejudice and honor –

Officer Timothy Matson –

There’s our Unity!!

“Thank you. We are forever grateful.”

Concentration camp survivor –

Honor his 81st Birthday- UNITY!

“It’s the Americans!” UNITY!

Proof that God exists –  Herman –

Liberator – unifier – Joshua – 😘

We salute you both!

You did it for America;

You did it for us, and we are

Eternally grateful. Unity – yes!

Politicians coming from all of the USA,

We ask you to continue to work

in greater UNITY for the good

of all of us  – transcending our

differences and reigniting the

American imagination.

Choose to work for UNITY.

Go forward together.

This is my prayer.

Thank you, President Trump,

for your appeals for unity.

My prayer is for the unification

of our great nation.

No more divisiveness.

No more fear mongering.

No more partisanship.

Let us work as one

for our common good.

Yes!

 

The pundits are busy now.

Analyze what was said.

Second-guess the motives.

Question the energy.

But when all is said and done,

Can we come together as Americans?

Will we work together as one for the common good?

I’m trying…

Are you?

 

 

 

 

Change is Challenging


Change is inevitable
Change is challenging
Resist or embrace?

May as well embrace
To resist change is futile
Change is inevitable

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This is my grandson, Chris. I told you I would write more about him. He has been the center of life for Bob and our family since he arrived in the USA from Switzerland last Thanksgiving. When you first met him (if you have been following my blog), this is what he looked like:

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See the change?

And when you first met that pup he has under the blanket in his lap up there, this is what TazE looked like:

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Well, he is so covered up in that first picture up there, you can’t really see the gray in his face and the change in his body, can you? But, trust me… now at age 8 1/2, he has changed from that frisky guy you see there. Here’s a current one that shows you what I’m talking about:

TazE in bed

Yes, change is inevitable! And it can be scary. And it can be very exciting. But it does not do any good to resist it. Much of change is healthy and invigorating. It’ll happen whether you bid it or not. May as well plan for it!

When our grandson came last year, he knew he was in for a year of changes. He had the courage to fly into a new life here – with new opportunities – different in countless ways from his life in Sierre, Switzerland.

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Today we are driving in Montana snow (really came down yesterday… and more is expected today) from Ennis to Anaconda. It’s about a two hour drive. We will stay overnight there, hoping to find a place that will allow pets. TazE will go with us.

We are taking Chris to the Job Corps in Anaconda. He will check in at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning. He has qualified (US citizen between the age of 16-24 with a clean record who is interested in training in one of 7 manual labor areas that are deemed understaffed by the Federal Government) and has been accepted into the program.

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We took a tour there in December and we were wonderfully impressed with the site, the program, the facilities, the instructors, the equipment, the ambience, and the students. About 200 young people are there. More than 75% of them are from out-of-state. Chris will be the first who was born and raised in another country. (Our daughter is his mom… and as such, Chris has dual USA-Swiss citizenship).

There are 4 dorms, 3 for men and 1 for women (that’s the ratio of the students). Not surprising since the trades they are learning include:

  • Heavy equipment Operating
  • Heavy equipment Mechanics
  • Welding
  • Painting (buildings inside and out – not oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc.)
  • Carpentry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Brick-laying

Chris will have a month to explore the various options and then he will select the one he wishes to concentrate on. Each student is self-paced. The training could take as little as three months and as much as a year, depending on prior experience, work ethic, skill, etc.

Stay tuned. I am sure our grandson is in for changes he cannot even imagine at this time.

We are excited for him.

Aren’t you glad to know our Federal Government is supporting this kind of internship/apprenticeship program for young people?

 

Sunrise Beginnings; Sunset Endings


Just as sun rises,
Each day is new beginnings.
Rise to occasions.

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Just as the sun sets
Extraordinarily,
Ends bring beginnings.

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Allow the endings
In order to make room for
The new beginnings.

 

Our daughter’s youngest, our 23-year-old grandson, Chris, arrived from Switzerland to stay for awhile with our son in California – and to stay for a month with us here in Montana. Life here is very different for him. In the Montana month, he met our friends, went to church and shopping with us, helped us around the house a lot (like decorating for Christmas and then taking down and putting away all the decorations), received his driver’s license, toured the Job Corp campus in Anaconda, MT, filled out his application, and was accepted into the program. He has USA citizenship and is between the ages of 16 and 24; he wants to learn manual skills and may move on to find a job in a field such as carpentry, welding, or heavy equipment mechanics, and he has a “clean record”, so he qualifies for the program.

He will begin this new experience next week. Chris had to allow for a lot of endings in order to make room for these new beginnings. We are excited for him. We are impressed by his courage, spirit of adventure, and willingness to step out and learn new skills. Only the Good Lord knows what the next year will hold for him, but we know he is in God’s hands, and so we will send him off with great anticipation, faith, and confidence.

Stay tuned!!
I’m sure I will write
more about Chris
as the year progresses.
Maybe his experiences
will encourage
some 16-to-24-year-old
you know and love.

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