Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘encouragement’

Understanding and Umbrellas


Understanding
was the first “U” word

that popped into my mind
when searching for
the quality we ALL need
to
add more meaning
and
find greater purpose
in life.

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

Understanding and Wisdom go Hand in Hand

What are the common roots of the two words?

I turned to scripture to find the answer to that question. This is a copy of my Bible page. As you can see, it is well marked! Look at how many times Proverbs 2 uses “wisdom” and “understanding.”

Understanding + Wisdom = Compassion

The Book of Proverbs teaches us, if we understand what is right and good, we will see what is just and fair. As a result, it will naturally follow that when we see injustice, when we witness someone being treated unfairly, we will have a heart of compassion, determined to respond.

Compassion is an Umbrella

OnahDave on HumePoets.com posted a poem today titled Drenched:

“Wrecked and broken by pain,
she drenched in the unlimited
down pour of her sorrow.”

When I read his poem, my immediate response was, “Give her your umbrella!”
When we understand another person’s pain, our compassion compels us to reach out with an umbrella of protection.

grayscale image of woman walking through the rain while holding umbrella

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

Umbrellas Take Many Forms

Sometimes the umbrella is a song! Today I visited my friend, Carol, who (at the advanced age of 95) is struggling to hang on to life. Her son and two daughters were in the hospital room with her.

Carol was having a better day today than when I saw her yesterday. Her children could tell because she was being a bit cantankerous!

Hah! She reminded me of my mom during her last days. Her mind rallied to the point that she knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. Her ability to say, “No!” rallied – – – and she exerted her independence while bed-bound and hooked up to oxygen. Like my mom, Carol is a strong and courageous woman.

Her daughters and I sang some cheery songs to her and enjoyed her smiles and nods – and her ability to squeeze my hand in appreciation. Her son snapped a few pictures. These are moments to remember!

Disney’s Sing-A-Long Songs – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah VHS

was our first song. You know, you can’t help but smile when you sing that song! It sent an umbrella of joy over the entire room!

Then we sang Frank Sinatra’s “Dream Your Troubles Away.” Do you know that one? You can change “Dreams” to “Prayers” … and sing “Pray Your Troubles Away.” That thought fits the hand-in-hand analogy of understanding and wisdom as described in the second chapter of Proverbs. Here are the song’s revised words:

When skies are cloudy and gray,
They’re only gray for a day,
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Until that sunshine peeps through,
There’s only one thing to do:
Just wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Your castles may tumble
That’s fate after all,
Life’s really funny that way.

No need to grumble,
Smile as they fall,
Weren’t you queen for a day?

Just remember that sunshine
Always follows the rain.
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away!

 

Sometimes, We Gotta Let the Rain Fall

Max Lucado has written a book titled, Unshakable Hope.
In a message promoting his book, he wrote,

“I’ve discovered that nothing lifts the weary soul like the promises of God. This book contains some of my favorite [promises]. Picture God’s words falling like rain from heaven on you. Imagine these promises as gentle spring showers. Receive them. Allow them to land on you, to soak you. I’m trusting that God’s words will prosper in your life.”

Understand God is in the Storms of Life

Rick Hamlin in today’s Guideposts prayed,
“God, don’t let my cynical heart
prevent me from seeing
You in unexpected places.”

Sometimes our vision is blurred by the storms that smack us in the face. The unexpected difficulties can put us in dark places where vision is limited. We wonder, “God, where are You?”

Even Jesus had such moments. “My God, my God, why hast Thou Forsaken me?” From the cross, He cried to His Father. It’s understandable that we sometimes have similar thoughts.

Sometimes we need to set aside the umbrella, lift our eyes to the sky, and dance in the rain – in spite of the trauma.

Wrap your troubles in prayer – and pray your troubles away –
or not!
Sometimes the clouds are meant to stay – more than a day –
But sunshine follows the rain.
Even if that sunshine is our promise of Life Eternal.

Relish the Beauty of God’s Promises.

scenic view of mountains during dawn

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Try to understand!
And be ready to put away your umbrella
or pass it along  –
use it to protect and encourage a friend.

Keep a song alive in your heart!

God bless you.

See you tomorrow.

Feed and Follow


Sermon Notes from
5/5/19
Rev. Jean Johnson’s message
inspired by John 21:1-19

“Feed and Follow”

We are needy people
Who need daily encouragement.
We need assurance;
We need to know what Jesus meant
When He said, “Feed my sheep.”

.
We call out for forgiveness.
We are hungry for God’s grace.
How shall we feed on grace?
How shall we receive forgiveness?
Obey Christ’s command, “Feed My sheep!”

.
We hunger for His grace.
We yearn for His mercy.
We are healed by forgiveness.
We are to care for and feed those
Christ meant with, “Feed My sheep.”

.
Christ converted Shakey Simon
Into the Solid Rock Peter.
Through Christ, God provides us
With the Solid Word to feed others.
We can, in fact, follow “Feed My Sheep.”

.
In His command is God ‘s promise
Of provision for His followers.
The church will feed on the Gospel.
The church will nourish others
With Good News – “We feed God’s Sheep!”

.
We are here as needy people
To receive the encouragement
To feed on His assurance,
And then to go out and indeed
Do as He commands: “Feed My sheep!”

.
On this Cinco de Mayo,
I have decided that when we
go out into the world and
Feed His Sheep,
we bring color into their lives.

colored sheep
Don’t you agree?
The Good News certainly colors MY world!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, my friends.
See you tomorrow.

Supporting One Another


Being supportive:
Folks who love one another
Just simply do that!

8 TOPS 5-3-19
These are my TOPS friends –
We meet weekly on Wednesdays,
Weigh and encourage.
.
We learn and we laugh
With drama in the weight room.
Yo-yoing is tough!
.
Jan
.

One week I am the
Biggest loser of the group;
Next week it’s back on!

.
This week Cherrie wore
The hat of great distiction
Congratulations!
.
Cherrie
.
The hardest part is
Making those darn pounds stay off.
Encouragement helps!

.
Do you struggle with
Keeping your body perfect?
Seems like we all do!
.

But when I think of
Folks who cannot afford food,
I stop complaining!

person woman sitting old

There are many ways
To support One Another.
What is your best way?

Encouraging Spring


beautiful bird bloom blossomSaw our first robin
But no blossoms were in sight
Encouraging spring

.
I want it all now
The flowers, the birds, and spring
Praying for patience!

.

What’s Your Next Step?


image

It’s easy to get caught up

In the  ABBAABBA  CDECDE

Rhyme Scheme and Rhythm

Of the Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet

That I have written below.

 

Petrarchan is fun!

white high raise building

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I chose the Italian Sonnet as an exercise today

Because I do love Italy!

My maiden name is DeAngeles, afterall …

“Of Angels” – always seeking higher ground!

I remember a “step to higher ground”

My husband and I took a few years ago:

To this beautiful city of Venice …

A step out of reality

Into a dream world

Where only the blessed tourists and

The residents struggling to make

A livelihood seemed to venture out.

Here’s my step into the higher ground of poetry,

Trying my hand at a Petrarchan:

 


What’s Your Next Step?

A text from a friend of more than fifty years:

“What’s your next step?” she wrote to ask.

I’m retired, I thought, find sunshine in which to bask.

But, though she’s my age, I sensed some tears,

And figured she’d missed some steps in her latter years.

I wondered if she had some sort of task,

A favor perhaps, but her question was a mask,

Designed to seek help while hiding her fears.

selective focus photography of person wearing mask

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

So I waited awhile to send her a reply,

Didn’t want to be flippant or seem like a jerk.

“What step do you have in mind?” I inquired.

She picked up the phone, and I heard her cry,

“I just lost my job. I can’t live without work.”

What help could I be to a friend who’d been fired?

woman wearing red hat and sunglasses

Photo by Nashua Volquez on Pexels.com

 

It was fun to try and create a “Petrarchan.”

You should try it!

 

This was a fiction account,

With a shred of truth;
For indeed I am blessed
With health and security
And a choice of next “steps,”
While I know friends who
Indeed are not and cannot!

grayscale photography of patient and relative holding hands

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Who will you reach out to today?
And will you try a Petrarchan?

 

Sharing Multiplies Joy – Haiku x7


Sharing special days

Like our anniversary

Makes them more special

Inviting good friends

To celebrate days with us

Increases friendship

Generously share

Days of sweet significance

Multiply your joy

Share a lovely meal

Happy Birthday, dear friend, at

Sacajawea!

.

First picture up there

Was seven short years ago

Here’s fifty-seven!

Wonderful wedding

Beautiful cake and event

My how the time flies!!

Have we changed a lot?

Inside we are still the same

Keeping love alive!

.

Tell me about some sharing you’ve done that multiplied your joy!

A Valentine Message


“Love must be sincere.

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with God’s people who are in need.

Practice hospitality.”

…. Romans 12:9-13

No better Valentine’s message of love ever has been written. To add to it, go to your Bible and read the next few verses, Romans 12:14-16 … and get caught up in the wonderful message of Jesus’ love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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