Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘faith’

Why Can’t We Just LOVE?


Why can’t we JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

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LOVING ONE ANOTHER IS A PERSONAL ISSUE IN MY FAMILY – AND YOURS, TOO.

My grandson fell in love with Dahlia (not her real name … time to protect the innocent). They produced this darling baby. Now Dahlia has kicked him out.

Why can’t we just love one another?

Why do we tug at each other and take sides
and try to pull one another over to our side?
Why can’t we try harder to understand
before we try to be understood?

Why can’t we just LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

action active activity adult

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Why do we wage war against one another?

Why can’t we JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

I had an ah-hah moment this morning as I was doing my Bible Study and reading the devotionals. In Touch magazine’s topic yesterday was “God’s Perspective on War.”

Charles Stanley wrote, “War is a very controversial subject in both the world and the church…” and then he asked the question, “What does the Lord think about war?” 
He continued by trying to answer his own question, using Romans 13:1-4 as a springboard.

Here is Romans 13: 1-2a –  “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those who exist have been instructed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorites resists what God has appointed…”

He said wars are waged to protect citizens against evil.

 

But, is every ruler appointed and instructed by God? I would question that. If they are, in fact, instructed by God, are they listening? Are they following God’s instruction?

Do wars over land rights have anything to do with protecting citizens’ lives? The governments send its citizens into battle knowing many will be killed!

God bless our veterans! I guess it was July 4th and its festivities – honoring our war veterans that got me thinking on this subject.

IMMIGRATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Pediatricians shared pictures drawn by migrant children after being released from ⁦US custody

A drawing by children recently released depicting their time spent in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.

A drawing by children recently released depicting their time spent in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Photograph: Handout ./Reuters

Is God instructing Donald Trump to take chidren from their parents, lock them in cages, give them aluminum blankets, make them sleep on a cold floor,  and provide inadequate medical care for them? It’s heart-breaking!!!

Yes, I know – this is a controversial, multi-faceted problem.  But, it just can’t be right!

Governments were established as a means of promoting good and restraining (stopping, if possible) evil. I am convinced that God’s goal is the destruction of wickedness, NOT THE DESTRUCION OF PEOPLE.

Why can’t we JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER?

When governments condone immorality, fuel the rich, and oppress the poor, then God allows war for the sake of the innocent.

In Luke 6:27-31, the Bible teaches us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and bless those who curse us. BUT, as Charles Stanley pointed out in today’s devotional in In Touch magazine, “Jesus was speaking about personal conflicts, not national wars.” He continued by reminding us we need to “distinquish between commands issued to nations and instructions given to individuals.”

God allows governments to wage wars for the protection of those being harmed. The job of the government is to protect people.

What would have happened if no government had stepped in to stop Hitler?

Where in our world today do we see people being harmed by the government? Caged? Scorned? Marginalized? We don’t have to look very far!

When I put the word “abuse” in the free photo library search, look what I got:

 

When I put the word “protect” in, this image popped up:

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Immigration Policy

Is this what the immigration policy has boiled down to? A wall?

Is this how we step forward to protect people in the world who are forced out of their homes and risking their lives to seek asylum in a safer place?

No, we can’t take in thousands of people who need protection from other countries. We need to limit immigration/ asylum seekers and enforce our limits. But, what is the root cause? What are the conditions that are forcing these families out of their native lands?

How can we look for ways to protect our own people and treat others with love?

There is no easy solution to the abuse and marginalization, the hunger and the threats to life in this world. JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER sounds like pie in the sky – Pollyanna thinking.

But LOVE is the answer! Right and Truth must ultimately prevail.

We must stand up/ speak up/work for/pray for/hope for/ and believe in PEACE.

It is not ours individually to take our own revenge. We will never experience inner peace if we battle individuals who wrong us. Our job is to forgive, to love, and to work together to make our own government more responsive to the needs of its citizens and the right to a peaceful life for us all.

I do dream of a world with no more war. Don’t you?

LET’S JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

SEE YOU TOMORROW!

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Times of Transition


Times of Transition

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Times of transition
Can be disconcerting
Facing the unknown
Running, dodging, skirting

.
Life is full of changes
Nothing stays the same
Rolling with the punches
Listening for our name

.
In the “role call” of life
Showing up to be
Ready for transitions
Sometimes is difficult for me

.
But I know the leader
Is my Maker who decides
What my next assignment is
In Him my life abides

.
So, embrace the coming changes
Set aside all fear and sorrow
Joyfully put your hand in His
He’s gotcha covered for tomorrow.

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God Be With You!

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See ya tomorrow

Spoken For


Sunday morning Sermon Notes
Rev. Jean Johnson – inspired by John 10:22-30
Notes recorded
by Jan Beekman
5/12/19

God Loves You

Spoken For

“Back off, Sister, he’s spoken for!”
He smiled, “I didn’t know. How nice!”
Think about this message today.
In fact, think about it twice!


Someone has stepped up to claim you.
Faith is understanding who you are:
A Child of God who loves you.
Are you following the right star?


It’s not a walk that you control.
Our power over thoughts and actions
Is limited by our frail humanity.
There are temptations and other factions.


God is God  – – – and we are not.
We are sinners – even with best of intentions.
We can’t climb up to God,
Not with the greatest of ladder extensions!


God came down to us in Jesus.
He calls us to follow; we’re His sheep.
God took the path toward us – and we
Have been found; even without a peep!


It’s reassuring to know it’s not me.
It’s reassuring to know God came.
He came to save me in spite of myself.
He came and He called me by name!


Here I am, Lord. I didn’t know – how nice!
Yes, I’m spoken for. I’m received.
Yes, I’m yours, Lord. Thank You.
Use me, God; I won’t be deceived!

Amen?
Amen!

See you tomorrow.

Thrill to the Quest


Thank you for continuing with me
on the quest to
Add greater meaning to
and
Find larger purpose in
Life

Today’s letter in this A-Z series is “Q”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat wrote,
Savor questions and thrill to the quest.
See your life as a journey
that quickens your faith
and deepens your soul.”

Be a Seeker

The cover page to the Brussat’s book says, “A book that belongs in every seeker’s home…”

That’s me! A seeker! How about you?

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A seeker always is looking for:

  • adventure
  • a better way
  • a new way
  • a “funner” path
  • a creative hobby
  • a clearer direction or purpose for life
  • a way to improve a skill
  • ideas for improving his/her diet
  • motivation for a healthier life
  • other bloggers who can help him/her remain inspired or learn new skills or just laugh a little

Do any of those resonate with you?

What would you add to the list?

Don’t be Afraid to Improvise

I recently had an abundance of carrots that needed to be used. I googled “Carrot Soup” and discovered this wonderful new (to me) site called “Eating Well.” The carrot soup recipe is simple and easy.

food healthy cooking fresh

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Check it out at http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249990/carrot-soup/

I followed the recipe, but when I was finished, I decided it needed some enhancement. I went back to the site on a quest for enhancement ideas. Right next to that recipe was one that added curry to the soup. We love curry. Also, I wanted it to be a bit creamy. I had some half and half on hand. I added that.

You know, when you are on a quest for improved flavors, improved health or attitudes, improved life-styles … you name it … you have to be adventuresome! Mix it up.  Improvise. Think outside the box!

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Think Outside the Box

Recently I have been on a quest for ideas to enhance the birthday party for my great-grandson. It’ll be at our house this Saturday. He’ll be two on Sunday. We have about 25 friends and in-law-family of my granddaughter coming to join us. What can we do besides eat and socialize?

I asked Siri. She led me to fatherly.com, a website with an article titled, “20 Original Ideas for a Second Birthday Party.” From a rainbow party to a fairytale fete, these birthday themes are touted to be perfect fits for two-year-olds.

The article on fatherly.com said,
“They have simple tastes.
They want cake,
shiny things to wave about,
and to run free…
Second birthdays should be glorious play dates.”

I pray for good weather, and I pray that my granddaughter will have other two-year-olds here for my great-grandson to play with. But, whether she does or not, the ideas I discovered on this site satisfied my quest for answers to “What can we do besides eat and socialize?”

Balloons sounded like a great idea to me. If our unpredictable Montana weather is bad that day, balloons can hit furniture and not put dents in it!

toddler girl sitting on ground surrounded by balloons

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Now, we need to choose a theme –  and get busy. Thinking outside the box can sometimes result in extra work. Don’t be afraid of it!

Let Your Quest Quicken Your Faith and Deepen Your Soul

If one of your quests is like mine: to look for clearer direction or purpose for life, what questions do you ask? Where do you go for answers?

My go-to source for such answers is clear to you if you have read any of my other posts. Rarely do I leave you without a reference to God, to the Living Lord who walked on earth and showed us the Way, or a reference to Scripture. I will not disappoint you this time either.

It’s not just Google or Siri to whom I turn when I have questions. They are a great help when it comes to history, places, recipes, party ideas… but when it comes to matters of the heart and soul, nothing beats the Good Book!

person holding opened book

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Use the Bible’s Concordance

My NIV (New International Version) Study Bible has a great concordance. I can look to the back of the Book for words that reference my questions. It will list all the places in the Bible where the idea I am seeking is mentioned.

For instance, when I was concerned about a friend who was excessively worrying, I went to the word “Worry” in the Concordance. I found the perfect scripture to add to the card I was sending to my friend.

Phil.4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.”

Thrill to the Quest

Let the references from Siri, the links you find on Google, and the assurance of Scripture never fail to thrill you! Technology is amazing. But so is our Certain Help in times of trouble. Don’t forget to call on the Lord. Pray!! When all else fails, He will never fail you!

Keep your quests alive!
God Bless You, my Seeking Friends…

See you tomorrow!

 

Naomi’s Nurturing News


Welcome to Day #14
of my A-Z series:
Adding Meaning
and
Finding Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “N”

The title, “Naomi’s Nurturing News” is inspired by the Biblical account of Naomi, a destitute widow. The story is told in the book of Ruth.

We all have a lot to learn from Naomi and God’s steadfastness in her life.

When a famine occurred in her home area of Bethlehem, the widow migrated with her two boys to Moab, where she intended to ride out the famine – and then eventually return with them –  where she imagined her sons would marry hometown girls. She dreamed of living a productive and happy life near them, filled with grandchildren.

However, her dreams were shattered when her sons married Moabite women, produced no grandchildren, and then both sons died. She did eventually return to Bethlehem, but she was a beaten-down woman who told her old friends who greeted her by name to call her “Bitter” instead.

With God working behind the scenes, a few chapters later, we see a transformed Naomi, filled with joy and a new zest for life. Yes, our God is an awesome God. The Good News from Naomi’s story is the power of nurturing love to bring life’s true meaning and purpose to fruition.

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Naomi’s Nurturing News

Naomi is a woman whose story
Inspires me to want to know
How to develop her nurturing spirit
And watch my family’s greatness grow.

Naomi moved from Jerusalem
To Moab with her two sons.
She dreamed that they would marry
Israelite women – but they were not the ones

The boys selected for their wives –
Instead Moabites were chosen
And when her sons both died,
Naomi’s life seemed hopelessly frozen.

She told her daughters-in-law that
Jerusalem was calling her home.
“Stay here and remarry,” she encouraged.
“Don’t come with me to roam.”

But one of those lovely ladies,
(Ruth was her name, we read),
Told Naomi she would go with her
And take care of her every need.

In spite of Naomi’s objections,
Ruth did exactly that – she went –
And stayed with Naomi faithfully;
Loving her back with every second spent.

Naomi’s nurturing spirit
Helped Ruth find Boaz, her new love,
And eventually came the baby, Obed,
A gift from God above.

Instead of dying bitter and alone,
Naomi’s life was full, not hollow.
Her nurturing spirit invited love –
Her faith is an example we can follow.

Don’t let life’s troubles stop your heart
From reaching out to others in love.
The more you give, the more you’ll get,
In blessings galore from our God above.

prayer time

Luke 17:6 teaches us, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Naomi’s story reminds me that life is not always fair. Our dreams do not always come true. We will have days (maybe even months or years) of questions, wrestling, and searching for answers. But, God has room for our questions and our searching. God is with us during our periods of bitterness, our uncertainty, and our doubting. God does not give up on us.

To find more meaning and to ultimately fulfill our purpose in life, we need Naomi’s mustard seed faith. We must trust God and cling to Him. Develop consistent prayer time … regular, open, heart-felt conversation with God. He will give us what He gave to Naomi: a new zest for life.

Trust – and work with our nurturing God as He writes a new chapter in your life.

He has promised to protect and provide for you all your life. Pick up your mustard seed faith – and watch Him fulfill His promises in you!

See you tomorrow.

Finding Faith & Forgiveness


Thank you for joining my A-Z journey
to explore ways to add meaning to our lives.

Today is the sixth day – the letter “F.”

F = Faith & Forgiveness

They go hand-in-hand. One invites the other.

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FAITH

Faith is belief in the unseen. To look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities adds depth and meaning to our lives. It opens us to gifts beyond measure.

In Mark 9:22-24, a father of a mute son said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, do it! Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus replied, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts.”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat talk about faith,
“Recognize and accept that
there is another dimension to life
than what is obvious to us.
Live with obstacles, doubt, and paradox,
knowing that God is always present in the world.”

FORGIVENESS

And because we believe in the God who is our Creator, and the One He sent to forgive us for our repeated wrong-doings to ourselves and one another, we also have the capacity to forgive.

The Brussats wrote about forgiveness:
“In both your private and public lives,
discover the sweet release
that comes from forgiving others.
Feel the healing balm
of being forgiven and
of forgiving yourself.”

Enjoy the sweet smell
Of receiving and giving
Forgiveness’ balm

UNFORGIVENESS

“I am a wretched sinner! I am going to Hell!” Mark shouted from his nursing home bed.

“Mark, we all have sinned. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. You have asked God to forgive you. He has! You need to forgive yourself!”

“I can’t! You don’t know how bad my sin is! You don’t know what I did! I can never forgive myself! I am miserable,” Mark moaned.

My friend, Mark, died later that week!

I don’t know if he was able to forgive himself on his deathbed, but I believe our Lord and Savior died so that Mark could be forgiven. He did believe in God. He professed his belief many times.

John 20:21-23 says,
“Again Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you.
And… He breathed on them and said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone his sins,
they are forgiven’ …”

Are you looking for more meaning, more purpose,
and a peace that permeates your soul?

Live in Faith, my friends.
Know the Holy Spirit lives in you,
and know You ARE Forgiven.

You do not need to end your life crying in misery.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you will have eternal life in His name.

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

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There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.
He is risen indeed!

Be at peace!

 

Adding Meaning to Life – E = Enthusiasm


E = Enthusiasm

Thank you for exploring with me A to Z ways
of adding more meaning to our daily lives,
ways to inspire people around us,
ways to live more intentionally
to fulfill our purpose.

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Today, let’s explore ways to add meaning to life with ENTHUSIASM:

E nergizing
N ewness,
T rue
H umility,
U nassuming
S implicity,
I ntoxicating
A ctivities,
S teadfast
M astery

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Celebrate life with intoxicating passion.
It adds zest to everything
and helps build community.
Hold nothing back.”

 

woman in stripes holding hands with person wearing bracelets

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Seek Energizing Newness

Hold nothing back!
Walk on toward the light – – – with enthusiasm!
Walk where you have never walked before.
Eliminate the same-o, same-o…
Discover Energizing Newness!
Share with passion.

Remember, True Humility Attracts

However, in your enthusiasm,
as you are energized by the Light and the Newness,
it’s deadly to be pushy!
You want people to see your enthusiasm,
to capture your energy,
and to wonder “Where is its source?”

Then, you want to inspire them seek the Source. Only with true humility, acknowledging that all life is a gift, and that we are blessed – not by our own works, but by God –  can we hope to attract others to the Light.  Agreed?

Adopt Unassuming Simplicity

The idea of adding more meaning to our daily lives,
finding ways to inspire people around us,
and
ways to live more intentionally
to fulfill our life’s purpose,
does not have to be complicated!

I may be taking an A-Z approach to the task,
but any one of these ideas can head us to the right path.
Approach each day Humbly,
Observe the Newness,
Acknowledge the Source of our Blessings,
Work toward Mastery,
Share Joyfully.
Keep it Simple!

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The path has been walked for us.
The price of our freedom is paid.
Our purpose has been spelled out.
Can we accept it?

Engage in Intoxicating Activities

I have found that looking for meaning and purpose is best found in the day-to-day doing that supports, broadens, and encourages my faith. When I choose to do the things that inspire me, my enthusiasm for those tasks can be intoxicating.

For instance, I have a friend. For the sake of anonymity, let me call him John. “John” is my “senior friend” who needs help with his mail, organizing his stuff, filing for taxes, paying bills, etc. He’s a year younger than I, but he lives as if he’s twenty years my senior. His memory is failing. I pop in on him a couple times a week, get the key to his mailbox at the post office, return with his mail, and strive to bring a little cheer into his over-heated, smoke-filled house. “John” is a chain smoker. My work with “John” is intoxicating for several reasons:

  • I like helping others
  • I feel useful
  • I enjoy bringing cheer to the lonely
  • “John” doesn’t smoke while I’m there; maybe I’m adding days to his life?
  • Several friends also have begun to reach out to others in need

An “intoxicating activity” does not have to be some contagious fun thing like Bunko or bowling, vacationing or visiting others (although, granted those may sound appealing), it can be anything that inspires you – and in the process inspires others. That alone adds meaning to your life – and helps fulfill your purpose.

Work Steadfastly Toward Mastery

Nothing breeds enthusiasm like mastery!

monochrome photography of people playing piano

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When we work to learn how to do something with skill, there is an ease that comes with that mastery. Your ease causes you to gravitate toward doing that more often. It causes you to want to share your skill. Those areas of mastery become areas of passion – and they become contagious as others see you enjoying yourself. People who master the piano often end up using that mastery as a means of livelihood… and if not, certainly a source of relaxation and enjoyment.

Do you know Laura Sullivan?
She is a Grammy award winning pianist
whose music adds joy to my days.
I ask Alexa, “Play Laura Sullivan for me.”
Amazon Music plays her wonderful, soothing music.
I am inspired to work more peacefully
with her music accompanying me.
Check out this link for free Laura Sullivan music.

https://www.laurasullivanmusic.net/

Add Meaning to Your Life

Enthusiastically plan to use your skills, your talents, and your passions to enrich the lives of others. Your life is enriched in the process!

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Maybe you already ARE using your talents to inspire others.
Writing is one of mine.
I’m working toward mastery in blogging.
Is there such a thing?

What area of your life is one that inspires you to work toward mastery?

 

 

 

 

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