“Each of you should give what you have decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I give cheerfully Not out of obligation But from abundance
I am richly blessed So I can be a blessing I give cheerfully
You are richly blessed Your needs are taken care of Reach out to others
You give cheerfully Out of a generous heart And God blessed you
Have a blessed first Sunday in Advent! It is a season of HOPE and ANTICIPATION. I pray your season be filled with love and generosity.
Do you have a child or grandchild in your family who would love to see this video explaining the meaning of Advent? If so, pass this along. It’s wonderfully kid friendly… and a good way to begin the season of gifts and giving.
Before I go, let me give a gift to you: The gift of music by Laura Story… The blessing of faith in the “what ifs” of life…
During this period of time from now to November 2020, we in the USA will be looking carefully for the qualities we seek in a good leader… wanting to elect a great leader … someone worthy of following.
Our Ideas & Biblical Principles
I asked Bob this morning, “If you had to name just seven qualities you think are essential for effective leaders, what would they be?”
His answers didn’t totally match the Biblical principles that prompted this blog title, but some were right on. I was reading 1 Timothy 3:1-3 during my devotional time up in my angel room this morning. This is what it said:
“… If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach… temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”
An overseer is one who sees over his followers. A supervisor, head, manager, head honcho! And s/he must lead with qualities worthy of emulation.
Interdependence (not someone who thinks s/he can do it all alone)
The Bible went on to say in 1 Timothy 3:6-7 (The parenthesis are my additions):
“He must not be a recent convert (in other words, s/he needs experience in his/her area of leadership), or he may become conceited… He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace…”
If the leader’s reputation is tarnished, it is like handing his/her followers a handful of worms. They just come crawling out…
1 Timothy 3:8-10 says,
“Deacons, likewise, are to be [persons] of respect, sincere… and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”
Being a deacon is often considered synonymous with being an “elder.” In the Catholic church, it is a position below that of priest. In the protestant church, an elder is part of the ruling or decision-making body. A deacon is a part of a group of leaders elected to reach out in service to the congregation and the community at large. All religions have “deacons” whose job it is to be the hands and feet of God – serving those in need. Deacons are respected leaders whose job it is to serve those who count on them.
Your Ideas & Mine
So have you come up with your own list of seven qualities a good leader needs? Will you let those qualities guide your decision when you vote in your next election?
Before you read on, make your own list. What are the seven qualities you deem most important in an effective leader?
These are the ones I gleaned from my study of the third chapter of 1 Timothy:
competent (gained from applicable experience)
wise (wisdom borne of Godly counsel, intelligence and study)
mature (mentally and spiritually solid)
gentle (compassionate & not quarrelsome)
self-controlled (exhibiting peace and unity)
respectable (leading a life worthy of emulation)
generous (always giving his/her best to/for followers)
May we each live a life That is worthy of emulation – A life that is an open book.
Tell me, what are the qualities that are on your list for great leaders? See ya tomorrow.
Have you caught enough? Not everyone in this world Has caught enough fish.
Many without jobs In this COVID-19 world Are short of supplies.
Not every pantry Is filled to overflowing. Some have no pantry.
So what must we do? Sit back and enjoy our life? No, we’re called to share!
There is enough food On this, our beautiful earth, To provide for all.
The secret is: SHARE! Just count your many blessings; Reach out to others.
You will discover The more you give, the more you Have to give. That’s TRUTH!
Accumulation as a definition of success fails to realize that if you store up treasures on earth in excess of what you need, you may discover they bury you… and you really can’t access it all, anyway. How is that bunny gonna get that carrot outta the ground, huh?
On the other hand, if you’re all show and no growth, you won’t have enough to feed yourself, let alone give any away!
“All show” is that fancy car, extra large TV, more shoes and purses or wallets or clothes than you need, elaborate houses, etc. You get the picture. Spend it all on the “things that pass away” – and you will be one lonely fisherman!
Generosity is the Key
It was the little things you did The sacrifices that you made The small donations from your little The generosity from your abundance That made such a difference In the lives of others
Generosity is the key To a richer, fuller life Not the number of your barns Filled to overflowing, But the love you freely gave From the depths of a grateful heart
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.
I wish you enough gratitude to help you live with joy. I wish you enough generosity to help you give generously. I wish you enough health to give you strength to serve. I wish you enough love to give it all away.
Whatever you send into the lives of others, comes back in to your own. But, do not give for what you can get, give because you have been richly blessed.
It did not occur to me until yesterday that the decade to come, the 2020s, lends itself so perfectly to the idea of CLARITY. When you have 20/20 vision, you have CLARITY. You have perfect eyesight.
The message at the “Jesus Culture” church in Folsom Sunday was delivered by a dynamic young woman named, Debra Giles, whose topic , “Every Word,” was all about looking into scripture, and looking at ourselves, and looking toward the future with Clarity.
20/20 VISION (12-29-19 sermon notes)
This is the end of The fuzzy and mean teens decade. This is the beginning of 20/20 Clarity. You are made In God’s image and you’ll see Clearly in these next ten years. You are made in God’s image, And you will hear through 20/20 ears. You are made in God’s image And this is the decade to say What is in your heart. Speak clearly from your 20/20 heart today. Speak, hear, and see with Clarity.
20/20 Clear Vision or Blurry?
As you welcome this new year, this decade of the 2020s, are you wiping the clouds from your life? Are you sweeping the fuzzy deterrents from your path? Are you putting away the distractions that keep you from moving forward with clarity? Have you decided what those things are?
Looking Clearly Forward and Backward
I am looking through 20/20 lenses at the freshness of this new day. I am looking at opportunities with clear anticipation. I am taking a backward glance at the things we have given away… and am grateful for the love and joy those things are bringing to others.
An example of such a thing given away is the little red Porsche that Bob & I used as our only means of transportation when we were first married. It is definitely a California car and I can see with clarity that it belongs here, with our son, Ty, and not parked in a garage in Montana because the dirt roads and snow-covered terrain are not conducive to safety for its low-slung frame. Our son loves it… and is taking such good care of it. Clearly, it belongs here!
With clear vision, I am looking forward to a future filled with new joys, new opportunities, and new friends. I see our church growing in love and filled with the Holy Spirit. I see our neighborhood enhanced by new (and old) friends building new homes and moving into our “hood” with their uniqueness and their hospitality a welcomed addition.
Happy New Year
It’s New Years Day, and many people are creating their list of New Year’s Resolutions. Can you see with clarity what your 2020 commitments need to be?
We were asked at dinner last night what our plans for the new year are. What are our commitments/resolutions? We went around the table. My grand-son-inlaw, Kyle, had a wonderful, impressive list. I commend him for his 20/20 vision of what he hopes to accomplish. When it came my turn, I said, “Walk the Talk” – – – see why?
What is your 20/20 Vision?
Have a wonderful January 1st – and do “Walk the Talk!”
There are many ways to “give.” My mailbox is overflowing everyday this time of year for requests to give – donate to St. Judes or St. Joseph’s Indian School; donate to Foot and Mouth Painters or Salvation Army; make an extra donation to Guideposts or my church or the Food Bank. And don’t even ask me how many text messages and e-mails I receive each day from political candidates! Yes, giving money is one way to practice giving… and if you have dough to spare, there are needy, worthy causes out there.
But do you know for sure what percentage of your hard-earned bucks are going to the intended cause? Can you see the light in the eyes of the recipient?
Giving face-to-face changes your life as well as the recipient’s. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Give a hug. Share your talent at a nursing home … maybe it’s a visit and a hug or a half hour of your time to read a little from your favorite poems. Maybe it’s a meal in your home with friends you’d like to have a chance to know better. And you’d like them to know each other. Maybe it’s transportation to an appointment for someone without a car. Perhaps it is time with a child (yours or someone else’s… doesn’t matter… just be there!).
Think of giving in non-monetary terms. Give of yourself. Give joyfully! Why?
Give as the Lord’s Example
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
God Bless You, dear Friends. Have you decided on an answer to “What’s in it for me?” I hope you’re having a “good” day. Thank you for being such generous givers! Tell me about the last time you “gave” – what was it?
Today is my mom’s birthday. She’d be 104 today. I woke early and was greeted by this gorgeous sunrise peeking over the beautiful Madison Range.
As I zoomed in on it, it became more vibrant.
Orange was my mom’s favorite color. Good morning, Mom! I see you smiling down from heaven. I remember your best days, and set aside the years when Alzheimer’s robbed you of the sparkle, the tenacity, and the wisdom that marked your best days.
Always involved in activities, Mom loved the Rebekahs (female branch of the Odd Fellows), and her bridge club, which weekly met in our living room. Even into her 80’s she loved her 20-Ands Club. She represented a lot of “Ands.” She was an impeccable dresser, beautifully groomed. Managed always to stay fit. She was probably the person who invented the “Selfie”!!
I wrote this poem on December 18, 2004 with Mom in mind. I used phrases she spoke in her last weeks on earth. She was big on giving orders – right up to her last days – even telling God when to take her “home.” She died the day after I composed this, on December 19th.
Before I Die
Before I leave this earth I have a few requests Listen up, my dears, Tomorrow there’ll be tests.
Take my diamond necklace And convert it into cash. Use it for my funeral, Then live life within the dash.
It’s too late for me, friends, To change the things I’ve done; But you have time to listen And teach others of God’s Son.
“The Dash” is all the years Between birth and when you die. Those in-between years Are where your stories lie.
Take my gold and silver, Go out and help the poor. Make amends for all the years I lived from store to store.
Take my many angels, Give them to folks who are Ill, hurting, or lonely. Tell them about the star:
The star of Bethlehem that Was where the angels went To see the newborn baby – Our Lord from Heaven sent.
Take my many clothes and find Folks who are in need. Take the food that I have stashed. Go to the hungry. Feed!
Take my shoes and slippers. Take them all and give Them to the cold and homeless. Help them to warmer live.
Take my chairs and tables, The lamps and bedding, too. Give them to a Home or Mission. They’ll help out quite a few.
Then look around your house, friends. And see the excess treasure. Take it to the needy. You’ll be blessed beyond all measure.
Live your life within the dash In loving generosity. Before you leave this earth, Reach out in pure humility.
Take your gold and silver. Go out and help the poor. God will bless you richly, and You will never want for more.
And we did give most of her angels away – my friend/former student, Lorei, hung them with a note on the doorknobs of the other residents at her care facility where mom lived. Mom had dozens of angels in her collection! And, we gave her clothes and other “stuff” to the people and places that could use them.
However, I have a few of her angels in my “Sanctuary” upstairs. My maiden name is “DeAngeles” (translates to “of angels” – in Italian). Mom lives in me… and today I celebrate her sunrise, her best qualities, and the gifts she instilled in me: self-confidence, unconditional love, tenacity, and a love of poetry.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I am “Living in the Dash” just as you taught me.
Day #7 in the A-Z series: Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life
G = Grace and Gratitude
Are you grateful for God’s chisel?
Photo by Werlley Meira on Pexels.com
You know, our lives are filled with things that crowd out what’s really important. Sometimes, we clutter our time with frivolity. (Do you ever feel like your blogging might qualify in that category?) Transforming our lives so that the most significant goes to the top of our to-do list is not an easy task.
The shaping tool that God uses is like a chisel. By His Grace, He chips away at our selfishness, our self-centeredness, our pride, our laziness, and our greed. When we accept His Grace, He replaces those attitudes with generosity, concern for others, diligence, and a far-sightedness that only He can give.
Unlike my SnapChat app that can instantly turn my skin silky, vibrant, and wrinkle-free, and surround me with hearts of love, God’s chisel is not a one-click deal!
I am grateful for the shaping tools God uses to help me slough away the detrimental parts of my being. (I wish it COULD be a one-click deal, don’t you?)
In yesterday’s devotional page in Daily Guideposts, Isabella Yosuico identifies some of those shaping tools:
He sends people to challenge some obstinate defects in me.
He puts me into circumstances beyond my existing skills to control… to compel me to grow.
He allows problems that overwhelm me. They are sometimes so beyond me that I have no choice but to turn to a Higher Power, and surrender to His/Her solution.
In my eight decades of living on this troubled earth, I have found the wisest and, ultimately, the easiest path to a meaningfulness, purpose-filled, contented life is to submit fully to the Chiseler’s Hands. The Word, my Bible, is my guide. Its guidance directs my attitudes and actions. The Holy Spirit is my constant companion. I am grateful for its presence in the heart of me.
The Grace of the Holy Spirit + Gratitude = HAPPINESS
Tales from the Mama Duck – family5power –
posted this from the image: Medium
on the subject of Gratitude today:
May The Chiseler’s grace continue to shape me.
God Bless You, my “Ideal Reader.” I am grateful for you.
May God’s Shaping Tools continue to chisel away at you, too!