Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘generosity’

20/20 Clarity


The word for this new year is CLARITY.

Do you have 20/20 vision?

CLARITY

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.

Amen?
Amen!

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.

Welcome to Ennis

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!”

See ya tomorrow

Why Practice Giving?


Why practice giving? What’s in it for me?

Many Ways

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?

Face-to-Face

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

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Generosity Encouraged

2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. 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. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

Photo by tear cordez on Pexels.com

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?

Merry Christmas!
See you tomorrow.

Mom’s Sunrise


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.

Mom & Dad’s wedding picture 1937
Mom & Dad’s 30th Anniversary
Mom wore her Rebekah Lodge badges with honor and dignity.

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.

Her diamond necklace DID pay for her funeral!

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.

What qualities did your mom instill in you??

Have a blessed Friday, my friends.
See ya later.

Stay Healthy!


Health-think:say.jpg

 

If you are blessed with good health
You have more riches than all earth’s wealth
You have life and opportunities untold
You have a better chance of growing old

But health is more than what you eat
It is more than the quality of people you meet
It is what you think and what you say
It is what you choose to do every single day

Begin your day with prayer and gratitude
Remember health has a lot to do with attitude
Decide to be helpful; decide to walk in His will
Decide to take time occasionally to just be still

Whether you are under a cloud suffering pain
Or you are standing out in a pouring rain
You have control over your ability to smile
You can choose to exude God’s grace with style

Your mental health affects your physical being
You can choose happiness and be agreeing
Disagreeable people find their own misery
Be the kind of person who is cheerful company

To stay healthy, we must never stop looking up
We must never be stingy with our overflowing cup
Count your blessings; look at others with sympathy
Good health is contagious; Spread it gleefully!

 

I love you, dear blogging friend.

JanBeek sends cheers!

Have a healthy, joy-filled day!
See ya later.

red and white ribbon

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Accept Grace & Express Gratitude


Day #7 in the A-Z series: Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life

G = Grace and Gratitude

Are you grateful for God’s chisel?

pexels-photo-1486470.jpeg

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.

By Grace, I have

Love,

Courage,

Strength, and

Wisdom.

By Grace, I can exhibit

Sympathy,

Loyalty, and

Power –

The Power that lifts me into The Word.

bible blur christ christianity

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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:

gratitude=happiness
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!

Terribly Self-Serving?


Are the terribly blessed also terribly self-serving?
This is a question we were inspired to ponder
as we listened to the sermon in church today.

The sermon, by Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “Blessed.”
It was a response to the scriptural message in
Luke 6:17-26.
Here are my poetic notes,

taken as I listened carefully and digested the message:

 

woman wearing gray scarf and gray coat near group of people

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“How are you today?”
“Oh, me?  I’m terribly blessed!”
She answered me happier
Than do most of the rest.

illuminated high rise building

Photo by Brayden Law on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She lived in a shabby
apartment for the poor,
But her attitude was
Blessed with something more.

Count your blessings!
You, too, have something more
Than most other folks.
But how do you keep score?

pexels-photo-899318.jpeg

Photo by Mat Brown on Pexels.com

Is it a warm, safe home?
Is it items of comfort and joy?
Is it how many things you have –
More “stuff” – a favorite “toy”?

IMG_1591

Jesus suggested a different way
To measure how much we’re blessed.
He told us being poor and hungry
Makes us more blessed than the rest.

What was Jesus really saying?
“Look out! Your blessings bring you danger!”
Do your good things make you proud?
Stingy to the needy, hungry stranger?

grayscale photography of man praying on sidewalk with food in front

Photo by sergio omassi on Pexels.com

Are we supposed to long to be
Hated and hungry and poor?
If we have so much to give,
Doesn’t that bless us to give more?

God takes the hand of the pitiful.
He says the mountains will be made low.
If our Madison Range was lowered
And our valley raised, we would know:

A leveling off of highs and lows,
A giving of our hearts to those in need.

brown haired boy

Photo by Arvind shakya on Pexels.com

The most vulnerable need us
To share our blessings, not harbor greed.

All should live with dignity.
All should have self-respect.

man person men old

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We, the wealthy, must be willing
To help the poor, the sick, the wrecked.

The more we are blessed,
The more we are tempted to be
Selfish and terribly self-serving.
Lord, please take such temptations out of me!

orange fruit

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Help me be like the prolific orange tree
That freely gives from its abundant fruit.
Let me work for God’s “Leveled-off Kingdom.”
Let Christ’s generosity enter me and take root!

 

How Giving Are You?


Give With Abandon

Is the message for today

Let’s hold nothing back.

Mother Theresa inspires me with her wisdom. She told us, “It’s not how much you give, but how much love you put into giving.”

Today I will give with abandon all the love I have in me.

And I won’t stop there. I will give:

  • Joy
  • Compassion
  • Encouragement
  • Trust
  • Hugs
  • Hospitality
  • Lasagna, French bread, a salad, and strawberry sundaes…

How about you? Give with childlike generosity. Give with abandon!

What will you give today?

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