Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Guideposts’

Adding Meaning to Life … B = Beauty


B = Beauty

How does

paying attention to

and creating beauty

add meaning to your life?

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Photo by Nripen kumar Roy on Pexels.com

 What IS Beauty?

One dictionary says,
1) the quality present in a thing or person
that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind,
whether arising from the sensory
(as shape, color, sound),
a meaningful design or pattern,
or something else (as a personality
in which high spiritual qualities are manifest),
or 2) a beautiful person or thing
(as work or art or building),
or 3) something excellent of its kind
(My old car was a beauty)

selective focus photography of black car

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In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
with a sub-title of “Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life,”
authors Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat wrote:
“Walk the path of beauty.
Relish and encourage its inward and outward expressions.
Acknowledge the radiance of creation.”

Find Beauty in Others

Observing and appreciating beauty
is a spiritual practice for me.
It enhances my ability to see the world
through Jesus glasses!
There is beauty in each of us.
Look for the beauty in others
and watch your happiness factor increase.

 

Find Beauty Within

Last weekend my grandson, Chris, and I went to see “Breakthrough.” It’s a new movie starring Chrissy Metz, a true story of a high school-aged boy who fell through the ice in a lake and was underwater for ten minutes before being pulled out. Presumed dead after a long and arduous attempt to resuscitate him, the story focuses on the power of prayer and the results of a loving, passionate mom who would not give up. The beauty of Chrissy Metz as she superbly played the role of the mom was undeniable.
(You may recognize her… she starred in the TV series, “This is Us” and told her personal story in the April edition of Guideposts Magazine.)

When we see compassion and love in the eyes of another, in the behavior of another, we see the inner beauty that shines through. We are encouraged to emulate that behavior.

Chrissy’s ability to passionately demonstrate the power of
unconditional love and an unwavering faith
showed us what beauty there is
in the treasure of life.

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Find Beauty in Nature

While looking for greater meaning in life, I find inspiration in the beauty of nature. A week ago as we were experiencing snow in April, and last Sunday when our Sunrise service was drenched in rain and no sun was visible, I wondered if spring would ever come to my part of the world. Yesterday we had a gorgeous sunny day. Hooray! This morning, look what I found outside my kitchen window:

Yes, this is a sign of spring… it’s here! Never give up hope!

Enjoy the beauty of nature

Let it remind you of God’s unfailing love for our earth and for us!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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animal bee bloom blooming

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What beauty catches your eye – and adds meaning to your life?

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Sunday Morning Divisions


Are you in sanctuary or synagogue or temple or church today?
God Bless You!

 

In my quiet time this morning, Carol Mackey reflected on 1 Cor. 1:10 in which Paul wrote to the people of Corinth, “Now I plead with you… that you speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”

Carol wrote in Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus, “Sunday morning at eleven o’clock is the most segregated hour of the week.”

 

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I was prompted in thinking about that statement to create this Haiku x4:

Sunday Mornings

Segregation thrives
most in Sunday morning pews.
Where’s our unity?

white tealight candles lit during nighttime
Race and culture,
Ideology and thoughts
Pull worship apart.

building architecture church old
It must sadden God;
It must grieve Jesus’ heart
To see divisions.

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Instead of focus
On our obvious fractures,
Focus on One God!

.

 

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All Photos here are by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many people are unaware that the first five books of the Bible are the Jewish Torah.

Everything on earth is created by our One God.
On that we who worship the One God can agree, right?


As we worship God,
how can we use that worship time
as a time of

UNITY
and not
DIVISION?

Purple “Ladies” Volunteer


Do you enjoy volunteering? I do!

“Whenever you’re giving, it’s like a gift to yourself.” This is a quote from Sanaa Latham, actress, as quoted in my December Guideposts devotional on The Upside page.

At our local medical center, the “Candy Stripers” are not young high schoolers dressed in red and white stripes or pink tunics  (as they were back in CA) who greet you from the reception desk. They are mature women with a heart for helping who wear purple jackets.

Look carefully at the last picture. I am third from the left in the back row. Notice the donation we made to the hospital. We gave $31,700 !! The money went to help pay for that diagnostic scanning machine that I used yesterday! Our big fund raiser each year is an Open House tour of six different homes (our house was on tour about 10 years ago shortly after we moved here to Ennis, MT). The fund raiser also includes a collection of silent auction items and donated events. God bless those dedicated workers and donors who make it all happen every year!

As I indicated, yesterday I had a scan … a CT scan… (a follow-up on the irregularities found in Wednesday’s ultrasound).

Yesterday also was my day to be a “Purple Lady” volunteering at the reception desk. So, since I couldn’t be two places at once, I needed a substitute for about an hour and a half.

But, Friday afternoons are not a good time to try to find subs … especially with that snowy, cold weather going on out there.

So, what did I do? I conned my husband, Bob, and grandson, Chris,
into covering for me. (Actually they volunteered – what nice guys!)

I wish you could have seen the expressions of staff and visitors
when they came in and saw these “Purple Ladies!”
Priceless!!

I don’t believe what I’m seeing!!

Hey, why not?

We take volunteers of all kinds! Come on over, guys!

Thanks, guys! Get off your ATVs and out of your fishing boats,
and perform a little community service!
It’s not just the Lion’s Club that needs you.

We’d be happy to add some men to
our Madison Valley Medical Center Auxiliary!

Remember, especially during this gift-giving time of year,
Whenever you’re giving, it’s like a gift to yourself.”

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Happy December! Where are you called give?

God’s Grace


God’s Grace

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com


“I am under the canopy of God’s Grace,”
the story in my Guideposts devotional assured me.

 

portrait of teenage girl playing outdoors


I know it without a doubt. I am guided by the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures.

 

“Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough troubles of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

 

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Accept each day as a gift.
The present is a present.
Open it – and live in the NOW!

 

I am sure you know:
God’s grace is sufficient when you believe and live intentionally in FAITH.

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
Romans 5:1-2

 

God’s grace – and peace to you – dear friends,

PEACE now and forever!

 

 

Creating Hope in a Conflicted World


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How to Create Hope in a World of Conflict

 

Today is the day Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a life-time appointment to the Supreme Court of the USA.  It is a day of deep national divide. Many are feeling relief that our right to be “innocent until proven guilty” has been affirmed. Others are feeling emotional despair. On this day of huge chasms, how can we create, maintain and foster a spirit of hope?

Here are three ideas for creating hope in this, our own personal, world of conflict:

1. Let Go

In a heartfelt article in this month’s Daily Word, a devotional published by Unity, I was encouraged today to “let go of trying to change things…, take some deep breaths, and rest in tranquility for a while.”

The devotional referred me to Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I really need that gentle rest for my soul today!

I decided to look and see how that passage was translated in The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  His Study Bible often gives me an insight that the King James or the NIV (New International Version) don’t. Sure enough, in our more modern vocabulary, The Message in Matt. 11:29-30 begins, “Are you tired? Worn out?”

Wow! Yes, after a few days of being drawn into conflicting testimonies, angry shouting, accusations and denials, and crowds protesting, I am tired. I am worn out. I am deeply troubled. I am looking for harmony!

The Message version goes on to say, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace… Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That’s what we all need! We need to live freely and lightly. We need to enter each day in an unforced rhythm of grace. We need live each day with a renewed sense of hope. Let go!

2. Be Nuts!

This month’s National Geographic magazine had a timely, pertinent article by Anne Lamott titled, “Despite Perils, Decide to Hope.” Her beginning sentence reads, “You would almost have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and pestilence, let alone the self-destruction or severely annoying behavior of certain people.” But she goes on to tell us that she lives in a state of “boundless hope” most of the time. She must be nuts then, right? How does she do it? She says she lives in hope by being optimistic, trusting, and confident that those she loves will be okay, no matter what.

That’s what we all need! We need to be more optimistic. We need to be more trusting. We need to be more confident that everything is ultimately going to be okay. Let go of what we cannot control. Focus on what we have the ability to change. Start with our own attitudes.

3. Take Action

In this week’s Guideposts magazine there is an article titled, “Heartfelt.” It tells about a Salvation Army crafts project – sewing red hearts. Called “Others,” it began in Bangladesh in 1997 with the goal of helping single women become financially able to support themselves and their children without prostituting themselves. Since its onset, “Others” has helped 1600 women in Bangladesh come out of human trafficking and step into a brighter future. The article was so compelling that I went to the website: guideposts.org/hearts-for-others and donated to the cause. For $10. or more, OTHERS will send you two handmade hearts. My donation will help other women find hope where there is despair.

With the internet and its world-wide reach, there are literally millions of places we can reach out to take action for causes in which we believe – issues for which we feel a deep compassion. Additionally, within our own communities there are dozens of places we can volunteer to offer our services.

Volunteering was one of Ann Lamott’s thrusts in her National Geographic article. She said, “Create goodness in the world and that gives us hope… ” Her examples include helping with school labs, with building water wells, cleaning up estuaries and water sheds. She said by volunteering, we wake “to the momentousness of life – the power of loving hearts.”

In my little town of Ennis with less than a thousand people, I volunteer at our local Food Bank (distributing food to the less fortunate), our Senior Center (working as a sous chef to prepare meals for folks 55 and over who come for nourishment and camaraderie), and at the Madison Valley Medical Center (greeting, answering phones, guiding patients to needed services, fund raising for needed hospital equipment, etc.).  Volunteering does indeed give me the opportunity to make a difference where I can … and focus on the areas where I have the power to create goodness.

Creating Hope in a World of Despair

So, how can we adopt an attitude of hope, of optimism, trust, and confidence in a world of conflict? We don’t do it by pointing fingers. We don’t do it by accusations and finding someone else to blame. We don’t do it by closing ourselves in a closet and avoiding exposure. We don’t do it by looking out for #1 and to Hell with the rest of the world! We do it, I believe, by following the greatest commandment. It is the sub-title of my JanBeek blog: Love One Another.

Look for the good. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Emulate it. Praise it. Tell people how much they matter. Treat others with respect. Listen. Value one another. Give others hope and encouragement. Serve with kindness. Focus on being compassionate. Find your niche. Let your cup overflow. Love One Another. Spill out HOPE!

Tell me one thing you can do this day or this week… just one thing…  to create HOPE in our desperate world. Let Go. Be Nuts. Take Action. How will you reach out?

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