Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘harmony’

Six Kindness Keys


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On her September 26th blog, aroused calmkate posted this:

I think kindness is the key
to all that I might be

if I’m kind to others
they might be kind to me

if I live in kindness
there will be more harmony

any kindness I convey
radiates an awesome way

if no kindness in their heart for me
move away, let them be

they are kind to others I will see
just healthier for me to flee

please try your kindness key
it might just set us free

I responded with, “…Kindness is indeed the key to living a meaningful, happy life. It is ours to give, whether or not it is reciprocated. The ones who lack the “Kindness Key” are locked out of so much joy, but they don’t have to rob ours! Our kindness is ours to give – and the more we give away, the more we have. It’s like love that way.”

The more we give away, the more we have!

The 6 Keys to Kindness

Yes, kindness is a key… but there are keys to kindness, too.
Here are a few that come to my mind:

  • Self acceptance (it’s hard to be kind to others while being mean to yourself!)
  • Compassion (we need to open our eyes to others’ needs and exude empathy)
  • Courtesy (being kind involves being courteous – even in the face of rudeness)
  • Gentleness (yes, responding with a gentle heart is a necessary turn of the key)
  • Grace (this word is a gift from God… sometimes it is only through the help of the Holy Spirit that we can return kindness in the face of hurt)
  • Patience (often I need to count to 10, or 25, before I can respond with kindness… it’s not my human nature for my first response always to be kindness)
What other keys to kindness
come to your mind?

Have a Marvelous Monday.
See ya later.

Tender Place


In today’s Daily Guideposts, contributor Shawnelle Eliasen shared a special moment she had with her “near adult son.” Even though they had experienced some growing gaps and family hurts recently, he invited her to come into the living room and listen to his latest musical creation.

Shawnelle wrote,
“This invitation was everything…
Finally my son invited me into a tender part of his life.
The place where music lives
and creativity runs free.
A gentle place.
A place of peace.”

She thought back to the days when he was young. When his fingers first curled around a pencil and later around a steering wheel. She thanked God for those fingers that now played the beginnings of an original song – and invited her to come along.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Where is your gentle, peaceful, tender place?
What or who shares the place where your creativity runs free?
Who might you invite to enter – to join you there?
Someone who’d love to share your company in that place.

Think about it.

Open your tender place
and let extra love come in.

Thanks for visiting
my “Tender Place” here on WP.

See ya later.

How Can I Keep From Singing?


 

Sermon Notes from the message
inspired by Colossians 3:12-17
“How Can I Keep from Singing?”
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
today in McAllister, Montana
at our
Little White Church in the Meadow

McAllister Church

Why did God create this world?
We’ve given Him nothing but trouble.
It was enough that He created Adam,
Then the trouble seemed to double!

But Adam alone could not sing
In God’s perfect harmony.
He needed Eve and crickets, too.
Needed birds and waterfalls, and me!

Nature is awash with lovely sound –
Whipporwill and tree frogs sing.
I hear coyotes howling in the dark.
God made lovely sounds in everything.

God must have needed all those notes
From all Creation as they raise
Their voices in glory to Him.
He created us all to give Him praise.

If we don’t sing, we’re as good as dead!
Throughout history songs are recorded.
“Hallelujah” sang the angels on high.
We can read the songs the Psalms reported.

However, when we destroy the habitat
Of animals who sing and swing in trees,
Or the homes of God’s loving people,
We silence songs such as these.

grayscale photo of people raising hands

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

How can we keep from singing?
How can we assure the continued song?
We must keep God’s creation alive
And praise our Lord as we sing along.

 

Join the birds, crickets, Joey and Rory
In beautiful songs of praise and love.
Join hands and hearts and keep alive
The melodies from God above.

Amen!

Our service in that little white church
was filled today with music and merriment.
Sing along with us as we have a great time
with “Daddy Sang Bass” (… Mama Sang Tenor).
Betcha can’t keep from singing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA9jf-bm2As

Have a blessed rest of your Sunday…

woman playing ukulele

Keep on singin’ –
-ya hear?

See ya tomorrow.

Ten Ways to Keep Marriage Alive


Ten Ways to Keep Marriage Alive

 

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Bob and I have been married more than 57 years. Our love for one another is more alive today than it ever has been. (I read that statement to him just now and asked if he agreed. Of course, he said, “Of course,” That’s part of the secret, guys! Ya gotta readily agree on things like that!)

How do we do it? How do we keep love alive after all these years? What is a healthy marriage anyway?

Jane Smiley, in her book, At Paradise Gate, wrote the following:

“You know what getting married is? It’s agreeing to take this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, wildly interested in you because you’re the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You’re his responsibility now, and he is yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won’t.

What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? Poo! Don’t be weak. Have some spine! He’s yours and you’re his. He doesn’t beat you or abuse you, and you’ve made the same bargain. Now that you know what it’s like to be married, now that all the gold leaf has sort of worn off, you can make something of it; you can really learn to love each other.”

I love that take on marriage by Jane Smiley. It coincides with my opinion on what it takes to make a marriage work. Here is my list:
Ten Constant Steps toward Being Married Happily Ever After:

  1. Accept and Respect one another’s differences, and celebrate your areas of sameness.
  2. Stick by one another – even as you slowly disintegrate.
  3. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Be forgiving.
  4. Defend one another to a hostile world.
  5. Be strong in your faith; pray and laugh and play together.
  6. Be a diligent partner, doing more than your share without bitterness or resentment or complaint.
  7. Praise one another for the little things.
  8. Never take one another for granted.
  9. Always be trustworthy; don’t stab one another in the back!
  10. Practice the art of compromise – with God as your Constant Guide.

Keep Learning

Yes, when all the gold leaf has sort of worn off and you’re each comfortable in your own space, keep the space open and inviting. Invite one another in. Keep on learning to love one another as long as you both shall live.

You’re in this box together. You’re in it for the long haul. Enjoy the ride!

box cheerful color cute

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Hang tight!!


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See ya later.

 

What Do You Yearn For?


What Do You Yearn For?

Today’s letter in the A-Z series
on Finding More Meaning
and Greater Purpose
in Life
is “Y”

The Word is “Yearning”

photo of person walking on dirt road

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

When you look at this picture, what do you see?
I see more than a dog and a girl and a tall, dark tree –
I see more than a grove and a road to light –
I see something for which I pray each night.

backlit clouds dawn dusk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


I see the peace for which I yearn – 

the Lord, to whom I turn –
I see a road that lets me in – 
And the path where I begin.

 

In their song, “Somewhere Only We Know,”
the Sons of Serendip sing of this place: 
“Why don’t we go somewhere only we know?”
Some of the lyrics say, “I found the earth at my feet…
Walked by a river and it made me complete…
There’s a place we used to love;
Is this the place I’ve been dreaming of?”

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I’m dreaming today of that place on earth
Where only peace abides;
Where folks can hear differing opinions
And find no need to take sides.
.
I pray to find at the end of the tunnel
The Love of Christ everywhere on earth,
The peace that passes understanding
That was our gift when Mary gave birth.
.
I yearn to place my feet, my soul
On the spot where only love can grow,
Where labels end and hate is gone,
Where love and compassion are all we show.

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat
wrote this about Yearning:

“Follow your heart’s boundless desire.
It takes you out of yourself
and fosters an appreciation for
the multidimensional pleasures of life.”

What do YOU yearn for?

heart shaped red neon signage

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com


See you tomorrow… the Z Day of this series!

 

 

Creating Hope in a Conflicted World


adult background beach blue

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

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?

Pentecost Sunday


If I were creating human beings as God did in the beginning of time, I’d add a part that I think God forgot to include. He put a belly button on our abdomen, but I’d have a button on each person’s chest. The button would be like Siri on my new iPhone. Press it and “Presto!” I could ask my brain to speak in whatever language I needed at the moment. I could ask it to translate what I am hearing. I could ask it questions and the button would activate a response! Isn’t that what God did for the people in the temple on that first Pentecost Sunday around AD70? With the help of the Holy Spirit, the people spoke in languages previously unknown to them.

This coming Sunday, May 27,2012, is known on the Christian calendar as Pentecost Sunday. Catholics and Protestants alike celebrate this Holy Day.  On the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox calendars, the date for Pentecost Sunday is June 3rd. Historically it is the day the Holy Spirit descended with tongues of fire on the apostles and other followers of Jesus. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday. It commemorates the “Birthday of the Church.”  Red is the ceremonial color of Pentecost, depicting the color of the flame – and the movement of the Holy Spirit. The ways in which churches celebrate this event in its liturgical calendar are as rich and varied as the churches are themselves. Red flowers might adorn the alters, symbolizing the renewal of life, the coming of the warmth of summer, and the growth of the church at and from the first Pentecost. Music that is especially composed for Pentecost often is performed on this special day. I will sing with a small group of friends. Our song is an example of a Pentecostal message. The words are beautiful:

(Refrain) Send down the fire of your justice,
Send down the rains of your love;
Come send down the Spirit, breathe life in your people,
and we shall be the people of God.

(Verse One) Call us to be your compassion,
Teach us the song of your love;
Give us hearts that sing,
Give us deeds that ring,
Make us ring with the song of your love.

(Verse Two) Call us to learn of your mercy,
Teach us the way of your peace;
Give us hearts that feel,
Give us hands that heal,
Make us walk in the way of your peace.

There are two other verses, each as beautiful as these. If you Google “Send Down the Fire,” you will discover other songs with that title, but the one with these words that I appreciated most is found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wai-9zpmXQY.  The students are listed as LOMC Swing Choir Tour — 2009. Their motions add to the meaning of the lyrics. I have asked what LOMC stands for and am awaiting an answer. Meantime, I encourage you to go and celebrate this Pentecost Sunday with the true meaning of the day. Join these YouTube singers with “hearts that sing” and “hearts that feel.” Move into the world with “deeds that ring” and “hands that heal” as  you walk in the way of Christ’s peace. Be His compassion!

You may not have a Siri button built into your chest. You may not be able to speak in tongues and be understood in all kinds of languages, but you have a love button built into your chest. It was planted there by the Holy Spirit. Go out this Pentecost Sunday and use your love to teach others of God’s mercy and His desire for us  to live together as one people throughout the world – working for peace on earth.

I am only one person and I can’t do everything, but I am one who can make a difference to one. Maybe the one will be you. Happy Pentecost Sunday. Use your love button! God Bless You.

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