The word “Race” implies competition when you “Run the Race.” But life lived in competition rather than collaboration is a lonely one. When I was an elementary school principal back in the 1980’s, I wrote our school theme song using the California Poppies tune.
The California Poppies song went like this:
“Poppies, golden poppies, gleaming in the sun, Closing up at evening when the day is done. Pride of California, flower of our state, Growing from the mountains to the Golden Gate.”
The words I wrote for our Caswell Elementary School in California were:
We’re the Caswell Cougars. We are Number One! Green and yellow banners Waving in the sun. Caswell is a place for Learning and for fun. We’re the Caswell Cougars; We are Number One!”
One of my fellow principals objected to our song. She felt I was in competition with her school. I responded, “There’s room at the top for more than one. Come up and join us!”
As I have journeyed through this life, I am going and growing. I am understanding better where my colleague was coming from.
Thirty years later I can look back And I can see my competitive spirit At work in that school song… Unintended yes, but obvious to others.
If life is viewed as a race, then there is room for only one at the top. The race goes to the swiftest. But a journey has room for many.
Hold my hand as we walk this path. Pray with me. stay by my side. Soon enough we will reach the mountain top And when we do, celebrate with me.
Today Bob & I are journeying to Oregon where we will join his sister and her family. We will gather to give back to one another The love we have shared on this life’s journey.
We will hear the echo of Bonnie’s husband As their daughter and son speak of the ways Their dad sent out, sowed, and radiated love During his 86 years here on this earth.
As we travel today, Bob and I acknowledge The grace of God that has allowed us to share These six decades with one another – And we take not one of those chapters for granted.
Stan Hunt’s chapters on earth have ended, But we know his story doesn’t end here. We know death is not an end to our journey; It is a beginning of our eternal life – forever with our Lord.
We will share, hug, and weep for our loss, And we will assure one another of the faith we have. We know we will see one another in eternity. We will continue the journey – writing our masterpiece!
Have a beautiful Sunday, my friends. I send you my love as we journey this life together.
“On the Road to Easter” was the title of today’s sermon by Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church in Ennis, Montana
Come join me as we EMBRACE the JOURNEY
Lent is upon us and Easter is only two weeks away. Next week we’ll celebrate Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem that day.
Jesus arrived in glory. Then, we see Jesus carry His cross to Golgotha. We’ll journey to where they’ll bury His body in the rocky tomb Before Easter will finally dawn. The journey is a painful one – A time when His family thinks He’s gone.
It reminds me that life Is a journey of great proportion And we have markers along the way. Some show where others made their fortune. But few of us have monuments Built to mark our stopping places – Like Lewis and Clark’s various markers And Jesus’ stopping spots – sacred spaces.
Our journey needs places of rest – Places where we feel lifted up The way Golgotha lifts us to Jesus Knowing His death & resurrection gifted us.
Jesus spoke about His death But the disciples didn’t want to hear. They thought of death as an enemy. Jesus said death means resurrection’s near.
Like a seed buried in the ground, We must die and be buried to rise. Jesus told His disciples He’d draw The world to Himself with words so wise.
He spoke of His death as if He had already died. He said His death would serve God’s purpose. His impact continues to grow – He is not dead!
As Easter approaches, we look At the cross and make our way To the Light; it illumines our path To His miracle that happened Easter Day.
Hallelujah! Easter is coming! Embrace the Journey. Amen
Thanks for joining me on JanBeek today. Have a beautiful Sunday afternoon/evening.
Dr. Perry, posted a blog titled, It’s OK to Have a Bad Day. It caused me to internalize this inward journey for peace and think about the habits I have worked to develop in order to be my own best friend.
He quoted Emerson, who wrote: ““Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ten Habits of Peaceful Living
Traveling inward, looking for contentment, I have found that I need to consciously adopt habits that foster inner peace:
Recognition of Limitations
Confrontation of Temptations
Elimination of Blame
Hope in the Face of Despair
Celebration of Where my Hope Lies
In the process of traveling the Road to Inner Peace, it is important to stop every now and then to look back. Consider your progress or regression. Have you every noticed when you’re traveling up a hill that you don’t realize how steep it is until you look back at the incline you have just traversed?
Likewise, when the road is on a decline, you may not realize how drastic the angle until you stop and look back up to the place you began. Reflecting on where you started and seeing how far you have improved or deteriorated can be very helpful.
Dr. Perry, in the post I referenced above says it this way, “After a period of time, reflect on what you have learned and gained from the negative event or interaction in your life. More often than not you will find that you have learned something. Perhaps you will discover an inner strength that you were not aware of or a higher purpose for your existence.”
In her September 27th, The Godly Chic Diaries posted a WordPress guest writer. She introduced Matik Nicholls by saying, “I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find ‘joy unspeakable’ in the process….”
Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls wrote: “Every gift, ability and blessing we have is for the service of others. We are blessers not blessees! We carry the presence of God wherever we go for a greater purpose than just for us to be happy. It is our privilege and purpose to transfer the blessings of God to others!”
Take Joy in the Journey
Traveling life’s road, I take joy in the journey. Spreading it’s my goal.
With The Godly Chic’s help, I discovered this new website, and decided to subscribe to it. The author, Matik Amilcar Nicholls, has created an inspirational web blog at http://www.Authenticjoy.org. This handsome, positive-thinking young man resides in the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
On his site, he shared, “I am an engineer by training, having graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. Computer and Electrical Engineering (with honours). More recently, I completed an M.B.A. with the Heriot-Watt University. I also have a certificate in Applied Theology (class valedictorian) from the Millennium Bible Institute and currently I am pursuing an online programme with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Coach.”
Naturally, reading about him, I am inspired to want to learn more. My Road to Inner Peace is made more successful when I can join hands on the journey with people like Matik. People in other parts of the world. People whose life stories are far different from mine, but who share the common purpose of wanting to “Be a Blessing.” I encourage you to let Matik’s JOY infect you as I found it to be quite “catching” indeed!
Like me, spreading joy – and the source of his joy (his FAITH) – is what Matik says he is all about. He wrote, “I love Jesus. I love spending time with Him. I love His mercy that keeps flowing endlessly in my life. I love what He stands for: love, grace, mercy, peace, truth, freedom, humility and transformation. I am committed to these values. I’m committed to doing my part to preach the gospel, heal the sick, feed the poor, comfort the hurting and free the oppressed… I enjoy seeing people walk in the fullness of all that God has for them to be and do.“
Walk in the fullness Of all that God has for you Find that Inner Peace.
Thank you for joining me for
Day #8 in the A-Z series Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life
H = Hope & Happiness
In the search for meaning and purpose,
and in an effort to live
more intentionally to fulfill my purpose,
I have discovered
that living with a spirit of Hope
is the key to Happiness.
Let’s focus on three ways to bring more Happiness to our lives through the inclusion of HOPE as a key factor.
Step One: Eliminate Fear
Is there an area of your life where fear abides? Perhaps a health scare or a relational difficulty? Maybe it’s just fear of tomorrow – the unknown.
Author Maya Angelou said,
“Hope and fear
cannot occupy the same space
at the same time.
Invite one to stay.”
By inviting HOPE to occupy the space fear might have taken, we can find greater peace.
In so doing, as Sandy C. Newbigging wrote, we can have a more positive impact on others.
Impacting the lives of others in a positive way is a sure key to happiness.
Step Two: Place your Hope in the Lord
In 1Peter 3:15, we are reminded to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Biblical hope is marked by confident expectation based on the promises given to us by God. God gives us promises of His care today and in our future. With trust in the Lord, we can live knowing our purpose and God’s plan for us extend beyond this physical life. We can take joy in His promises.
Check out how God’s – By Grace Alone – helps us go forth!
The Maranatha Singers (I love ’em!)
Step Three: Release Expectations of Perfection
Hope does not exist in an atmosphere of perfection, so we need to let go of perfection as a goal. Rather, HOPE walks us through the imperfect times. HOPE accompanies us as we navigate the difficult circumstances of life. HOPE picks us up and helps us learn from our errors.
Our errors are not stop signs in our lives. Instead, they are opportunities. We need to lay them at our feet and use them as stepping stones to guide us to a happier, more fulfilling path.
For those of you who are new to following JanBeek,
let me explain. I take sermon notes in poetry when I listen
to the Pastor’s message each Sunday. Here are my notes from today’s sermon.
It was preached by a guest in the pulpit, Retired Presbyterian minister (and friend of mine),
Rev. Steve Hundley. What a gift!!