Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘meaning’

3 Ways to Live in Hope & Happiness


Thank you for joining me for
Day #8 in the A-Z series
Adding Meaning and Purpose to Life

H = Hope & Happiness

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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.

living in peace
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.

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

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Photo by Nina Uhlíková on Pexels.com

With HOPE in place of fear,
TRUST in the Lord, and
FREEDOM from the tyranny of perfection,
our lives will radiate more JOY.

two women walking

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

We’ll go a long way on the path
of living out our purpose
with PEACE and HAPPINESS.

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

 

Are You Stuck?


Is my blog stuck?

Is writing on the same topic,
“Adding Meaning to Life,”
everyday related to being in a rut?

red car on muddy road near trees

Photo by ahmad syahrir on Pexels.com

At my request, professional blogger of excellence,
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai,
gave me ten tips on how to improve my blog.
One of them was,

“… choose one day of the week
to write some weekly type of blog
that [your] ideal reader would love.”

Before making that suggestion, he asked me to define my “ideal reader.” You, my blogging friend, or my daughter, or my creative, encouraging friend, you are it!

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That’s DeDe, my dear daughter

You know I often use Sundays to post my sermon notes. You know I listen intently to capture what the minister is saying to me, and I record my notes in poetry.

It’s not a stretch to call this my “different weekly type of blog.” I hope you look forward each Sunday to seeing/hearing what the message was in church this morning. Here is today’s:

Rev. Jean Johnson, Madison Valley Presbyterian Church

Ennis, MT, April 28, 2019, John 20:19-31

STUCK?

The disciples were stuck

In the same room as they

Were a week ago when

It was a glorious Easter Day.

.

Why were they still there?

What difference did Christ make?

What difference has his death

Made for your life’s sake?

.

Has His resurrection made

A difference in your days?

Or are you, like the disciples,

Stuck in your usual ways?

.

I should be doing better –

Living more authentically today.

I should be listening carefully

Like the disciples on their Emmaus way.

.

But changing old patterns

Is a process that takes time.

Is staying behind locked doors

A cowardly, unacceptable crime?

.

I wanted to wake up today

To a whole new world of joy.

But the news today was the same old

Sad, violent acts, and hates that destroy.

.

Change is well overdue.

I want to see instant relief,

But the hatred in this world

Tends to shake my firm belief.

.

The empty tomb tells me

That the risen Christ is here.

He’s working with you and me

To change our doubts to cheer.

.

Where you are is your

Starting place where you are.

It’s the place Christ comes

And lets you out to follow His star.

.

Have faith to see

Christ is risen;

He’s unstuck.

So should we be!

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We cannot be stuck in this place of 
violence, synagogue shootings, and
a world of intolerance, prejudice,
wars, and hunger. Listen to the pleads
of the Rabbi who spoke to us today.
Don’t let this dark period hide the light.
Go out and BE THE LIGHT!!

Finding Faith & Forgiveness


Thank you for joining my A-Z journey
to explore ways to add meaning to our lives.

Today is the sixth day – the letter “F.”

F = Faith & Forgiveness

They go hand-in-hand. One invites the other.

man in black long sleeved shirt and woman in black dress

Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on Pexels.com

FAITH

Faith is belief in the unseen. To look beyond the obvious and see endless possibilities adds depth and meaning to our lives. It opens us to gifts beyond measure.

In Mark 9:22-24, a father of a mute son said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, do it! Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus replied, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts.”

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat talk about faith,
“Recognize and accept that
there is another dimension to life
than what is obvious to us.
Live with obstacles, doubt, and paradox,
knowing that God is always present in the world.”

FORGIVENESS

And because we believe in the God who is our Creator, and the One He sent to forgive us for our repeated wrong-doings to ourselves and one another, we also have the capacity to forgive.

The Brussats wrote about forgiveness:
“In both your private and public lives,
discover the sweet release
that comes from forgiving others.
Feel the healing balm
of being forgiven and
of forgiving yourself.”

Enjoy the sweet smell
Of receiving and giving
Forgiveness’ balm

UNFORGIVENESS

“I am a wretched sinner! I am going to Hell!” Mark shouted from his nursing home bed.

“Mark, we all have sinned. We all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. You have asked God to forgive you. He has! You need to forgive yourself!”

“I can’t! You don’t know how bad my sin is! You don’t know what I did! I can never forgive myself! I am miserable,” Mark moaned.

My friend, Mark, died later that week!

I don’t know if he was able to forgive himself on his deathbed, but I believe our Lord and Savior died so that Mark could be forgiven. He did believe in God. He professed his belief many times.

John 20:21-23 says,
“Again Jesus said to His disciples,
‘Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you.
And… He breathed on them and said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone his sins,
they are forgiven’ …”

Are you looking for more meaning, more purpose,
and a peace that permeates your soul?

Live in Faith, my friends.
Know the Holy Spirit lives in you,
and know You ARE Forgiven.

You do not need to end your life crying in misery.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you will have eternal life in His name.

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

art cathedral christ christian

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.
He is risen indeed!

Be at peace!

 

I AM


Have you pondered the meaning of life?
Have you spent time wondering,
“Why am I here?”
Who am I?

Do you wonder about your purpose?

I do!

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My more mundane answer is:
I am a Child of God,
a retired educator,
a wife, sister, aunt, friend,
a mom of 2, Grammy to 7, and
great-grandmother (GG) to one with 2 on the way.

But I am much more than that!

Today I am a volunteer, working at the reception desk
at the Madison Valley Medical Center.
It’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon.
Not much activity for this “Purple Lady” to record.

Hopefully the absence of “customers”
means people are relatively healthy.
No need for a doctor or lab test right now.
So, what are YOU doing today?

I am pondering life’s meaning
and my place in this spot in the world.
I want to get beyond the mundane.

If you were to write a poem or essay
answering the questions,
“Who Am I? Why am I here?
What is my Purpose?
What would you say?

Here is mine for today
(tomorrow it may change…
I am a work in progress):

I AM

I am a woman who is continually growing, stretching, discovering.

I am living a contemplative life defined by the
expansion of my heart.   heart shaped red balloon

My way of acting is different from the world’s way. I am different.

black and green desk globe

I am witnessing to a different way of BEING in the world.

I strive to live in ways that demonstrate the:

  • potential for compassion
  • grace of presence
  • revelation in each moment
  • unconditional love described as Agape in His Word

My life is lived on the edges of the world’s fluctuating values.

It’s a challenging place to be.

I am open and transparent, tuned in daily to God’s newness –
– to God’s Love growing in me,
– to the Peace and Joy the Lord offers so freely.

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I AM Jan Beekman.
aka  JanBeek


(“I am a stew – a mixture of many parts,” Thanks, CD!)

.

And who are YOU?

TOUCH


TOUCH

Touch my fingers,
Touch my nose,
Grab my ankles,
Touch my toes.
Touch my lips,
Kiss my cheek,
Touch my heartstrings,
Make me weak.
Touch my feelings,
Feel my heart,
Touch my words,
That’s a start.
Touch my meaning,
Know it’s me,
Touch my spirit,
Set me free!

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