Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘music’

Hear the Angels


Hear the Angels

Hear Angels w Heart.jpg

Angels are watching over you
They are singing you a song
It will ease your troubled heart today
Listen carefully – and then sing along!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow

Understanding and Umbrellas


Understanding
was the first “U” word

that popped into my mind
when searching for
the quality we ALL need
to
add more meaning
and
find greater purpose
in life.

 

man and woman holding hands on brown wooden table

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Understanding and Wisdom go Hand in Hand

What are the common roots of the two words?

I turned to scripture to find the answer to that question. This is a copy of my Bible page. As you can see, it is well marked! Look at how many times Proverbs 2 uses “wisdom” and “understanding.”

Understanding + Wisdom = Compassion

The Book of Proverbs teaches us, if we understand what is right and good, we will see what is just and fair. As a result, it will naturally follow that when we see injustice, when we witness someone being treated unfairly, we will have a heart of compassion, determined to respond.

Compassion is an Umbrella

OnahDave on HumePoets.com posted a poem today titled Drenched:

“Wrecked and broken by pain,
she drenched in the unlimited
down pour of her sorrow.”

When I read his poem, my immediate response was, “Give her your umbrella!”
When we understand another person’s pain, our compassion compels us to reach out with an umbrella of protection.

grayscale image of woman walking through the rain while holding umbrella

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Umbrellas Take Many Forms

Sometimes the umbrella is a song! Today I visited my friend, Carol, who (at the advanced age of 95) is struggling to hang on to life. Her son and two daughters were in the hospital room with her.

Carol was having a better day today than when I saw her yesterday. Her children could tell because she was being a bit cantankerous!

Hah! She reminded me of my mom during her last days. Her mind rallied to the point that she knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. Her ability to say, “No!” rallied – – – and she exerted her independence while bed-bound and hooked up to oxygen. Like my mom, Carol is a strong and courageous woman.

Her daughters and I sang some cheery songs to her and enjoyed her smiles and nods – and her ability to squeeze my hand in appreciation. Her son snapped a few pictures. These are moments to remember!

Disney’s Sing-A-Long Songs – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah VHS

was our first song. You know, you can’t help but smile when you sing that song! It sent an umbrella of joy over the entire room!

Then we sang Frank Sinatra’s “Dream Your Troubles Away.” Do you know that one? You can change “Dreams” to “Prayers” … and sing “Pray Your Troubles Away.” That thought fits the hand-in-hand analogy of understanding and wisdom as described in the second chapter of Proverbs. Here are the song’s revised words:

When skies are cloudy and gray,
They’re only gray for a day,
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Until that sunshine peeps through,
There’s only one thing to do:
Just wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away.

Your castles may tumble
That’s fate after all,
Life’s really funny that way.

No need to grumble,
Smile as they fall,
Weren’t you queen for a day?

Just remember that sunshine
Always follows the rain.
So wrap your troubles in prayer
And pray your troubles away!

 

Sometimes, We Gotta Let the Rain Fall

Max Lucado has written a book titled, Unshakable Hope.
In a message promoting his book, he wrote,

“I’ve discovered that nothing lifts the weary soul like the promises of God. This book contains some of my favorite [promises]. Picture God’s words falling like rain from heaven on you. Imagine these promises as gentle spring showers. Receive them. Allow them to land on you, to soak you. I’m trusting that God’s words will prosper in your life.”

Understand God is in the Storms of Life

Rick Hamlin in today’s Guideposts prayed,
“God, don’t let my cynical heart
prevent me from seeing
You in unexpected places.”

Sometimes our vision is blurred by the storms that smack us in the face. The unexpected difficulties can put us in dark places where vision is limited. We wonder, “God, where are You?”

Even Jesus had such moments. “My God, my God, why hast Thou Forsaken me?” From the cross, He cried to His Father. It’s understandable that we sometimes have similar thoughts.

Sometimes we need to set aside the umbrella, lift our eyes to the sky, and dance in the rain – in spite of the trauma.

Wrap your troubles in prayer – and pray your troubles away –
or not!
Sometimes the clouds are meant to stay – more than a day –
But sunshine follows the rain.
Even if that sunshine is our promise of Life Eternal.

Relish the Beauty of God’s Promises.

scenic view of mountains during dawn

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Try to understand!
And be ready to put away your umbrella
or pass it along  –
use it to protect and encourage a friend.

Keep a song alive in your heart!

God bless you.

See you tomorrow.

Songs, Smiles & Stability


Songs, Smiles & Stability

 

woman playing ukulele

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Thanks for joining me on our A-Z journey
to find ways to
Add More Meaning
and
Discover Clearer Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter
is “S”

affection baby barefoot blur

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Songs

Yesterday my second great-grandchild was born. My grandson, Jordan, and his “significant other” Joss, live in Sacramento. The care Joss received was wonderful at the hospital when she arrived by ambulance to deliver a little girl one month prematurely. By the grace of God, all that baby girl’s fingers and toes are perfect and at last report, she was nursing and cooing. No smiles yet, but those will come. Meantime, I am singing praises to God, the Creator for this little treasure.

https://deyspublishing.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/bring-forth/
The link above will take you to my friend, Dorothy’s blog.
Her topic today, “Bring Forth” fits today’s “S” themes perfectly…
Thank you, Dorothy!

Sing to the Lord
is one of my favorites.
I can get it here with my Amazon Music.
Can you? Try clicking on it and look for
Faithful Servant album by the Herbster Trio

(But don’t forget to come back.. there’s more good stuff here!)

https://music.amazon.com/albums/
Hallelujah!

Smiles

I am smiling as I sit here this afternoon volunteering at our Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis, Montana. The smiles are a result of my anticipated hug time with Cosette, my new great-granddaughter, named after a main character in Les Miserables.

Another thought that brings smiles is the party we are planning at our house tomorrow for my Ennis granddaughter’s 25th birthday and our great-grandson’s 2nd birthday.

I am also smiling because I am reading a small booklet that I received in the mail today from Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The booklet, titled Whispers of the Lakota, is filled with poetry written by 9th and 10th graders. I am soooo impressed with the depth of these poems. I called the school and asked for permission to share a couple of them with you. They agreed.

This one is by Isabelle, a 10th grader,

THE HERO IN ME

“She smiles, she laughs, she hurts,
…     she cries.
She holds it all inside.
She lives, she flies, she soars,
She dies.
She is the one I idolize.
She loves, she gives, she cares,
She is
The one I know I will someday
…     Be
A hero, a mother, a child, a soul,
…      the woman inside of me.”

Such a perfect poem for this Mother’s Day weekend, don’t you think?
Thank you, Isabelle, for letting me share it. I love it!

Kudos to your 9th and 10th grade English teacher who drew these marvelously thoughtful, intimate poems out of his-her students’ hearts!

Stability

My prayer for Cosette, my new great-granddaughter, born prematurely to this couple who have not yet yielded to the commitment of marriage, is that she will grow in an atmosphere of unconditional love, a home where her best interests are in her parents’ vision, and a family who will give her joy, nourishment, and stability.

On this topic, let me share another poem from  Whispers of the Lakota  by a 10th grader named Jessie:

LIFE

“We often call it a gift, a mystery.
We have the power to make and take.
Let’s think about this
I know we can all relate
A brand new human, bright-eyed to the world
We cannot tell time, we cannot tell where or when
Something will happen but we can see that brand new
Baby Boy or Baby Girl
Life is a treasure, a gift not to be destroyed
You cannot throw a child away as if it were a toy.
The actions you take can certainly make or break
Take the time to consider the life
You make.

What amazing insight for a 10th grader to exhibit, huh?  What might Jessie have seen in his/her young life to have been able to write so poignantly from the heart – the soul – of the human spirit?

If the poem is from Jessie’s experience, then we might assume Jessie has seen life taken for granted – and has experienced (or known up close about) the unspeakable act of the “throw-away child.” A life destroyed. How sad! Thank you, Jessie, for encouraging and believing in the right to life for these defenseless little treasures.

More Meaning/ Clearer Purpose

This blog series, devoted to adding more meaning and discovering clearer purpose
in life, could not have been enhanced more than by the words of these young people.  Thank you, Red Cloud Indian School, for the work you do with these Lakota students! The way you love them and teach them and help them learn is so appreciated!

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Red Cloud Indian School provides stability of place, stability of community, and stability of heart to children who need all of those so much. It is the largest privately funded Indian School in the USA, educating more than 600 students on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in a remote part of South Dakota since 1888. They teach the children not to run away from challenges and difficulties, but to stay and work through problems. They educate and nurture them. God bless the school and their students and staff!

Songs, Smiles and Stability

I hope today’s message has lived up to its promise to put a song of praise and thanksgiving in your hearts, give you reasons to smile, and has given you pause – as you think of the person(s) in your life who provided you with a sense of stability.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

See you tomorrow!

 

Adding Meaning to Life – E = Enthusiasm


E = Enthusiasm

Thank you for exploring with me A to Z ways
of adding more meaning to our daily lives,
ways to inspire people around us,
ways to live more intentionally
to fulfill our purpose.

white paper with yeah signage

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Today, let’s explore ways to add meaning to life with ENTHUSIASM:

E nergizing
N ewness,
T rue
H umility,
U nassuming
S implicity,
I ntoxicating
A ctivities,
S teadfast
M astery

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Celebrate life with intoxicating passion.
It adds zest to everything
and helps build community.
Hold nothing back.”

 

woman in stripes holding hands with person wearing bracelets

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Seek Energizing Newness

Hold nothing back!
Walk on toward the light – – – with enthusiasm!
Walk where you have never walked before.
Eliminate the same-o, same-o…
Discover Energizing Newness!
Share with passion.

Remember, True Humility Attracts

However, in your enthusiasm,
as you are energized by the Light and the Newness,
it’s deadly to be pushy!
You want people to see your enthusiasm,
to capture your energy,
and to wonder “Where is its source?”

Then, you want to inspire them seek the Source. Only with true humility, acknowledging that all life is a gift, and that we are blessed – not by our own works, but by God –  can we hope to attract others to the Light.  Agreed?

Adopt Unassuming Simplicity

The idea of adding more meaning to our daily lives,
finding ways to inspire people around us,
and
ways to live more intentionally
to fulfill our life’s purpose,
does not have to be complicated!

I may be taking an A-Z approach to the task,
but any one of these ideas can head us to the right path.
Approach each day Humbly,
Observe the Newness,
Acknowledge the Source of our Blessings,
Work toward Mastery,
Share Joyfully.
Keep it Simple!

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The path has been walked for us.
The price of our freedom is paid.
Our purpose has been spelled out.
Can we accept it?

Engage in Intoxicating Activities

I have found that looking for meaning and purpose is best found in the day-to-day doing that supports, broadens, and encourages my faith. When I choose to do the things that inspire me, my enthusiasm for those tasks can be intoxicating.

For instance, I have a friend. For the sake of anonymity, let me call him John. “John” is my “senior friend” who needs help with his mail, organizing his stuff, filing for taxes, paying bills, etc. He’s a year younger than I, but he lives as if he’s twenty years my senior. His memory is failing. I pop in on him a couple times a week, get the key to his mailbox at the post office, return with his mail, and strive to bring a little cheer into his over-heated, smoke-filled house. “John” is a chain smoker. My work with “John” is intoxicating for several reasons:

  • I like helping others
  • I feel useful
  • I enjoy bringing cheer to the lonely
  • “John” doesn’t smoke while I’m there; maybe I’m adding days to his life?
  • Several friends also have begun to reach out to others in need

An “intoxicating activity” does not have to be some contagious fun thing like Bunko or bowling, vacationing or visiting others (although, granted those may sound appealing), it can be anything that inspires you – and in the process inspires others. That alone adds meaning to your life – and helps fulfill your purpose.

Work Steadfastly Toward Mastery

Nothing breeds enthusiasm like mastery!

monochrome photography of people playing piano

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When we work to learn how to do something with skill, there is an ease that comes with that mastery. Your ease causes you to gravitate toward doing that more often. It causes you to want to share your skill. Those areas of mastery become areas of passion – and they become contagious as others see you enjoying yourself. People who master the piano often end up using that mastery as a means of livelihood… and if not, certainly a source of relaxation and enjoyment.

Do you know Laura Sullivan?
She is a Grammy award winning pianist
whose music adds joy to my days.
I ask Alexa, “Play Laura Sullivan for me.”
Amazon Music plays her wonderful, soothing music.
I am inspired to work more peacefully
with her music accompanying me.
Check out this link for free Laura Sullivan music.

https://www.laurasullivanmusic.net/

Add Meaning to Your Life

Enthusiastically plan to use your skills, your talents, and your passions to enrich the lives of others. Your life is enriched in the process!

person writing on white book

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Maybe you already ARE using your talents to inspire others.
Writing is one of mine.
I’m working toward mastery in blogging.
Is there such a thing?

What area of your life is one that inspires you to work toward mastery?

 

 

 

 

Joy at Easter


Easter is a time of joy.

Of course it is! It’s the day of “Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!” We sang at Sunrise service (even though it was a rainy day and we couldn’t see the sun), and we went to church and sang joyfully there.

religious embossed wall

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But in addition to its spiritual meaning, Easter has a social meaning, too. It is a family day. In my family, when I was growing up in central California, USA, it always was a day my sister and I got to wear pretty new dresses with shiny new shoes. We had an Easter egg hunt. We gathered with relatives for a sumptuous dinner of ham with pineapple and scalloped potatoes with cheese, lots of different vegetables, and a variety of home-made desserts. Aunt Angie’s Easter pie with a hard-boiled egg hidden in the enter of it was always part of the offerings. We played with our cousins. It was a day to look forward to and a day to remember.

silver spoon and forks beside vegetables

In my world today, the pretty new dresses are not a part of the celebration. Wool pants and a cozy sweatshirt was the way to block out the Montana cold. The shiny new shoes gave way to boots to keep my feet dry. No Easter egg hunt in pouring down rain!

red and gray rain boots near pink umbrella

But the part that hasn’t changed is the family gathering. It may not have been aunts and uncles and cousins. We didn’t have Aunt Angie’s Easter pie. But we had my granddaughter, Hope, and her husband Drew, and their almost two-year-old, my great-grandson, Xander. They joined us at church and stayed for the church ham dinner potluck afterward. What a joy! Look at how Xander is growing!

Hope Xander Drew

And we had our grandson, Chris, with us. If you have been following my blog, you met Chris earlier when he came from Switerland late last year and decided to go unshaven for awhile and be a “Montana Mountain Man.”

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Well, look at him now! He’s been at the Anaconda Job Corps since last February and is studying to be a heavy equipment mechanic. He’s taken off 30 pounds (with exercise and careful food intake) since he arrived in the USA last Thanksgiving. He’s feeling fit – and looking happy. What a wonderful Easter gift it was to have him with us this weekend!

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Easter IS a time of JOY. It looks different at different times of our lives, but with God and family as the focus, it always is a time to thank Jesus for His wonderful gift of love. It’s a time to shout “Hosannah! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!”

Happy Easter!
How did you spend your day?

 

Sing to the Lord


purple petaled flowers centerpiece

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Easter morning’s here

It is a great time to sing

Let your voices ring!

Happy Easter!

The Forgiving Father


Happy Sunday, my friends. Did you attend church today?

We did – and I took my usual sermon notes in poetry.
And we sang a great version of the scripture lesson.
I share it with you below.

classic close up draw expensive

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The scripture the sermon was based on was Luke 15:1-32.

It is a familiar passage for most Christians.
It includes the parables of three things LOST: a Sheep, a Coin, and a Son.

The song we sang  after the sermon was a beautiful poetic summary of the scripture.
The words, written in 1999 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette are so “right on!”
I HAVE to share them with you.
.
As you read these lyrics, try singing them to the tune of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” It’s magical! It’s gorgeous!!

.
God’s Great Love is So Amazing

 

Verse 1

God’s great love is so amazing!
See a shepherd with his flocks!
Ninety-nine are safely grazing;
One is lost among the rocks.

That good shepherd goes and searches
Till he finds the one astray.
So God says to fill our churches
With the ones who’ve lost their way.

Verse 2

God in love is always seeking!
See a woman with her broom!
For a single coin she’s sweeping
Every corner of the room.

When it’s found she calls each neighbor,
Telling friends from all around.
So God says to search and labor
Till God’s precious ones are found.

Verse 3

God keeps waiting, searching, yearning!
See a father’s heartfelt joy!
Thankful for the son’s returning.
He runs out to greet his boy.

To the angry older brother,
Hear the father’s patient call.
So God says to love each other,
For in Christ, God loves us all.

man holding boy

 

My sermon notes are not as professional as the poem above.
They lack the a-b-a-b rhyme scheme.
Mine is based on an a-b-c-b scheme.
You probably can’t sing them to a chosen tune.
But they capture the message I heard being preached.
See if you can relate to how our pastor took this scripture
and spun it into a lesson for us all.

The Forgiving Father

Sermon notes 3/31/19
Jan Beekman’s “take-away” on
Rev. Jean Johnson’s message
Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Ennis, Montana

 

Leave ninety-nine vulnerable
For the sake of finding one?
The Lost Sheep story tells us
That’s exactly what Jesus woulda done.

 

Leave a pocketful of change
For the one coin lost?
Yes, that’s what Jesus said.
Look carefully at the cost!

 

The cost of losing valued
Possessions can be very high.
We leave behind the flock
And fly off to pie in the sky!

 

Open your eyes to the One
Who is right in your midst.
The Shepherd among us
Seeks the lost. He insists.

 

The least among us are
Lost until they’re found.
We’re to be the seekers
Who search, listening for the sound.

 

Listen for the lost sheep’s plea,
And know, in fact, we are they.
We all need to be rescued
From the flighty life we live today.

 

Jesus really spoke not of
Coins and sheep, but us.
We are the ones who need
To be found. We must!

 

We must seek and be found
By Christ who loved us first.
Let’s join His rescued sheep
And rejoice as He quenches our thirst.

 

Christ shows us God’s real joy
With the parable of father and son.
The wayward boy returned home.
He was lost, now found. Victory won!

Welcome Home!
Come join the party.

Amen?

Tell me about the message at your church or temple or synagogue today.
What was your take-away?

 

 

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