When you’re defeated
Feeling life’s lost its purpose
Take root and hang on
God Bless You!
See ya tomorrow.
When you’re defeated
Feeling life’s lost its purpose
Take root and hang on
God Bless You!
See ya tomorrow.
Today’s sermon topic was “Headed Toward Jerusalem.” It was based on the story in Luke 9:51-62 in which Jesus, headed toward Jerusalem, sent His disciples ahead to Samaria to prepare a place for Him to stay the night. Knowing Jesus’ destination was Jerusalem, the Samaritans refused to welcome Him into their city.
Offended by the rejection, the disciples, James and John, asked Jesus if He would like to send fire down on the Samaritans and destroy their city. Jesus rebuked the disciples for their hard-heartedness and attitude of retribution. He and His disciples simply moved on to Jerusalem.
Here are my sermon notes
that I took as I listened carefully
to what Rev. Jean Johnson
at the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
in Ennis, Montana
had to say about this scripture.
We’re all headed somewhere.
Where is your face headed?
What values guide and direct you
– and what destination is dreaded?
What life is truly worth living?
How do you live with purpose in love?
“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for
The place that fits you like a glove.
It’s a metaphor for traveling
To where you’re meant to be.
It’s being who you were meant to be
And facing the direction of Eternity.
We are pulled in different directions.
Our tendency is much like James and John
Who wanted to call fire on those
Who rejected Jesus: We want enemies gone!
But Jesus rebuked the disciples.
He rejected their hardness of heart.
Keep your eyes on your destination.
Don’t let detractors pull us apart.
“Jerusalem” is a metaphor for peace.
What do we do about violent actions?
“Jerusalem” is about the Truth of God.
What do we do about divided factions?
We need to wrestle with these questions
And struggle for clarification.
There are no easy answers.
Today’s world creates chaos and confusion.
What does it mean to head
Toward “Jerusalem” and let go
Of security and face change?
Transformation is a place we must know.
“Jerusalem” is about the love of Christ.
It’s letting go of the things that bind us
To this world of hate and divisions.
It’s turning our faces toward Christian kindness.
Join me, OKAY?
Let’s head toward or own “Jerusalem.”
What are the things that bind you
to the place you are,
and keep you from heading
toward YOUR “Jerusalem”??
Have a beautiful Sunday.
See ya tomorrow!
I don’t put much stock in stats.
But every now and then I like
To take a look; especially when
WordPress announces spikes.
Day before yesterday they congratulated me.
They sent this message:
I was delighted because I remember
Back in 2012 to 2018 when
For 6 years my followers
Numbered less than 100.
I didn’t stop blogging
because my “followers number”
I appreciated the readers I had.
I still do…
I appreciate YOU!!
But the stat that really has me
Singing in the shower with joy
Is the one I received yesterday:
You see, it really doesn’t matter if my followers
Number 100 or 10,000.
What matters is:
Pass it on!
Love your uniqueness and
Let the stats simply be
A source of information…
Not a fettish!
Welcome Back to the A-Z series
Adding Meaning and
Finding Greater Purpose
Do you see it?
What should I see?
Today’s Word is VISION –
Today’s letter is “V.”
When I open my eyes
To the world at my feet
I see what I look for.
Is it bitter or sweet?
Do I tune in to news
That is divisive and rude?
Do I listen to folks
Who are angry and crude?
Or do I focus my mind
On the things from above –
The goodness and compassion,
The things that I love?
If I want to be happy
And spread joy – cuz I’m blessed –
I must focus on kindness,
And pray for the rest.
Pray for the people
And the earth and the places
Where peace is a scarcity.
You see fear in their faces.
Pray for the hungry;
Set your sights on the ways
You can bring some solutions;
And give God all the praise.
Use your personal vision
To flood your space with Light.
Practice seeing the invisible –
And renew what is right.
Make the spot where you live
Shine a beacon of hope.
Share your positivity
To those sliding down the slope
Of negativity and sorrow.
Lend your Jesus glasses out!
Help them see what you see
Through eyes of faith. Never doubt
That what you seek, you will find,
And where your heart and your mind
Bring God’s light into darkness,
You’ll bring sight to the blind.
You Deserve It!
Go for it!!
Welcome back to the A-Z series
devoted to ideas for
Finding Greater Purpose
Today’s letter is “T”
I could have chosen
or any one of several words that represent the important qualities we need to exhibit and value in our lives in order to add meaning and fulfill our purpose more fully,
but I didn’t choose one of those.
It’s not a word that centers on “You Deserve it!”
It is not “You’re #!”
It is about being “right-minded.”
Today, Mother’s Day, I have chosen a word in honor of my dear mother-in-law, Laura Belle Beekman. It was her favorite word. She once wrote an essay on the topic for “The Daughter of the American Revolution.” The word is an old-fashioned one:
It means constraint or discretion,
moderation or prudence,
self-control or sacrifice,
My husband, Bob, said his grandmother was a faithful member of the Christian Temperance Union. So, no wonder his mom identified so much with the word! But, as you see above, the word has many meanings above that of non-alcohol consumption.
Temperance in Parenting
At yesterday’s birthday party, our sweet little Victoria had a melt-down. If you read my post yesterday, titled Happy Birthday x2, you met Victoria. I told you she was a little girl of many moods. One of them is depicted here in this video. Her mom stood nearby, wisely watching, but not responding to this temper-tantrum!
Meantime, inside the house two moms are busy teaching their 2 year olds to eat properly. Another toddler (Oh my! That’s my great-grandson, the birthday boy!) is independently making a mess, throwing as much food on the floor as he puts in his mouth! It was a busy day, my friends. You can get a minute’s glimpse of it – and our patio & dining room here:
Living with Temperance
The concordance tells us that temperance is a virtue – “a cardinal virtue” synonymous with faith, hope, and charity! It is to “be good.” It is to “do no evil.” It is to “keep the right path, and walk the right path.” Follow the straight and narrow. Fight the good fight.
Teaching Children Temperance
How do we teach our children Temperance? There is not just ONE WAY, of course. But, on this Mother’s Day, it is good to remind ourselves that there are some “cardinal virtues” worth teaching … and the ONLY way our children will learn them from us is by example!
We must be the ones who “walk the talk.” We must be willing to stand by and watch the temper tantrums – and not give in! We must be the examples of following the straight and narrow! Our children will most likely not do as we say for a life-time, but they may do as we do. And we want that “doing” to be PRUDENT, right?
Leading The Way
Take children by the hand – by the heart – and lead them on the virtuous, good, and moral way.
Add meaning to your life as you make meaning in the lives of others. Add meaning to the lives of your children, grand-children, great-grandchildren, neighbors, friends. Demonstrate every day the faith, hope, and charity you hope to see in this world. That is our PURPOSE in life!!
Only by example can we make the world a better place.
Go out and JUST DO IT!
Happy Mother’s Day
See you tomorrow!
In my introduction to this
I wrote the following:
I want a greater understanding of:
You are here because, hopefully, you have embraced the journey, the exploration of ways to add more meaning to life. Thank you for joining me!!
Today’s letter is “R”
I have chosen the word “Receptivity”
The picture below is Logan Crowley, my darling neighbor,
with me. She received a scholarship
award of $1000 to assist her venture into college at
Montana State University next school year.
EAA stands for Ennis Arts Association,
of which I am an active member.
Seeking, applying, striving for what we need,
and being receptive when gifts come our way
are important qualities for
adding more meaning
and finding greater purpose
It is easy to be receptive every day when someone is giving you a thousand bucks, right?
But what about other areas of everyday receptivity? How do we remain open to all that’s out there for us?
Tune in to Inspiration
Today I listened to a podcast on Bob Goff’s “Love Does” website:
Bob is a wonderful, whimsical lawyer/author/inspirational speaker who has written three best-selling books, Love Does, and Love Does For Kids, as well as Everybody Always. His Facebook website, https://www.facebook.com/bobgoffis/ , will introduce you to his “Dream Big” workshops and lead you to the podcasts that are so heart-warming.
In a recent podcast, Bob was interviewing very talented and lovely Amy Grant. Amy is a Grammy Award-winning Gospel singer who was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has written a book, Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far.
The podcast, “What If We…?” was so full of wisdom that I listened to it several times and wrote to Bob Goff asking permission to quote some of the most poignant statements. I received an affirmative response. I posted on Amy’s Facebook page telling her of this blog and hoping it’s okay with her, too, that I quote some of her delightful comments.
One of the messages that rang clear was:
Be Open to Vulnerability Every Day!
Everyday receptivity involves the concept
Bob referred to in this podcast
when he said,
“Be where your feet are!”
Bob Goff and Amy Grant were talking about the subjects of vulnerability and community.
You need to be wiling to be receptive,” Amy suggested. “It takes the hard things in life to pull you into the community that then gives you connections to pursue something beautiful.”
“Vulnerability to say ‘I have a need’ leads you into community…
Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten has been a hug!”
Be Receptive to Dreams
“If you have a dream or an ambition,” Bob Goff said,
“let everyone know about it …
Imagine everyone in heaven leaning over the railing,
watching and wondering what’s next!”
I love that image! I have several dreams for my future and the future of my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want to capture them in my dream catcher, and then imagine that heaven’s angels are leaning over the railings cheering us on!
Goals/dreams are an important part of living a full and meaningful life. They provide the seeds for our journey toward meeting our life’s purpose.
Amy Grant said, “Make room for the seeds that matter most to [you] to be watered and grown.”
Add Clarity to your Receptivity
“As soon as you have clarity
on why you’re doing what you’re doing,”
Bob Goff said,
“you’ll find the opportunity to actually go for it!”
Go for it! But what is IT?
“It” is the activity that gives you joy!
“It” is the thing you do that moves you in the direction of your ultimate goal.
“It” is finding out what that goal is!!
Bob suggested if we wish to find fulfillment in receptivity to opportunities, we must first:
In their conversation, Bob shared that he gave Amy a bell some time ago. She told him that she has it on a post in her back yard (at least I think that’s where she said she posted it).
Amy said, “I think of you each time I see that bell. I ring it every time I move in the direction of a goal.”
Bob asked her about her ultimate goal, and she responded, “I want to die being a fire hose of generosity.”
I love that … not just a garden hose, but a fire hose, spraying out to others the gifts we’ve been given. Celebrate your gifts by giving them generously and freely to others. Yes!
Be Receptive to God’s Guidance and the Wisdom of His Followers
Amy noted that her first mother-in-law was a woman of great wisdom who lived her faith. Once, when Amy was feeling overwhelmed with trying to balance life as a mother of young children with the life of a recording artist who was traveling the world, her mother-in-law told her, “You only need one prayer a day.”
“One prayer?” Amy asked. “What would it be?”
“God, lead me today to those I need –
and to those who need me –
and let something I do today
have eternal significance.”
Bob reacted saying,
“Yes, it’s not just ‘What do I want?’
It’s ‘Who needs something I’ve got?’ “
Ask God to guide you to those who need you.
Ask God to guide you to those you need.
And ask God to help you find meaningful tasks
that might have eternal significance.
Listen to the wisdom of others, and
Be receptive to God’s guidance!
Receptivity and Understanding are the Keys
Be receptive to the voice of reason within you.
“You need to understand what you want,”
Bob Goff said in this podcast,
“and not just be limited by what you want,
but look at what other people want.
Look for the opportunity to do something
about it in your life and in their lives –
in a hundred creative ways –
then stand back and let God do His thing!”
Stand back, my friends,
and watch God do His thing!
See you tomorrow!
Thanks for joining me on our A-Z journey
to find ways to
Add More Meaning
Discover Clearer Purpose
Today we’ll explore the letters “O” and “P”
Optimism and Positivity
Optimism Brings Positivity!
Or, is it the other way around?
Does Positivity bring Optimism?
I couldn’t separate these two!
Like so many of the concepts we’ve explored in this A-Z series, these two (optimism and positivity) go hand-in-hand.
When you live with the “Positivity Potion” in your life, optimism is a natural by-product!
I am reminded of a story I have read more than once in various places. It’s about an elderly lady who is being guided down the hallway of a nursing home. The CNA (certified nurse’s assistant) says to her, “Your room is at the end of this hallway.”
The lady smiles at her and cheerfully exclaims, “I like it!”
“But you haven’t seen it yet,” the CNA responds.
“Oh, I know, but I like it.”
This lady had more than a sprinkle of acceptance.
She had more than a hint of gratitude.
She lived with more than a feather of hope.
Her positivity potion was overflowing with optimism about life and her future.
She is someone you’d like to have as your roommate
should the day come when you need to move into a nursing home.
These items of advice don’t suddenly become obsolete when you’re retired and don’t have to get up and go to a job every day. In fact, as a person who is aging (aren’t we all?), it is more important than ever that I remain positive in order to be happy.
When I was recovering from a knee replacement and struggling with more pain than I anticipated in the recuperation process, it was more important than ever that I remain positive, keep hope for a better outcome ahead, and work hard to remain happy.
Challenges keep coming.
Life is not a bed of feathery frolicking through the tulips!
It is more important than ever that I continue to work hard
(find meaningful work to maintain a sense of purpose),
and give my days reason to hope.
Not just a feather of hope,
but the whole chirping, red-breasted robin!
I never can let myself become so rigid, and set in my ways, and sure of my own way of doing things that I grow beyond the need to accept criticism. I must always keep learning. With a positive attitude, I can thank the one who offers the criticism – thank him or her for sharing an opinion with me – for caring enough to speak their words of correction. Take it in – try the shoe on and see if it fits! And weigh its merits. Keep learning and looking for ways to improve. Always!
With an attitude of optimism
and a demeanor of positivity,
I will attract happy, warm, and generous people.
And I will be one of them.
What better way to approach my 80th birthday – and the days ahead?
Bring Optimism and Positivity with you into your tomorrows!