Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘spirituality’

Adding Meaning to Life … B = Beauty


B = Beauty

How does

paying attention to

and creating beauty

add meaning to your life?

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Photo by Nripen kumar Roy on Pexels.com

 What IS Beauty?

One dictionary says,
1) the quality present in a thing or person
that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind,
whether arising from the sensory
(as shape, color, sound),
a meaningful design or pattern,
or something else (as a personality
in which high spiritual qualities are manifest),
or 2) a beautiful person or thing
(as work or art or building),
or 3) something excellent of its kind
(My old car was a beauty)

selective focus photography of black car

Photo by Maria Geller on Pexels.com

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
with a sub-title of “Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life,”
authors Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat wrote:
“Walk the path of beauty.
Relish and encourage its inward and outward expressions.
Acknowledge the radiance of creation.”

Find Beauty in Others

Observing and appreciating beauty
is a spiritual practice for me.
It enhances my ability to see the world
through Jesus glasses!
There is beauty in each of us.
Look for the beauty in others
and watch your happiness factor increase.

 

Find Beauty Within

Last weekend my grandson, Chris, and I went to see “Breakthrough.” It’s a new movie starring Chrissy Metz, a true story of a high school-aged boy who fell through the ice in a lake and was underwater for ten minutes before being pulled out. Presumed dead after a long and arduous attempt to resuscitate him, the story focuses on the power of prayer and the results of a loving, passionate mom who would not give up. The beauty of Chrissy Metz as she superbly played the role of the mom was undeniable.
(You may recognize her… she starred in the TV series, “This is Us” and told her personal story in the April edition of Guideposts Magazine.)

When we see compassion and love in the eyes of another, in the behavior of another, we see the inner beauty that shines through. We are encouraged to emulate that behavior.

Chrissy’s ability to passionately demonstrate the power of
unconditional love and an unwavering faith
showed us what beauty there is
in the treasure of life.

Chrissy Metz.JPG

Find Beauty in Nature

While looking for greater meaning in life, I find inspiration in the beauty of nature. A week ago as we were experiencing snow in April, and last Sunday when our Sunrise service was drenched in rain and no sun was visible, I wondered if spring would ever come to my part of the world. Yesterday we had a gorgeous sunny day. Hooray! This morning, look what I found outside my kitchen window:

Yes, this is a sign of spring… it’s here! Never give up hope!

Enjoy the beauty of nature

Let it remind you of God’s unfailing love for our earth and for us!

alberta amazing attraction banff

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

animals avian birds branch

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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animal bee bloom blooming

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What beauty catches your eye – and adds meaning to your life?

human eye

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

Adding Meaning to Life A =Attention


A = Attention

How can paying attention add new greater meaning to life?

Duh! That seems like such a rhetorical question, doesn’t it?

In their book, Spiritual Literacy, with a sub-title of “Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life,” authors Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat wrote: “Pay attention. Stay awake and totally alert. See with receptive eyes and discover a world of ceaseless wonders.”

What are some “ceaseless wonders” that add meaning to your days?

Do you pay special attention to:

  • daily sunrises?
landscape nature sky sunset

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • trees in bloom?
white flowers in bloom

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

  • grass greening?
alpine clouds daylight europe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • waterfalls?
landscape photography of waterfalls surrounded by green leafed plants

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com

  • ocean waves?
ocean wave

Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

  • wild animals?
brown deer standing on snow

Photo by Annika Thierfeld on Pexels.com

  • the unconditional love of precious pets
black dog beside little girl

Photo by bin Ziegler on Pexels.com

  • the companionship of friends
silhouette of people jumping

Photo by vjapratama on Pexels.com

  • the laughter of children?
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  • a beautiful, nutritional meal?

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  • a warm, comfortable bed?
woman lying on bed holding white bear plush toy

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

  • a beautiful sunset?

Sunset@Placerville

Paying attention to these and other “ceaseless wonders”
WILL add meaning to your life.

What other “ceaseless wonders” are a part of your daily observations?
How do they add greater meaning to your life?

 

See you tomorrow…

What would you list as your “B” word

for adding meaning to

and defining purpose in your life?

Adding Meaning to Your Daily Life


Looking for Greater Meaning

I am always exploring ways to add more meaning to my daily life. Are you?

I want a greater understanding of:

  • who I am,
  • how to decode the world around me
  • what my purpose is here on earth,
  • and how I can live more intentionally to fulfill that purpose.

Do we need to have reached some “state of enlightenment”
in order to decode the world around us?

photography of book page

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Some traditions do see such understanding as
a gift or ‘awakening,’ but we believe it is a skill
that can be developed.”

Seeing the Spirit Within

“Such understanding” is defined by the Brussats as the ability to decode the world around us by seeing the sacred in everyday life. They suggest that we look to see the working of the Holy Spirit in our common activities: cooking, eating, working, walking, listening, visiting, praying … Recognize the Spirit moving in our lives through encounters with places, things, people, nature, and animals. Know that the message of the Holy Spirit personifies the greatest commandment: Love One Another. Cultivate the ability, the skill, to tune into the Spirit within you.

close up of tree against sky

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Loving Unconditionally

Loving One Another unconditionally is made possible by our ability to see the divine in one another. When we value each other’s gifts, when we see every other human being  as a Child of One Creator, then we are better able to respond to the Spirit within us.

In his foreword to Spiritual Literacy, Thomas Moore wrote, “It’s odd that after thousands of years of great spiritual example… we have to remind ourselves that spirituality is to be found in everyday life.”

Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy

The Brussats created an Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy with pointers on how certain practices can spell greater meaning in our daily lives.

I have an affection for using the alphabet as a stimulus for positive thoughts. I wrote an A-Z series last year on the subject, “What Makes Me Happy?” It was the start of my 180 consecutive days of blogging here at JanBeek.

So, I am naturally attracted to the Brussat’s Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. I intend to use it as a new A-Z series here on JanBeek. In so doing, I hope to encourage you, my readers, to cultivate a spiritual vision while keeping an eye on the secular world. I hope to learn with you how we can unite our world views with our spiritual views. Wake up our Spiritual Literacy!

Restore Lost Bonds

I don’t want to live in La-La Land. I don’t want to experience a broad, impenetrable chasm between my social and my spiritual life. Thomas Moore explained that the Brussat’s purpose in writing Spiritual Literacy was to “restore lost bonds between spirit and matter, body and mind, church and home, work and prayer.”

I want my secular and spiritual lives to be in alignment. Do you?

Joint Effort

Let’s explore together ways to add more meaning to our daily lives, ways to decode the world around us, ways to live more intentionally to fulfill our purpose. Okay? Are you with me?

Let’s begin with A.

Tomorrow.

A = Attention

Living in One Accord


(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)

We all are God’s children.

Some call God, “Our Father.”

But, some folks choose to ignore Him.

They balk and say, “Why bother?”

God speaks to us in Romans,

To us who’ve already heard.

It’s not for the unknowing

Who think the Gospel’s absurd.

Those led by God’s Spirit

Are children of our Lord.

We show our Love and faith

By living in One Accord.

To live in One Accord with God,

We worship, study, love, and pray.

Our witness shows The Spirit

At work in us each day.

We’re living out the reality

Of what already is in us.

Be who you already are

Without works or trouble or fuss.

We used to belong to sin,

But Jesus came to the rescue.

We have reason for joy and acceptance.

Isn’t this Good News to you?

We have assurance of this reality –

This adoption is done, signed and sealed.

We sing praises to God, our Father.

Our case clearly has been appealed.

Knowing God as Father is possible

By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.

That evidence is proof enough;

We affirm it with every breath.

I believe in God, The Father,

In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.

Thank You for Your Saving Grace.

Now, let us live in One Accord.

Amen?

Who is This God?


Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday.
Trinity… Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
A matter of FAITH.
Read John 16: 12-15. Then ask yourself…

Who is this God who comes to us as a Teacher?
Why is there a prevalence of evil in this world?
If God really exists, as we see Him in our Design,
Then why does our Designer allow hate to be hurled?

If our Intelligent Design didn’t just evolve,
Does there have to be a Benevolent Creator?
With all the violence and disasters and cruelty,
Where is the Creator, the Good and Evil Separator?

If we begin with an observation of what we see,
Our starting point limits us to only what is rational.
What about the place FAITH plays in our belief?
Faith is belief in the unobservable; Sometimes it’s irrational.

Our faith IN God is FROM God through the Holy Spirit,
From the quiet inspiration of the TRUTH Christ revealed.
God climbs down to us, revealing Himself to us
Through the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, through whom lives are healed.

Quietly, the Holy Spirit opens us up to the Good News.
Boldly we affirm our faith in a Loving Father.
How can we see the love in a hurting world of sin?
Be the Love; Live the Faith. Dwell on hate? Nope, why bother?!

(Sermon notes – from JanBeeks’ take on what she heard
Rev. Jean Johnson preach on May 26, 2013)

Our Savior


Our Savior

The Many Faces of Jesus
Some of us see Our Savior as Jesus in these many roles. Others see Him as an invisible, spiritual force. Other times God is an interesting combination of both. Here are my sermon notes from our church service last Sunday. How do you see our Savior?

Strong, Invisible Savior

Strong, invisible Savior,
Save me in my need.
But, You, My Lord, were crucified.
Did You save Yourself? Indeed!

Long-awaited Savior,
Do I need to be redeemed?
Today society teaches I’m O.K. –
Not really as sinful as it seemed.

Am I “basically a good person”?
Am I making progress today?
Look carefully at my behavior.
Am I truly walking God’s Way?

I’m good at blind denial.
I try to set the world right.
But, I am a self-centered fool
Who struggles and wanders and fights.

Lonely, pitiful, and rebellious –
I think I am fine on my own.
God still loves me in my sinfulness.
I don’t have to walk this earth alone.

Strong, invisible Savior,
Your promise is right and true.
You come to me in my helplessness.
In response, God, help me turn to You.

Amen?
Amen!!

In the Shade of the Shrub


     Some of you know that I am in the habit of taking notes in poetry form while I listen to the sermon in church on Sundays. Through my filter, I condense the 20 minute message to a few stanzas. I enjoy sharing with our pastor what I have written. It’s fun to hear what someone else thought was the “meat of the message,” don’t you think? Then, it’s fun for me to have her say, “Right on! You got it!” This is what I “caught” as I listened this Father’s Day Sunday. The message was based on (or sprouted from) Mark 4:26-34. Check it out!

The Shade of the Shrub
 

Jesus meets His people
In the shade of the shrub.
It started as a small seed
And grew to a small stub.

Then somebody watered it
With care and compassionate love,
And that stub grew to a healthy plant –
Maybe a weed – but with many a hug!

The shrub is the church collective:
A seed, to a stub, to a shrub.
We meet Jesus in the shadows and
Cast His light on the soil at our hub.

The hub of the church is God,
Whose light we shine in the darkness.
With love and compassion we grow
God’s Kingdom on this earth’s starkness.

We, my friends, are the growing shrub.
Christ is at work in us all.
We are a weed in the process of spreading
God’s Love. May we grow strong and tall!

Amen? 

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