Do you ever doubt your niche? Yesterday I posted excerpts from Gottfried’s Banter, a blog whose niche is humor. No, I wasn’t suggesting that my blog should try to fit that niche. Humor like Gottfried’s doesn’t come naturally to me like it does to him.
No, it’s not numbers, It’s my purpose that dictates My niche and my style.
It’s my gifts that spell The reason for my blogging. How about your niche?
What’s your intention? Do you need one hundred one Questions to find out?
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai, has questions Yes, one hundred one!
Yesterday’s post had to do with service: Focusing on Veteran’s Day and military service. I alluded to the fact that there are many ways To serve, but I didn’t elaborate on that.
Did you read that line and pause? Did you think about the expanded meaning Of service – the act of serving – and its Relationship to Christian living?
I did! But, I decided to wait until today To embrace the myriad of ways We enjoy and benefit from serving. We are encouraged to “Be Servants!”
Scripture calls us to serve others in love as Galatians 5:13 says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers [and sisters]. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Having a servant’s heart means to help others in love without expecting something in return, serving in appreciation of the gifts God has already given us.
Helper Divinely guided Opening my heart Aware of God’s calling Servant
In my Daily Word from Unity.org today, I was inspired by the message of “Guidance.” In it, the writer embraced serving, reminding us that as we prepare to do so, we need to listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within us.
“There are many ways of connecting with Spirit, but the first is by letting go. I must first release the situation I want guidance about.
With my human self out of the way, I stop my mind from trying to figure out the answer.
After letting go, I meditate, enjoy some devotional reading time, and become aware of God’s [presence]…”
Jesus was the consummate servant. His Holy Spirit puts in each of us a servant’s heart. Serving others is one of our main purposes in life!
“38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.
Pray With Me
“Heavenly Father, keep my focus on the one thing You have commanded: that I love others as You have loved me. Give me a servant’s heart that I may love in word and action” Amen
EMBRACE SERVING TODAY, MY FRIENDS. What will you do today to demonstrate your love in action?
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Living peacefully Brings out the best in others – Invites harmony.
Beautiful to see – Guys who live in harmony – Enjoy company.
The relationships Born of friendship and shared joy – Beautiful to see.
Beautiful to be Playing harmoniously – Embracing friendships.
As my outer world Reflects my inner spirit, Harmony abounds.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
My friend, Elaine Forsberg, recently left this earth for her eternal home. The memorial service for her was last weekend. She was a woman who raised her children to love God, follow Jesus, embrace harmony, and play harmonically. She did all those things herself. She taught by example.
Her son, Jim, plays the guitar and the saw! Her daughter, Peggy, also plays the saw… and the violin (magnificently). If you had attended Elaine’s service, you would have come away knowing this was a woman of great integrity – a woman who loved God – a woman secure in her destiny.
The Gandhi quote above fit Elaine Forsberg to a tee!
Besides loving God, Elaine loved music. She played the piano and made it possible for her children to appreciate the beauty of harmony.
The video below with its beautiful harmonies and gorgeous scenes of nature would be a favorite of hers. It’s a favorite of mine, I sang in the A Capella Choir all four years at the University of the Pacific. It was one of my favorite activities in college – and those harmonies still live in my heart.
To survive in peace and harmony, united and strong, we must have one people, one nation, one flag.
O Lord, may we learn to live in harmony. May our world embrace harmonious unity. Help us, God of Creation, to learn to follow Your commandments. There is no better way, we know, to live peacefully. Help us “Embrace Harmony” and spread its beauty to all we meet. Today we focus on harmony, peace, wholeness, and joy. Embrace us, O Lord, as these thoughts flower in our consciousness – and bring our dreams of world-wide harmony to vivid life. Amen.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
May you feel the peace of harmony in your heart today.
These two little darlings exude happiness, confidence, pure joy… I can’t help but smile when I look at them. (I bet you’re smiling, too) I’ve been saving this photo for just the right time. Today is it!
In my devotionals this morning, I read an article by Brenda Wade, Ph.D. Brenda is based in San Francisco. She hosts a radio talk show, “Modern Love” and she facilitates trainings on relationships. Her article in the Jan.-Feb. Unity magazine, Daily Word, is titled, “Overcoming Racism, Healing from Shame, Opening to Love.”
“The love and peace we want to know in our lives begins inside of us,” Dr. Wade wrote. “This has been on my mind lately as I’ve dug deeply into … my work, leading anti-racism trainings.”
In her article, she went on to describe an incident in her life that deeply affected her self-image. She was only 6-years-old.
“One day at school, my classmates and I were told to line up two by two and hold hands. I extended my hand, but the girl standing next to me refused to take it. ‘I can’t hold your hand,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘My mother told me your skin is brown because it’s dirty.’ I was confused. My skin was brown, but it certainly was not dirty.”
It took years for that little 6-year-old to deal with the hurt. Her young brain just didn’t understand. She felt immediate rejection, pain, and the sting of shame. The notion that there was something wrong with her kept her from telling the teacher or her parents. She just carried that message of inferiority with her and it was reinforced by a high school principal who ignorantly expressed surprise that someone of her color could score so high on her tests.
It was further reinforced in graduate school when a department chair “was more interested in my race than my qualifications” – and as an adult when “a landlord candidly admitted he was denying me housing because I am African American.”
How does someone overcome such prejudicial treatment and regain the confidence that ALL PEOPLE deserve?
That is the question Dr. Walker deals with in her profession. She conquered it in her own life with “years of psychological work, spiritual practice, self-care, and healing.”
Dr. Brenda Wade wrote, “When we feel too hurt or afraid to let ourselves out, it becomes impossible to let others in.”
Embrace the confidence that there is hope and a future and a return of self-confidence when self-insight and self-love can be applied.
The pain of those early wounds go deep.
We know that we ALL have a responsibility to respond to one another in love, with compassion and respect, and to stand together hand-in-hand to obliterate oppression and prejudice.
Embrace that future with confidence and determination!
Yesterday during our ZOOM church service, our pastor, Steve Hundley, offered the following prayer. It is just what I needed to hear as I embrace with confidence the power of prayer and the belief that God hears, God cares, and God answers us when we cry out to Him:
“How many times in Your earthly ministry, O Lord, did You touch the fevered brows of those who were ill; or, the trembling hands of those who were afraid; or, the sagging shoulders of those bowed down in grief?
Walk among us now, we pray, and touch us for the same reasons… * Let those who are ill in body or in spirit feel the power of Your presence, and sense that healing is taking place. * We pray for all those sick with COVID throughout our nation and world… * Give those who are constricted by fears and anxieties a feeling of relaxation in Your grace. * Let peace flow over them like a river, carrying them away from self-preoccupation and into the openness of love and sharing… * Pour out the hope of Your resurrection upon those who are grieving the loss of loved ones… * May they walk the Emmaus Road with You and feel their hearts strangely and wonderfully warmed… * In the chaos and uncertainty of the coming weeks and months, give us confidence of faith in knowing that You are Lord of our lives and Lord of this world, and that You are working Your purpose out… * As Your children, O Lord, You know how often we recoil from those things that should not frighten or upset us in this world. Comfort us with Your presence, and teach us so to live within the disciplines of faith, so that, we are never without You.”
Embrace with Confidence, my friends, the knowledge that you regard all God’s Children as equals… and determine never to inflict on anyone the pain of rejection or the sting of shame.
As God’s children… Let us live as One. Let’s just walk around makng the world a better place! Embrace Confidence!
Let’s all embrace calm Quiet our souls and listen Hear each other’s hearts
Let’s all embrace calm Be still and let minutes pass In loving silence
Embrace calm with me Sync your heart to the tick-tock Of peaceful minutes
Embrace calm today Reflect on the poignant words Of Amanda’s poem
Anderson Cooper Interviewed that young lady Then posted a link
Many people wrote Responded to interview With posts like this one:
Replying to @andersoncooper and @TheAmandaGorman “Awww I loved that, you all sat and talked about poetry for at least 5 minutes. So relaxing. Probably the least stressed ya have been for 4 years. Words have power for good too.. let’s rinse off the negative.”
Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem: “The Hill We Climb”
It was posted in paragraph form. I am sure that’s not how she wrote it. I have tried to separate the stanzas as she might have, I am sure I don’t have them all right, but I tried… and the poem is so beautiful that even written as prose – it is downright gorgeous!
Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world,
When day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. In the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always justice. And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried – that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. If we’re to live up to her own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made. That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare. It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a forest that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption. We feared it at its inception. We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves so while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe? Now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than one we were left. With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West. We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the Lake Rim cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
-Amanda Gorman, USA national poet laureate
Let’s embrace calm – and be brave enough in our calmness to “step out of the shade aflame and unafraid…”
Ready to join the cause of unity and peace. Ready to work for social and racial equality. Ready to do our part to make the world a better place.