Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘work’

Adding Meaning to Life C=Connections


C = Connections

In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Cultivate the art of making connections.
See how your life is intimately related
to all life on the planet.”

 

Different Kinds of Connections

The connections we have with our family and friends enrich and add meaning to our lives. For most of us, that’s a given.

Us w HopeDrewX +Chris

But what about random connections?

The poem by John Donne reminds us,

No man is an island,
“Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own,
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore send not to know
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

Our lives are richer, fuller, more meaningful when we realize “No man is an island,” and we allow our hearts and our bodies to be touched by the lives of others. Feel the connections!

Feel the Intimacy

All of us are connected, whether we know it or not! We may feel the connections, but do we feel the intimacy?

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Gunilla Norris wrote, “This is intimacy: its touch is ever new, revealing the precious moments we have to live and to connect with things. No love is ever lost in this universe.”

Connection with Things

Some people say they have never felt closer to God than in their garden or out in the woods or on a river. They connect to the plants, the trees, the water, the earth… and the intimacy they feel with things fuels a greater love and appreciation of the divine. Out in nature, they are freer to be their true selves.

Are you one of those people?

agriculture backyard blur close up

 

people riding jon boats

 

Connections Make Us Stronger

Like a chain, linked together, we are stronger, more effective, when we are connected.

We can keep evil at bay more convincingly when we are connected. We protect one another.

cyclone fence in shallow photography

We can invite more joy and create more good when we are connected.

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Today I am volunteering again at the Medical Center. As a “Purple Lady,” I am connected to a group of ladies who “woman the desk” five days a week, greet people who enter the door, and help them feel welcomed and taken care of. Our fund raiser each year (a Home Tour event) raises thousands of dollars. The money is donated to the hospital for needs such as x-ray machines, physical therapy equipment, a crash cart, blanket warmers, etc. Connections make us stronger and more effective… and friendships are formed that enrich our lives immeasurably!

What connections have added meaning and enrichment to your life?

Bring Love to Tasks


Mountains to climb
Carrying mountains sounds like quite a task!

What are tasks?
Are they unwanted work?
Ask yourself, are all tasks unwanted?

Do we sometimes make tasks out of what could be a pleasant job?

Are some “tasks” welcomed activities?
What makes the difference?
What are tasks?

agriculture backyard blur close up

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Ponder

As I ponder the questions above, I realize my bias! Yes, I think “tasks” are unwanted work. Jobs like cleaning toilets, balancing my checkbook, and weeding are not pleasant activities for me.

For some folks those activities might be joyful, or at least more pleasant than other chores. My mother-in-law used to love being out in her garden on her hands and knees weeding. She had a faulty heart valve replaced with a pig valve. She said that’s why she loved to “root” in her garden. She didn’t need to put it on her To-Do List. She did it as a hobby!

pen calendar to do checklist

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Procrastination Festers

I think I DO make a task out of somethings that could be pleasant. Seldom do I put on my “To-Do List” jobs like “Clean my office” or “Take the garbage to the dump.” Unattended tasks fester and mildew and become the Mountains we Carry instead of just climbing them!

I make the task of doing the dinner dishes more difficult when I  procrastinate and put it off after dinner. I think, “I’m too tired right now. I’ll do them in the morning.” If I had gone to the sink to do them right away, my husband might have joined me and as he washed and I dried, we might have had a very pleasant conversation and they would have been done in half the time it took me to do them the next morning after the food had crusted on the pots and pans! How can I make doing the dishes a hobby? Cooking is!

What makes the difference
between a task (work/job) and a pleasant activity?

  • timing
  • attitude
  • company
  • aptitude
  • necessity
  • love

As the title of this post suggests, a key difference between a task being work or that same task being a pleasant activity is the insertion of LOVE!

In Music of Silence, Benedictine monk, David Steindl-Rast and Shannon Lebell wrote,
“As long as we do work out of love for those whom we love, we do it for a good reason. Love is the best reason for our labors. Love makes what we do … rise like music…”

What are some of your tasks?
Can you make them rise like music?

 

Is writing a task for you?

man with hand on temple looking at laptop

Is your writing
done with love
or is it an activity
you feel compelled to do
on some sort of routine for
some unknown reason?

When Writing is a Chore

Most bloggers love to write, or we would not have a blog! Right? So it’s usually not a chore… not a task… not something we dread. If it were, then we’d know it is time to take a break! Let it go for awhile. Build up our inner enthusiasm!

Writing is easy for me most days. It flows like that river of melting snow that flooded our basement this week. During those few times when I feel blocked, I just set it aside, go for a walk, or I read other bloggers. Sometimes I go up to my Angel Room, pray and read a few devotionals, or I go to the kitchen and cook up something inspiring. I imagine myself having a conversation with the part of me that’s blocked.

“Tell me – what do you need?”

I listen for a response – and discover the places in me that need to be released. I find ways to insert the love that’s needed in order to express myself more clearly. I try to adopt a child-like level of enthusiasm for the ability to express my thoughts on paper or at the computer.

girls on desk looking at notebook

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Bring in the Love and Delight

How might you bring
more love and delight
to all the tasks you are called to do?

How might your perspective change
if you realized the world
NEEDS what you have to offer?

It does, you know!

planet earth

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So set aside those mountains you’re carrying.
Climb them instead!
Bring LOVE to your tasks
and make them “welcomed activities.”

See you tomorrow.

 

 

What Defines You?


.

https://torobravophotographyblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/cropped-mexican-women-1.jpg

What defines this woman in your mind?

 

Thank you,  jair_100 at

toro bravo photography

who specializes in Street Photography,

for this beautiful photo

of a

Mexican woman.

 

I was mesmerized by her face. I can see that you were, too.
You captured her tired and weathered soul. You captured her work ethic.
She is a woman who worked hard all her life, and continues to do so.
Externally, her lines define her character. Her eyes define her outward condition.
Some say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I cannot judge.
We really can’t tell what is going on inside her.
She is beautiful.

 

But we all have heard “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

 

What defines us?

 

I pondered that question as I read your blog, jair, re:

The 3-Level Theory of Performance applied for Street Photography

I read it and decided The 3-Level Theory of Performance is a theory that can be applied to life in general, not just to Street Photography.

In your blog dated 16 enero, 2019  

you quoted Nadia Comaneci when she said,

“I noticed from a young age there are only three kinds of people in the world. Three kinds of people in the gym. Three kinds of people walking the streets. Three kinds of people working in every company:

  • The first group of people, the coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and they do only 7. They make an excuse, or they say, “7 is good enough, why do 10?” These people never win and are the perennial losers in whatever field of endeavor they are in. They cut corners and do sloppy work.
  • The second group of people, the coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and they do 10. These people will win, sometimes. They at least do what is asked.
  • And then there is the rare, third group, and I (Nadia) am in that third group. The coach tells them to do 10 exercises, and I always did 15. Always over-deliver. And this is how I won 5 Olympic Gold Medals.”

 

That Beautiful Mexican Woman

Look again at the picture toro bravo photography took of that elderly, lined, tired-looking, Mexican matriarch. She obviously is in the third group! When 10 was enough, she did 20! She never slacked. She has not quit yet! Her lines define her… exposed to the sun, stead-fast and reliable, she makes sure her family is fed. She receives few accolades, but she does not rely on external praise to do what must be done. She knows. She over-delivers. She deserves 10 gold medals!

What defines you?

If  toro bravo photography took a picture of you and posted it, what would people say or surmise about you? Are you in the rare third group?

Is our outward appearance a true test of our definition?
Is our behavior a better test of our definition?
What is it that really matters?
Can anyone see through our eyes into our soul?

Think about it.

What do you say?
What defines you?

 

Keepers of the Aquarium


Are you a Fisher of Men
or
A Keeper of the Aquarium?

person in blue long sleeve shirt and black pants using fishing rod

Photo by Kong Ruksiam on Pexels.com

“Too many churches have stopped being fishers of men, and have become keepers of the aquarium,” said Pastor Ray at Bayside Church in Sacramento, CA in his Refuel devotional today.  http://baysideonline/devotionals/refuel-2018

(Go to today’s refuel: 3/28/19)

Check it out.

Pastor Ray suggested that as “Keepers of the Aquarium” we miss the chance to reach out beyond our own to help others. He suggested ways we might be effective “Fishers of Men.”

Our Aquariums

The imagery of us church-goers just swimmin’ in our own little tanks and feeding off of one another and keeping to ourselves tickled and troubled me. Tickled, when I realized we, like these jellyfish, all look about the same – very little diversity – and we’re swimming around in our own little circles, taking care of each other. Troubled, when I see that even in our own little space, our feelers are not quite touching most of the time!

jellyfish inside an aquarium

Photo by Nguyen Tran on Pexels.com

 

Be Inspired

The devotional (I hope you clicked on the link and heard the message) inspired me to look again at my servant/service role.

Oh sure, Bob & I are teaching a Sunday School – – – three darling little 3 to 6 year olds – – –  they feed our souls! But, how are we being Fishers of People? How are we reaching outside our aquarium to spread the Good News to others in the world?

Blog

One way is by the messages we post on our blogs. JanBeek is all about “Loving One Another.” Not just those in our aquarium, but in the lakes and rivers and big blue sea, too. I love my growing list of followers. I love that you represent countries outside the USA and states outside Montana! I hope you find inspiration here. I aspire to inspire and increase your belief in the grace of God, your faith in our fellow human beings, and the desire to reach out in love.

How Do We Show Our Love?

Yesterday I heard on FaceBook a fantastic message by the founder of https://www.charitywater.org/  I joined (with a small monthly pledge) the “Spring” to help provide clean water to more people in the world. Hopefully, the message of the Deliverer of Living Water will accompany the new wells provided by the teams who go to care for and share with these needy folks. Look at their website and see the teams of young people who are traveling to impoverished areas and bringing new hope. It’ll warm your heart!

So far, the statistics for CharityWater reports these successes:

35,281

Water projects
funded

 

9,562,163

People will get
clean water

 

37

Local partners

 

27

Countries

All donations (100%) go to the clean water projects. Salaries and administrative expenses are paid by companies, partners, philanthropists who contribute for that purpose. My little amount each month goes directly to the intended purpose: to fund clean water projects and delivery to those in need. Yay! That’s one way to swim outside your aquarium!

 

Find a Need Beyond Your Aquarium

Maybe you’ll look at ways you can improve your service to others, too. Reach out to your neighbors, your local Food Bank, Medical Center, Senior Living facility, Library, etc. There countless “fish” out there in your local sea of troubled waters who need what you have to give.

Reach Beyond Your Borders

Look for world-wide worthwhile projects that touch your heart. I am a follower and advocate of Bob Goff’s Love Does project. Another of my small monthly pledges helps this international project that touches my heart.

Bob Goff says, “We have been fighting for human rights and providing education to children in conflict zones for over 15 years.”

You’ll see him on his website – smiling his goofy smile and inviting you to get involved.

 

Bob Goff

Bob is a New York Times best selling author (Get his book titled, Love Does, if you have not already read it). He was a recognized lawyer for over 25 years. In 2001 he saw a need in India and founded what is now known as Love Does.

 

100%

Bob promises, “We understand it can be daunting to know where to give your time and financial resources. We promise that 100% of every dollar you give will go directly to fund our international programs.”

 

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Transparent

I promote LoveDoes.org because I have confidence in the work it is doing to improve the lives of countless people in need. Especially his work providing educational opportunities for children is near and dear to my heart. I receive regular updates.

Bob Goff says, ” At Love Does we strive to be transparent.  We have years of a proven track record and we want to invite you in to be curious. Ask questions! We want you to feel comfortable with where you are investing.”

Search Your Heart

Find the places, the people, the needs that touch your heart. Act today to reach out. Don’t get stuck in your aquarium!

starfish on brown stone

Photo by Guillaume Meurice on Pexels.com

 

Be a Fisher of People – not just the Keeper of Your Aquarium!

Praying for Others


Do you have a friend or loved one, a child or grandchild
who is part of your daily prayers?

I do!

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Do you remember, Chris,  my “Montana Mountain Man”?
He’s my youngest grandson,
who was born and raised by our daughter
and her husband in Switzerland.

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He came to Montana to live with us last year
for a month or so. He needed to get a new lease on life,
and look afresh at his life’s options.

After some exploration (remember he is a US citizen),
he decided to join the Job Corps in Anaconda, MT.
Chris got a new look and began his new venture.

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This week he started his real training.
Up to now, Chris has spent six weeks in orientation.
He has washed dishes until he was ready to scream!
He has cleaned floors and learned rules, rules, rules.
It is important to learn that rules are necessary
if you intend to live peacefully with one another.

person holding brown card

Photo by Miguel Constantin Montes on Pexels.com

If we had no rules,
we would be in even worse shape
as a people,
as a nation,
as a world –
than we are now!

black and green desk globe

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

So, Chris learned the rules.
He paid his “dues” as a new inductee,
and he made new friends.
Now he is starting his chosen training:
Heavy Equipment Mechanic.

low angle photography of orange excavator under white clouds

When Chris finishes this training,
he will be set to get a job in an area
that has been deemed to have  great need in our USA.

I pray to God that even if he chooses not to go into this field,
the experiences he is having and the skills he is gaining
will prepare him for a more productive and fulfilling life.

My prayer is for
his health,
his success,
his happiness,
and his continued growth
and maturity as a Christian.

belief bible book business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why am I sharing this with you,
my blogging friends?
Because I am convinced that prayer matters.
I am convinced that our prayers
are heard by God,
and His desire is to give us
positive answers to the prayers
we bring to him from the bottom of our hearts.

So, I encourage you to think about the loved ones,
the friends and family who need God’s intervention in their lives.
Bring your petitions to the Lord in prayer.
Ask for God’s will to be done in their lives.

 

I believe God hears.
God cares.
God responds,
and our prayers matter.

Do you believe that, too?

 

World’s Six Best Doctors


The World’s Six Best Doctors

 

adult care cure doctor

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  Steve Jobs Died a Billionaire at age 56

This is his final essay:

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world.  In some others’ eyes, my life is the epitome of success.  However, aside from work, I have little joy.  In the end, my wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.  At this moment, lying on my bed and recalling my life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in have paled and become meaningless in the face of my death.

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone bear your sickness for you.  Material things lost can be found or replaced.  But there is one thing that can never be found when it’s lost – Life.  Whichever stage in life you are in right now, with time, you will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well and cherish others.  As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we realize that a $300 or a $30 watch both tell the same time.  You will realize that your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.  Whether you fly first class or economy, if the plane goes down – you go down with it

Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth, that is true happiness!  Don’t educate your children to be rich.  Educate them to be happy.  So when they grow up they will know the value of things and not the price.  Eat your food as your medicine, otherwise you have to eat medicine as your food.

The One who loves you will never leave you for another because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find a reason to hold on. There is a big difference between a human being and being human.  Only a few really understand it.  You are loved when you are born.  You will be loved when you die.  In between, you have to manage!

The six best doctors in the world are sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and friends.   Maintain them in all stages and enjoy a healthy life.”

 

Thanks for reading this, my blogging friends. I found it to be sad, and yet very inspirational. Certainly worth reading and heeding. It’s not the six “doctors” I expected to hear about! The absence of faith or any mention of God hit me. I wonder if that void accounted for his sentence, “… aside from work, I have little joy.”

Steve wrote, “You are loved when you are born.” I pray that is true of everyone, but sadly, I fear it is not. I am painfully aware of the fact that some children are born to a parent who does not want him/her. Some are abused, neglected, or abandoned.

Steve wrote, “You will be loved when you die.” I wish that were true for everyone, but sadly, I fear it is not always the case, either. Some people die alone, feeling very unloved.

He said, “… in between, you have to manage.” Yes, we do! But how? What guides your “management”?

Which of his pieces of advice were most meaningful for you? What bits of wisdom would you add?

Thought-provoking, isn’t it?

 

Skills to Become Employable


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Which of these 13 skills do you think are most important?

Our 23-year-old grandson went with us to the Job Corps site in Anaconda, MT yesterday. We’re looking at various options for his future training, education, exploration, and employment. This poster caught my eye.

Are those skills listed in priority order, or would you prioritize them differently?

Are there points on this list that you think are not as important as others?

Are there skills missing from this list that you think should be added?

An instructor of carpentry with whom we spoke yesterday at the job center said, “I can teach students to become a carpenter, but I can’t teach them to work.”

The work ethic is something students have or don’t. Do you believe that?

Talk to me!

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