Reflections for the week of 2.3.2020
Monday 2/3/20 Bless the Lord, all His works. Bless the Lord in His domain. Bless the Lord my soul. Psalm 103:22
What does it mean to “bless the Lord”? I thought the Lord is the one who is supposed to do the blessing. When we show
Reverence to the things of the Lord we are blessing him. Treating people, our planet, ourselves with respect and reverence
Is blessing God. That show’s great promise for a good life.
Tuesday 2/4/20 O Lord you are the portion of my inheritance and my cup. You maintain my lot. Psalm 16:5.
God has tremendous reverence for me and you because he shares life with us, does what helps us live better.
I would like to be that way with other people; help them live a better life by showing them reverence.
Wednesday 2/5/20 I will both lie down in peace and sleep; you alone O Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8.
In times of trouble and uncertainty I can respect myself knowing god covers me with his blanket of love that gives peace and sleep and security.
Thursday 2/6/20 Though the Lord is on high yet he regards the lowly. Psalm 138:6.
What an awesome and uplifting feeling it is when someone you look up to shows you great reverence and respect. Show someone some reverence and respect today who is thought to be “lowly”.
Friday 2/7/20 The Lord upholds all who fall and raises all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14.
The Lord really thinks a lot of us when we mess up and he forgives us. It takes great reverence for someone to give another a second, third or forth chance or even 7×70 chances.
Saturday 2/8/20 Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Psalm 144:15.
Maybe my happiest moments in life can be when God is in charge. But I have to acknowledge his power when he shows reverence by making me happy.
Sunday 2/9/20 Seek the Lord and His strength; seek his face evermore! Psalm 105:4 .
When you know where your self worth comes from, you know God reverences you by giving you what you need to have a good life during troubled times.
Reflections for January 27-February 1, 2020
A happy person was interviewed and asked about why he was always happy? He replied: “Every morning I tell myself, that I have two choices for that day – to be in a good mood or in a bad. I choose the good one. And when something wrong happens, I can be sad and angry or I can learn from it instead. I choose to learn. I refuse to snap at people around me. Thus I choose the positive side of life. Life is all about choices. You can choose how people or situation will affect your mood, your life. And If you’d like to know what your choices have been, look at yourself and the life you have lived. What you see is the choices you’ve made.”
Mahatma Gandhi: “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
“The lotus is a beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. …
Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: challenges, hardships, sadness, loss, illness, dying and death.
If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”
But beware: Oftentimes it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.
“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.
You can climb it and cross to the other side.
You can go around it.
You can dig under it.
You can fly over it.
You can blow it up.
You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.
You can turn around and go back the way you came.
Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”
Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never learn to fly.
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they are going to pass away by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
Nothing is black or white, nothing’s ‘us or them.’ But then there are magical, beautiful things in the world. There’s incredible acts of kindness and bravery, and in the most unlikely places, and it gives you hope.
Make this your simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness!
Reflections for January 20-26, 2020
Monday Jan. 20, 2020
Because the patient has a need, we have a job to do.
Because the patient has a choice, we must be the better choice.
Because the patient has sensibilities, we must be considerate.
Because the patient has an urgency, we must be quick.
Because the patient is unique, we must be flexible.
Because the patient has high expectations, we must excel.
Because the patient has influence, we have the hope of more patients.
Because of the patient, we exist.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive, because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive, because you habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference.
Friday, January 24, 2020
Courage is when you do what you know is right, even if it is the more difficult and unpopular choice. Courage is something that builds new strength each time it is exercised.
Saturday. January 25, 2020
Courage is how problems are turned into opportunities. Courage is why some people are able to move the situation forward though there seems to be no hope.
Sunday January 26, 2020
Courage is not something that you must obtain or struggle to develop. Courage is a choice that can be yours the moment you decide to use it.
Non attributed quotes are from the CHIreflectionpool.org
Week of January 13, 2020
MONDAY 1/13/20 NORMAL IS A VERY RELATIVE TERM. NORMAL WEATHER IS ONE THING FOR THE EAST COAST AND QUITE ANOTHER THING FOR THE WEST COAST. A NORMAL MEAL LOOKS ONE WAY FOR A 5 YEAR OLD AND LOOKS VERY DIFFERENTLY FOR A 75 YEAR OLD. A NORMAL WORK DAY FELT A CERTAIN WAY 25 YEARS AGO AND FEELS LIKE A DIFFERENT KIND OF ANIMAL TODAY. I’M FINDING THAT I HAVE TO APPROACH MY NORMAL WORK DAY WITH A VERY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE TODAY THAN I DID YEARS AGO. THERE ARE MANY THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOU IT TODAY. BUT I NEED A JOB. I WANT TO ENJOY WHAT I DO. I WANT TO FEEL GOOD AT THE END OF THE DAY. WHILE I WILL PUSH FOR CHANGE AND WHAT I THINK IS REASONABLE, IN THE END ITS UP TO ME WHAT KIND OF DAY I HAVE. THANK YOU LORD FOR THE ABILITY TO WORK. HELP ME SEE A BLESSING IN EACH DAY I CAN WORK.
TUESDAY 1/14/20 FOR TODAY TO BE A GOOD DAY FOR ME I ONLY NEED A FEW THINGS. I NEED TO FEEL OK. I NEED THE SUN TO SHINE; THE TEMPERATURE DOESN’T MATTER. I NEED MY CAR TO RUN WELL. I NEED TO HAVE A COUPLE OF GOOD EXPERIENCES. THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE EARTH SHATTERING, JUST GOOD. AND I NEED TO FEEL THAT I MATTER IN SOME WAY. SO WHEN ONE OR ALL OF THOSE BASIC ELEMENTS IS MISSING AND NOT IN THE FORCAST I NEED TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. THERE ARE MANY REASONS OR EXCUSES TO NOT HAVE A GOOD DAY. BUT IN THE END YOU STILL WANT TO FEEL OK AT THE END OF THE DAY. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. YOU JUST HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT THAT IS AND PLUG INTO IT. I’M THINKING JESUS PROBABLY ALWAYS HAD A GOOD DAY. BUT WHEN YOU READ THE GOSPELS YOU CAN SEE HE HAD A LOT OF CRAPPY STUFF HAPPEN IN HIS DAY.
WEDNESDAY 1/15/20 JUST WHO DO YOU THINK IS IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE. I LIKE TO THINK THAT I AM. THERE ARE SO MANY DECISIONS I CAN MAKE THAT DETERMINE WHO I AM, WHAT HAPPENS TO ME, WHERE I GO, WHOM I LOVE, HOW MUCH MONEY I MAKE. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. IN THEORY THAT SOUNDS PRETTY AWESOME. BUT MANY TIMES I FELT MY DAY OR WEEK OR YEAR HASN’T REALLY GONE THAT WAY. THINGS HAPPEN BEYOND MY CHOICE, THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER. OFTEN I HAVE MADE A CHOICE AND GOTTEN A MUCH DIFFERENT RESULT THAN WHAT I WAS EXPECTING. PRETTY DEPRESSING SOMETIMES, AT LEAST FOR ME. WHEN WE LOOK IN THE SCRIPTURES WE SEE THAT THE LORD IS REALLY THE ONE IN CHARGE. SO DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE LITTLE CONTROL OR SAY IN HOW MY LIFE GOES TODAY, NEXT YEAR? AM I A TOY TRUCK THAT GOD PUSHES IN THE DIRECTION HE FEELS LIKE SENDING ME TODAY? WHEN MY MOTHER IN LAW DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE “WHY” OF SOMETHING, SHE WOULD ALWAYS SHRUG HER SHOULDERS AND SAY “GOD’S THE BOSS”. WHEN I PROFESS IN FAITH THAT GOD IS IN CHARGE, WHAT AM I REALLY SAYING. HOW ARE GOD AND I WORKING TOGETHER SO I CAN BE A COMPASSIONATE, SUCCESSFUL AND INTEGRATED PERSON? ONLY I CAN ANSWER THAT.
THURSDAY 1/16/20 56 YEARS AGO MY GRANDFATHER DIED. IT WAS ALSO THE BIRTHDAY OF ONE OF MY COUSINS. I THOUGHT “HOW HORRIBLE FOR HER TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN ON HER BIRTHDAY”. THERE ARE A LOT OF TIMES I FEEL THAT SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED AT THE WRONG TIME. IT MIGHT BE THE WORST POSSIBLE TIME. IT MIGHT BE A TIME THAT WAS INCONVENIENT. IT MIGHT BE A TIME THAT MADE ME CHANGE MY PRIORITIES FOR THE DAYS AHEAD. THE BIBLE TELLS US THERE IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING, A TIME FOR EVERY SEASON UNDER THE SUN. WHEN I WAKE UP TODAY I SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT WHAT’S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN TODAY THAT WILL BE GOOD FOR ME AND SOMEONE ELSE. WHEN I GO TO BED TONIGHT I NEED TO LOOK BACK AT THE DAY AND SEE WHAT WAS GOOD FOR ME AND FOR SOMEONE ELSE. THEN I WILL UNDERSTAND WHY I WORK HERE, WHY I LIVE HERE. THEN I CAN LOOK FORWARD TO TOMORROW WITH SOME EXCITEMENT.
FRIDAY 1/17/20 FOR ME FRIDAY IS ALWAYS THE 2ND BEST DAY OF THE WEEK BECAUSE IT COMES BEFORE THE WEEKEND. I WORK ON SUNDAYS BUT I ALMOST ALWAYS HAVE SATURDAY OFF. SO SATURDAY IS THE BEST DAY OF THE WEEK FOR ME. ITS OPEN AND FAIRLY CLEAR. I KNOW THERE ARE THINGS I NEED TO DO BUT I CAN ALWAYS DO THEM ANOTHER TIME IF I WANT OR MAYBE EVEN NOT AT ALL. ITS NOT UNUSUAL THOUGH FOR A DAY OFF FROM MY JOB TO GET FILLED AND CLUTTERED WITH PERSONAL OR FAMILY TASKS THAT INVOLVE ME. PERSONAL OR FAMILY COMMITMENTS OR BORING TASKS NEED HONORED AND TAKEN CARE OF. BUT WE SEE IN THE CREATION STORY IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS THAT GOD RESTED. HE TOOK TIME TO DO THAT. HE MUST HAVE NEEDED THAT. BUT HOW CAN THAT BE, THAT GOD WOULD NEED TO REST? IT MUST BE A GODLY THING THEN, TO REST OR TAKE A DAY OFF. IT’S A DAY FOR ME GIVEN BY THE LORD. TAKE SOME TIME TO GET SOME REST HOWEVER THAT WORKS FOR YOU.
SATURDAY 1/18/20 YESTERDAY WAS PAYDAY. EVERY NOW AND THEN I MAKE THE MISTAKE OF LOOKING AT THE AMOUNT I MADE AND THEN THE AMOUNT THAT ACTUALLY GOT DEPOSITED. NOT A GOOD IDEA FOR ME. THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS THAT TAKE A BITE OUT OF MY CHECK. I’M ONLY GETTING A PART OF MY CHECK. SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE MY PAY CHECK. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT TAKE A BITE OUT OF ME. AND THIS MAKES ME FEEL LESS THAN WHO I REALLY AM. I FEEL SHORT CHANGED, CHEATED, TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, LIKE I WAS WHOLE BUT NOW I’M NOT COMPLETE. BUT GOD NEEDS ME TO INVEST MYSELF IN MY WORK, MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS, MY SURROUNDINGS. I’M NOT ALWAYS ABLE TO REINVEST MYSELF LIKE I SHOULD. BUT IT’S MY CALLING IN LIFE. THE BIBLE TELLS US “IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE”. INVESTING A PART OF MYSELF IN SOMETHING OR SOMEONE ELSE IS REALLY WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT. AND I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT WHEN I HAVE DONE THAT I HAVE BEEN MADE WHOLE. IT’S A GOOD FEELING.
SUNDAY 1/19/20 ON A COLD WINTER DAY OR JUST A COLD RAINY DAY THERE’S NOTHING THAT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER THAN TO EAT SOME PIPING HOT CHILI OR DELICIOUS, SAVORY PASTA. SOME PEOPLE FIND THAT A BOWL OF SOUP ACCOMPLISHES THAT. COUNTRY FOLK WOULD SAY THAT IT “WARMS YOUR INARDS”. I JUST FEEL COMFORTED, TAKEN CARE OF, CARESSED. THERE ARE MANY COLD, RAINY , WINTERY DAYS IN MY LIFE. WE ALL HAVE THOSE DAYS. SOMETIMES THEY CAN STRETCH ON FOR WEEKS OR EVEN MONTHS. GOD USUALLY REMIND ME THAT HE GIVES ME THE INGREDIENTS i NEED TO WARM UP, GET COMFY OR REJUVINATED . MY CUPBOARD SOMETIMES RUNS BARE, BUT EVENTUALLY THE LORD HELPS ME GET IT STOCKED UP AGAIN. HOW RESOURCEFUL I CAN BE WHEN I LET GOD BE WHO HE IS AND DO WHAT HE DOES BEST, TAKE CARE OF ME!
Week of January 6, 2020
Arnold Bennett, the British novelist, had a publisher who boasted about the extraordinary efficiency of his secretary. One day while visiting the publisher’s office, Bennett asked her: “Your boss claims you’re extremely efficient. What’s your secret?”
“It’s not my secret,” said the secretary, “it’s his.” Each time she did
something for him, no matter how insignificant, she explained, he never failed to acknowledge and appreciate it. Because of this, she took infinite pains with her work.
Acknowledge someone today for their good work. Say something positive to one another. A word of kindness or thoughtfulness does not cost one penny but may touch and save someone’s day or life.
Have you heard of the triple filter test introduced by Philosopher Socrates?
Before you talk about or say something to someone it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to say about the person is true?
The second filter is the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to say about the person is something good?
The third filter is the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to say about someone is going to be useful?
If what you are going to say about someone is neither true nor good nor even useful, then refrain at all cost to say anything at all. This is the Christian way!
Ask yourself: Have I been Christ-like to my neighbor and coworker in my words and deeds this past year? Remember: Our words often reflect the condition of our heart. During this new year, resolve to not associate yourself with those who gossip. That same person who gossips to you about others is more than likely gossiping about you as well.
This is a GOOD new year resolution for all of us!
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me that I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Most of the time, all people want you to do is to get into the swamp with them. You do not need to talk but be silent…all they want is for someone to hear them and to be present!
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: “I don’t believe that God exists.”
“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.
“Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving a God who would allow all of these things.”
The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: “You know what? Barbers do not exist.”
“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”
“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”
“Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens, is, people do not come to me.”
“Exactly!”- affirmed the customer. “That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don’t go to Him and do not look for Him. They even force Him out of their family, their school, their workplace, their society. And that’s why there are so much pain and suffering in the world.
Throughout this new year, put God at the center of everything you do. Make Him the Pilot to your destination. Then and only then, will you find a purpose and meaning in your work, no matter how difficult or challenging.
Nathan thought it would be nice to buy his girlfriend a little gift. Always short of money, he thought long and hard about what that present might be’
Unable to decide, Nathan entered a department store and in the cosmetics section he asked the girl, ‘How about some perfume?’ She showed him a bottle costing $150.
‘Too expensive,’ muttered Nathan.
The young lady returned with a smaller bottle for $75. ‘Oh dear,’ Nathan groused, ‘still far too much.’
Growing rather annoyed at Nathan, the sales girl brought out a tiny $15 bottle and offered it to him. Nathan became really agitated, “I’d like to see something really cheap.”
So the sales girl handed him a mirror.
So important for us to always look at ourselves in the mirror…the mirror of our heart and soul. Wrestle and struggle with decisions we make or situations we find ourselves in…Remember: Self reflection is critical for growth during this New Year!
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
God of hope, who brought love into this world,
be the love that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought peace into this world,
be the peace that dwells between us.
God of hope, who brought joy into this world,
be the joy that dwells between us.
God of hope, the rock we stand upon,
be the center, the focus of our lives
always, and particularly this New Year. Amen.
Week of December 30, 2019
Monday, December 30, 2019
Faith is NOT about everything turning out okay, Faith is being Okay no matter how things turn out. So often I hear people promising that everything will be okay if they just have faith, but that is not the definition of faith. Faith is the assurance that we will be okay, regardless of our circumstances through our faith in God.
Tuesday. Dec. 31, 2019
New Year’s Eve
I love all of those lists of the year’s best – best songs, movies, news stories, etc. It makes ending the year so momentous. We sometimes do that with our own lives – what was good for you about 2019? If you are like most people the first things that come to mind are often things we wish had not happened. But reframe and ask yourself for your ten best list – they exist and will help you recognize the good things that have happened in your life.
New Year’s Day
I love a new calendar. The possibilities seem endless. It is less thrilling to enter a new year with all your dates entered electronically – it is just not as powerful – although very efficient. But the start of a new year is hopeful. The problems that plagued us in the past don’t have to be present on the blankness of a year yet to unfold. As the New Year begins let’s start we the promise of hope and the reminder that God is one who continues to provide a new beginning.
“Some rabbis, ministers, priests, and scholars have suggested a different interpretation of the Eighth Commandment [love thy neighbor as thyself], which says that to be rude to someone, to treat any human being in a demeaning way, or even to fail to respond to a greeting is a theft of a person’s self-respect. If you ever have been on the receiving end of someone’s coldness or indifference, or have ever been in a good mood until someone treated you like you didn’t exist, then you have some idea what it means for someone to steal your self-worth.”
— Leonard Felder in The Ten Challenges
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder
When you can’t think of a reason to go on, think of a reason to start over. There’s a difference between giving up and starting over in the right direction.
Use the words “From now on…” to release you from past regrets and to guide you toward a positive new beginning. Marc Chernoff
Week of December 23rd
MONDAY 12/23/19 PSALM 32 TELLS US “BLESSED IS HE WHOSE TRANSGRESSION IS FORGIVEN, WHOSE SIN IS OVERLOOKED.”. WE DON’T OFTEN THINK OF CHRISTMAS AS A TIME TO
FORGIVENESS BUT THAT’S THE REASON JESUS WAS BORN. HIS BIRTH GIVES US A CLEAN SLATE, A FRESH START. HAVE YOU FELT LIKE THAT IN THE PAST OR DO YOU
NEED TO HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE TODAY.? CHRISTMAS SAYS YOU CAN START OVER!
TUESDAY 12/24/19 PRAY PSALM 8 WHICH STARTS OUT BY TELLING US “OH LORD OUR LORD, HOW MAJESTIC IS YOUR NAME”. MAJESTIC! WHAT KIND OF IMAGES DOES THAT BRING TO YOUR
` HEART? MAYBE DEEP BRILLIANT COLORED CLOTHING FOR ROYALTY. PERHAPS A SPECTACULAR IMAGE IN A PAINTING OR PICTURE. HOW ABOUT SOMETHING MAJESTIC
BEING A SIMPLE CLOTH COVERING, A CRYING LITTLE NEW BORN. NOW THAT’S CHRISTMAS, SIMPLY MAJESTICALLY SPECTACULAR. ENJOY THAT SIMPLE PRESNECE.
WEDNESDAY 12/25/19 THIS IS THE DAY THAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT. HECTIC RUNNING AROUND, SPENDING MONEY WE MAY NOT HAVE, STRESSING OUT ON OUR LAST NERVE BECAUSE WE’RE
JUST NOT QUITE READY. WE’LL JESUS IS READY FOR YOU AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS TODAY. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THAT SPIRITUAL PRESNECE IN FAITH.
THURSDAY 12/26/19 IF I DROVE PAST THE HOUSE OF ONE OF MY COUSINS THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, THE REAL TREE, BEFORE ARTIFICIAL GREEN ONES, WOULD BE RESTING UP AGAINST THE
SIDE OF HIS HOUSE. CLEARLY CHRISTMAS WAS OVER. BUT IT’S NEVER REALLY OVER. THE TREE MAY BE DOWN, PRESENTS MAY HAVE BEEN EXCHANGED OR PUT AWAY.
TOYS MAY ALREADY BE BROKEN OR CAST ASIDE. BUT HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL. IT GOES ON FOREVER AND THAT’S WHY WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS EVERY YEAR.
WE ARE STUBBORNLY OPTIMITIC, ETERNALLY POSITIVE, KNOWING JESUS CAME SO THAT WE CAN BE LOVED AND PASS THAT ON.
FRIDAY 12/27/19 THE NEXT BIG DAY AROUND THE CORNER IS NEW YEAR’S DAY. I DON’T MAKE RESOLUTIONS THE NIGHT BEFORE. ITS REALLY A NEW YEAR BECAUSE WE CELEBRATED
CHRISTMAS A FEW DAYS AGO. IT DOESN’T MATTER. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY SONGS WE SING OR HORNS WE TOOT OR MEMORIES WE HAVE. WHAT DOES
MATTER IS THAT ONCE AGAIN,YOU AND I HAVE A CHANCE AGAIN AT A NEW WAY OF GETTING THRU THE DAY AND BEING BETTER.
SATURDAY 12/28/19 THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS CHAPTER 3 STATES “IF ANYONE HEARS ME KNOCK AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL ENTER HIS HOUSE AND DINE WITH HIM AND HE WITH ME.”
EATING ALONE OR WITH A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE, DIET WISE IS ALL ABOUT THE SAME. BUT EATING IS A VERY POWERFUL FAITH EXPERIENCE. GOD IS WITH US WHEN
WE’RE EATING WHETHER WE’RE ALONE OR WITH A FEW OR A LOT OF PEOPLE. THINK ABOUT WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON THERE THAT THE LORD CHOSE TO SPEAK THIS
SCRIPTURE TO US. IT WILL HELP US HAVE A BETTER YEAR.
SUNDAY 12/29/19 MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! FELEZ NAVIDAD, ETC. SOON THINGS WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL. THE COLD WILL BE WITH US FOR A FEW
MONTHS. IT MAY BE A BIT HARDER TO BE CHEERI AND BRIGHT WHEN COLD GLOOMY DAYS LAY HEAVILY ABOVE US. BUT THE SPIRIT IS UNRELENTING AND WHEN THE
SPIRIT IS UNRELENTING SO IS THE BODY UNRELENTING. THE CHRISTMAS SEASON AND THE NEW YEAR MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO PLUG INTO THAT SUPPLY OF
PEACE AND OPTIMISM AND GOODNESS. DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO KEEP THE SUPPLY LINE OPEN.
Week of December 16th
As streets fill with shoppers
Bright lights and tempting offers
Christmas songs and children’s laughter
You lead us along a different path
To a desert river and a Prophetic voice
A call to repentance
A call to service
A call to immerse ourselves
In living water that will never run dry
A call to prepare a way in our own lives
For the Savior of the world to enter in
To know the touch of tender mercy
And rest in your forgiving love
For your faithful prophets
And your Living Word
We give you thanks. Amen
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things. Amen.
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth, may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving. Amen.
You are the Father who welcomes home
The prodigal who has wandered far
You are the Father who prepares a meal
When others would simply ignore
You are the Father whose love extends
Beyond our thoughts or minds
You are the Father who knows our hearts
And yet loves us as we are
You are the Father whose word we trust
In whose presence we have no fear
You are the Father whose tender touch
Makes a wounded spirit whole
You are the Father whose only Son
Was born that he might die
You are the Father whose gracious love
We celebrate on Christmas day. Amen
A woman went into a post office to buy some stamps for her Christmas cards. “What denomination do you want?” asked the lady at the counter. “Good Lord” she replied, “Has it come to this? I suppose you’d better give me twenty Catholic and twenty Baptist.”
In the midst of the hustle and bustle don’t forget to keeps your sense of humor. In the midst of this busy season don’t forget the reason of why we celebrate.
Eternal God, As we prepare for the coming of your Son on that Christmas morning, help us to also be prepared for your Second coming at a time we least expected. And when He comes, may He finds us watching and praying. May the Kingdom that we build right here and right now be our eternal home where we will unite with the heavenly hosts in singing your praises and honor. In the Christ Child, the Emmanuel, God with us, Prince of Peace, we pray, Amen.
Thank you, God for the wonderful gift of your son, Jesus, as we prepare to celebrate His birth. Help us to remember Him as we give and receive gifts, taking time to pray for each person and for those who have nothing, especially the sick, lonely, and orphaned. Help us, Lord, to fill this Christmas with You and with your love, peace and joy. Amen.
Dec. 9, 2019
“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something…My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try and make a difference.
There are no excuses for why we can’t make a difference regardless of our current circumstances. What can you do today that makes the world a better place?
Dec. 10, 2019
We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. So, don’t stay mad for too long. Learn to forgive. Love with all you heart. Have fun. Live your life the way you want to live it. Don’t worry about people that don’t like you. Enjoy the ones that do.
Dec. 11, 2019
Peace is not when everyone agrees. It is when we can respect our disagreements and still pay in the sandbox together.
Are you a Brown’s fan or a Steeler’s fan? Around here you can be either – or even not care at all. The reality is we don’t have to root for the same team to be able to work together. So it is with many types of disagreements, that shouldn’t get in the way of our common goals.
Dec. 12, 2019
Integrity is not something you show others. It is how you behave behind their back
Integrity is what you do when no one else is looking, so are you proud of what you do or hiding what you do?
Dec. 13, 2019
Wisdom is knowing the right path to take…Integrity is taking it.
A young preacher was preaching and did not use a biblical text – heresy to the church. However, he used the Nike advertisement of the time “Just Do it!” Meaning nearly always you know the right thing to do – just do it.
Dec. 14, 2019
Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.
Dec. 15, 2019
We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles. Jimmy Carter
We live in an ever changing world and sometimes we have trouble keeping up with the changes. We don’t like the changes or it is just too hard to adjust. The latest technology is just about to do me in! But in the midst of the changes we need to remember what doesn’t change – the way we treat people and what is most important to us.
A FEW THOUGHTS THIS WEEK FOR A VERY HECTIC TIME OF THE YEAR.
WHILE THE WORLD AROUND YOU IS SHOUTING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION TODAY, BE SURE TO MAKE A QUIET MOMENT OR TWO FOR YOURSELF. IT’S AS NECESSARY AS HAVING SOMETHING TO DRINK.
DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE GOD DOESN’T TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME. WELL, OF COURSE HE DOESN’T! THAT’S PRETTY OBVIOUS. BUT HE LOVES US ALL THE SAME. ITS UP TO ME AND YOU TO FIGURE OUT HOW THAT WORKS.
THE FATHER SENT HIS SON TO RESTORE THE BODY AS WELL AS THE SOUL OF EACH PERSON. THAT MUST BE WHAT YOU AND I ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING SINCE WE WORK HERE. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO HERE, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S DAY.
HELPING PEOPLE IN PAIN IS PART OF THE JOB HERE, NOT JUDGING WHY THEY’RE IN PAIN. SURE, WE HAVE FEELINGS, POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE TAKE CARE OF AND WORK WITH.
REMEMBER, YOU COULD BE THE ONLY ONE THAT GIVES THEM SOMETHING POSITIVE THIS WEEK.
THE LORD DRAWS YOU CLOSER TO HIM THROUGH THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. WHAT A BLESSING FOR YOU TO BE AROUND SOMEONE HERE AT WORK AND BE THE ONE THAT DRAWS THEM CLOSER TO THE LORD.
THIS IS THE DAY THAT “WILL LIVE IN INFAMY” ACCORDING TO PRESIDENT ROSSEVELT. OTHER DAYS OF INFAMY HAVE FOLLOWED. A DAY OF INFAMY IS A TRAGIC DAY THAT FOREVER ALTERS THE COURSE OF HISTORY, LIKE 11/22/63 OR 9/11/O1. WE HAVE OUR OWN PERSONAL DAYS OF INFAMY. FOR ME ONE WAS 8/25/03. DON’T LET THAT DAY DESTROY YOU BUT MAKE YOU STRONGER. IT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU WANT IT.
IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS YET BUT ARE YOU ALREADY WISHING IT WAS OVER? TO MUCH OF THE WRONG THINGS TAKING UP YOUR TIME, ENERGY AND MONEY? WORRYING ABOUT THINGS THAT REALLY WONT MATTER MUCH NEXT MONTH? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR OWN TIME AND ENERGY AND MONEY. LET THOSE THINGS HELP YOU HAVE THE KIND OF CHRISTMAS YOU REALLY WANT AND THAT WILL MATTER TO YOU AND THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE.
Reflections on Compassion 11.18.19
“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors–in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”
As those who are working in the helping professions (and that is really all of us) helping others is what we have felt a call to do. We give help, but we also need help and that is our goal with one another to be both a giver and receiver of help.
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
Today’s world is filled with stress. Often people are sharing problems and we want to offer solutions, but in truth what we really need to offer is our listening ears. When in a stressful time the most compassionate thing we have to offer is to truly hear what is being said.
“Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”
Last week was Kindness day. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea, every day? One of the best teachers of kindness in the modern age has been Mr. Roger’s and while I missed cardigan day I don’t want to miss the intention of being kind to all those around me even when or maybe especially when I don’t feel like being kind.
“Some days, doing ‘the best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn’t perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else.”
How often do you feel like you’re –just getting by-, doing the best I can and recognizing you are still not doing enough – or at least as much as is needed. Don’t expect from yourself what is not possible to do, sometimes you have to cut yourself a break with your expectations. But we also need to do that with those around us. You never know what those around you are struggling with on any given day – choose to be kind to them.
“There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
I would not choose pain. I really don’t like it at all. But pain is a normal part of life whether it is physical pain, emotional or spiritual. Pain is what will cause us to make changes in our lives because change is challenging and never easy. Don’t wait to make the painless change, there really aren’t any – go ahead and make the changes that say you are growing and getting better.
Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”
In a world where we try not to acknowledge the people around us, we want to make a difference. Chose to make a difference and say something kind to those around you – at work, at home, at the store or in your neighborhood. Don’t wait for someone else to initiate kindness.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
A while back I paid $90 for the repair person to unplug my refrigerator and plug it back it. That fixed it. While I suppose I was grateful that it was not worse – it was a very expensive unplug. That is what we are supposed to try first with our electronics, too and it often works. We need that same unplugging – that restart ourselves will help us also work better.
Reflections for the week of November 11
IN THE LIFE OF FAITH NOVEMBER IS THE MONTH WE REMEMBER OUR LOVED ONES WHO HAVE DIED. IT IS ALSO THE MONTH THAT VETERANS’S DAY IS CELEBRATED. OUR REFLECTIONS THIS WEEK WILL FOCUS ON OUR DECEASED VETERANS AND THE FREEDOMS THEY HAVE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR IN OUR BLESSED AMERICA. I FOUND THESE 8 FREEDOMS IN MY CHURCH NEWSLETTER SO I’M SHARING THEM WITH YOU THIS WEEK WITH A LITTLE REFLECTION ON EACH ONE.
THE VETERAN HAS GIVEN US: FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, THE FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE, THE FREEDOM OF A FAIR TRIAL, THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND THE FREEDOM TO SALUTE THE FLAG
MONDAY 11/11/19 – TODAY IS VETERANS DAY SO WE LET OUR PATRIOTISM SHINE BRIGHTLY AND OUR FLAGS FLOW FREELY. IT’S THE VETERAN, NOT THE PREACHER,WHO HAS GIVEN US THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION. LIKE OTHER FREEDOMS WE CAN EASILY TAKE THIS ONE FOR GRANTED. PRACTICE THE FAITH YOU PROFESS. OTHERWISE ST PAUL TELLS US WE ARE A NOISY GONG AND A CLANGGING SYMBOL. REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT GOD, OR HOW YOU LIVE OUT THAT BELIEF, IT IS YOUR GUIDE. AND IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD THEN YOU PROBABLY AT LEAST BELIEVE IN TREATNIG PEOPLE WELL IN YOUR MORAL COMPASS AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR DOING THAT. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR OUR FREEDOM OF RELEGION.
TUESDAY 11/12/19 -IT IS THE VETERAN, NOT THE REPORTER, WHO HAS GIVEN US FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. LIKE OTHER FREEDOMS WE CAN EASILY TAKE THIS ONE FOR GRANTED. REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU THINK OR FEEL ABOUT THE PRESS, BE THANKFUL THAT WE HAVE A PRESS. REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICAL PERSUASION OR MORAL BELIEFS, WE’RE CALLED TO BE INFORMED AND EDUCATED ON WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND US. WE’RE THANKFUL GOD HAS GIVEN US THE WISDOM AND INTELLIGENCE TO SORT OUR FACT FROM FICTION. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR OUR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.
WEDNESDAY 11/13/19 IT’S THE VETERAN, NOT THE POET,WHO HAS GIVEN US FREEDOM OF SPEECH. WHAT A BLESSING TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK OUR MIND. IT SHOULD BE DONE WITHOUT FEAR OF REPERCUSSION. BUT WE KNOW IT COMES AT A PRICE. PHYSICAL, POLITICAL, SOCIAL DANGERS LURK AROUND THE CORNER WHEN YOU SAY WHAT YOU FEEL. THAT’S WHY GOD GIVES US THE GIFT OF FORTITUDE, THE COURAGE TO SAY AND DO WHAT THE MOMENT CALLS FOR. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH
THURSDAY 11/14/19 IT IS THE VETERAN, NOT THE MARCH OR PROTEST ORGANIZER, WHO HAS GIVEN US THE FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE. BEING A PART OF A CROWD CAN BE A DANGEROUS THING. YOU KNOW IF YOU’VE EVER TAKEN PART IN SOME SORT OF PROTEST OR MARCH. YOU GIVE UP SOME CONTROL TO THE SPIRIT OF THE GROUP TO BE A PART OF AN ASSEMBLY THAT HAS A MESSAGE TO SHARE AND SHOUT OUT. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR THE FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE.
FRIDAY 11/15/19 IT IS THE VETERAN, NOT THE LAWYER, WHO HAS GIVEN US THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL. THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE IS AN ONGOING BATTLE. SOME GET JUSTICE AND SOME SEEM TO BE ROBBED OF IT. I’M GLAD I LIVE IN A COUNTRY WERE I CAN WORK TO IMPROVE AND PERFECT THIS BASIC RIGHT AS FLAWED AS IT SOMETIMES IS. NOT EVERYONE WANTS JUSTICE. BUT WHEN YOU DO THEN YOU KNOW YOU WANT WHAT IS RIGHT. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL.
SATURDAY 11/16/19 IT IS THE VETERAN, NOT THE POLITICIAN, WHO HAS GIVEN US THE RIGHT TO VOTE. LAST TUESDAY WAS ELECTION DAY IN OHIO AND MOST ISSUES WERE LOCAL. ABOUT 25-30% OF THOSE ELIGIBLE VOTED. RATHER THAN FEEL BAD THAT ONLY ¼ OF THOSE ELIGIBLE VOTED, BE HAPPY THE OPPORTUNITY IS THERE AND THAT SO MANY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF IT. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR THE RIGHT TO VOTE.
SUNDAY 11/17/19 IT IS THE VETERAN, NO ONE ELSE, WHO GIVES US THE FREEDOM TO SALUTE THE FLAG. WHEN I SALUTE THE FLAG I FEEL I AM PLEDGING ALLEGIENCE TO MY COUNTRY WITH ALL OF ITS BLESSINGS AND IMPERFECTIONS. I AM EXPRESSING MY COMMITMENT TO IDEALS, CORE VALUES THAT ARE IN PLACE IN SOME WAY AND IN SOME FORM. I AM COMMITTING MYSELF TO WORKING HARD TO PUT THEM IN PLACE WHERE THEY ARE MISSING. THANK YOU VETERANS FOR THE FREEDOM I HAVE TO SALUTE THE FLAG, TO HANG IN ON MY PORCH, TO PLANT MANY OF THEM IN MY YARD AND TO PUT IT ON MY PARENTS GRAVES. AND THANK YOU GOD FOR THESE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE VETERANS.
Start a Gratitude Journal
The heart of man is like deep water. A gratitude journal can help draw out insight that can change your life.
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” —Proverbs 20:5
If life seems a little mundane, one of the best things you can do is start a gratitude journal. There are great benefits to writing down with regularity, authenticity, and transparency the things for which we’re grateful.
But first you must evaluate your motivation for doing a gratitude journal. If it’s just to appease someone else—not based on your own desire to live a fuller and happier life by becoming more aware of what you have—then it likely will not have much effect on you.
Focusing on the relationships you have rather than the stuff you’ve acquired will have a greater impact on you. Think less, not more. Consider what your life would be without the blessings you currently enjoy. This will help you become more aware of and grateful for those blessings already present in your life.
A gratitude journal can help draw out insight that can change your life. It is a wonderful way to start developing a lasting attitude transformation.
What are practical ways that you could invest more energy in being intentionally thankful?
In five minutes, how many blessings can you count?
Purchase a notebook and start a gratitude journal. You don’t have to write in your journal every day, but do commit to writing at least twice a week. Try this for six weeks and see if it makes a difference in how much you appreciate the blessings of life.
Learning from Piglet
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” —A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” —Psalm 56:3–4
I enjoyed reading A. A. Milne’s stories to my children when they were young. They always rooted for Piglet, the small and timid best friend of the story’s hero, Winnie the Pooh. I liked Piglet’s mind-set most of all.
Sometimes it can feel like life is all about competition and rivalry. Kids are told they must work their hardest to be stronger and more successful than their peers. We are told to pursue our ambitions and not let anything stand in our way. But not everyone can end up at the top.
What is it that makes some people grateful for what they have while others just want more and more? What creates such a distinct sense of entitlement in some while others seem quite satisfied with what they have, even in times of adversity?
Gratitude can light up your world instantly. Piglet seems to live in constant anxiety, yet he is a great friend because “his heart could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” Despite his small stature and timidity, he shifts his mind-set toward gratefulness in order to conquer his fears.
In what areas of life are you more focused on rivalry and ambition than on being grateful for what you already have?
Who do you know who seems satisfied with what they have in life? Do you admire that person or believe their focus hurts them more than it helps them?
In your journal, write down the areas in your life that you think may benefit from shifting your attitude toward gratitude. Interview someone you know who seems satisfied with and grateful for life’s blessings. Ask them how they maintain a focus of gratitude.
Days of Thanksgiving
Adversity can cultivate an attitude of gratefulness. It helps us remember not to take life for granted.
“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” —Philippians 4:10–11
Though it may seem counterintuitive, adversity can actually cultivate an attitude of gratitude within us. Adversity helps us remember not to take anything in life for granted. The American Thanksgiving Day holiday began with the Pilgrims traveling from England to America around 1620. The hopes and dreams of many were lost during or after the journey of the Mayflower. Yet they brought with them a concept—Days of Thanksgiving—that helped them to be grateful in spite of overwhelming challenges.
What would cause someone to cross a vast, unknown ocean in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? Life in Europe must have been terrible for anyone to be willing to risk a perilous sea voyage and then face the hardship of making a new life in America. When you begin to see that everything you have and everyone you rely on could be lost at any moment, it becomes quite difficult to take life for granted.
At one point in the Bible, the Apostle Paul wrote to his friends—while chained to a jail guard—that he had “learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” He was grateful for his life and didn’t take it for granted. He thanked God for it—as should we.
What are the kinds of things you take for granted in your life?
What are some ways that you can be grateful in spite of today’s difficult situations?
Make a list of your problems and how your current attitude affects your life. In your journal, list ways that you can shift your heart’s direction toward gratitude.
Recognition of the Good
First noticing the good in life instead of the bad creates an emotion that we experience as gratitude.
“Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country. The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.” —Deuteronomy 23:7–8
Noticing the good in life first instead of the bad creates an emotion that we experience as gratitude. In the Hebrew language the word “gratitude” is hakarat ha’tov; it means “recognition of the good” in all circumstances.
The story of Moses and the deliverance of the Israelites from generations of slavery in Egypt is interesting in the context of today’s Bible verse. The instruction is for the oppressed not to “despise” the oppressor but instead to shift their focus to gratitude for God’s deliverance through Moses’s leadership. The verses go on to say that eventually two former enemies may join together to worship God.
Regardless of the current circumstances in the Middle East, the principle taught in these verses is to be grateful even to our oppressors for the positive effect they may have had on our lives. This is not the same thing as being grateful for abuse. Rather, these verses point us toward being grateful for the good done to us even through tough circumstances. Learning to cultivate and develop this emotion in ourselves and in others can be very healing.
What are some ways that you can practice hakarat ha’tov and recognize the good in difficult circumstances?
What emotions do you experience when you think of people who have hurt you?
The story of Moses and how God uses him to deliver the Israelites from slavery (found in Exodus 2–14) is amazing. Some of it can be difficult to understand. You may need to discuss it with a friend or pastor who is well acquainted with the Scriptures in order to gain full perspective on the story. In your journal, consider ways that you can cultivate gratitude and recognize the good even in challenging circumstances.
True friendship is a rare commodity that must be cherished with deep gratitude.
“After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.” —1 Samuel 18:1–4
Do you have a friend who will always stay true to you? In a day when you can have literally thousands of “friends” or “followers” on social media sites, it’s easy to have lots of acquaintances but no real friends to count on in the direst of circumstances. Today’s verse is part of the story of David and Jonathan, whose close friendship is described as making them “one in spirit.”
The impression we get from the story is that David and Jonathan became friends quickly. David, a shepherd, and Jonathan, the prince and heir of the kingdom of Israel, shared a bond that went far beyond the difference in their backgrounds.
Two of the blessings of close friendship are trust and loyalty. Jonathan’s father, King Saul, became very jealous of David’s growing popularity with the public—dangerously so. David shared this problem with Jonathan. In spite of Jonathan’s disbelief that his father could behave in such a way, he chose to trust in and help his friend.
David and Jonathan understood the value of their relationship. True friendship is a rare and glorious commodity. It must be cherished with the deepest gratitude.
Have you ever connected with someone in a way that made you become close friends quickly?
Are you acquainted with someone with whom you think that, given the opportunity, a close friendship could develop?
In your journal, describe 3–5 ways that you can express gratitude to a close friend, thanking them for their friendship. How could you cultivate ways to deepen and expand this relationship?
Anger and Gratitude Don’t Mix
Gratitude can’t coexist with anger.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” —Philippians 4:12–13
Anger and gratitude mix together like oil and water; they are not close emotional partners. Basically, the two are opposites. Gratitude simply cannot coexist with anger.
Gratitude is usually expressed by giving thanks in an emotional expression of humility: “Thank you for what you have done.”
Anger is a reaction to a threat to your safety, a loved one, or something that you deem valuable. Its closest emotional partner is fear, and it can lead to bitterness, cynicism, and overall unhappiness. To experience true gratitude, anger must be set aside.
When Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty,” he’s describing two opposite experiences—and yet he is content in each situation. His secret is relying on God to give him strength to deal with the opposites in life. Through God’s strength, we can learn to let go of our anger and embrace gratitude and thanksgiving.
Have you noticed that you can’t be grateful or thankful when you are angry?
What are some of the ways that gratitude and choosing contentment in life’s circumstances are similar?
Paul wrote the book of Philippians while in jail—talk about a difficult circumstance! In your journal, list ways that you can intentionally choose gratitude and contentment in situations where you experience strong emotions like anger.
Choose Gratitude over a Bad Attitude
Gratitude is a shift in attitude that can renovate your world in an instant.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” —1 Chronicles 16:34
Sometimes my attitude toward life is quite pessimistic. I have a chronically optimistic friend who laughs and calls me “Eeyore” when I lament what I view as a negative and difficult situation. He’s always challenging my predisposition toward seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full. He challenges me to “give thanks in all circumstances,” even in dark times.
Gratitude is a shift in attitude that can renovate your world in an instant. Yet, at times, it seems daunting to rustle up the motivation to be grateful. With financial and relational stress, the seeming collapse of hopes and dreams, and the everyday difficulties of life, it can be hard to see abundance in your life.
All change begins with desire. But this isn’t about desire as a never-ending longing to be fulfilled. This is desire as the urge to engage and enlarge your vision for what your world can be. Choosing gratitude over gloominess may open your mind’s eye to possibilities you’ve never noticed.
Even Eeyore changed his perspective: “‘It’s snowing still,’ said Eeyore gloomily. . . .’And freezing.’ . . . ‘However,’ he said, brightening up a little, ‘we haven’t had an earthquake lately.’”
Well . . . it’s a start.
Is your perspective on life more optimistic or pessimistic?
If pessimistic, what are the things in your life that you feel are missing?
In your journal, reflect on your desire to shift your mental focus toward “giving thanks in all circumstances.” How would choosing gratitude over gloominess open your mind’s eye to new possibilities for your future?
Monday, October 7, 2019
Jealousy comes from counting others’ blessings instead of our own.
Jealousy never does us any good. What we think we see is never all that is real. When comparing our lives to others, we can always find those who are doing better and those who are doing worse. When we focus on our own blessings we can rejoice with what we actually have, rather than dismay over what someone else is enjoying.
Rev. Carol Ross Irwin
Tuesday October 8, 2019
A Prayer for Those Who Work in Catholic Health Care
Loving God, you created us with the capacity to heal, to restore and to offer peace through our role in Catholic health care ministry. Help us to be signs of love and compassion in the world today – honoring every person we meet who is in need of healing. When our burdens are heavy, renew us, remind us of the blessing of our calling and reawaken our commitment to the healing ministry. Amen.
Wednesday October 9, 2019
Lord, help me be a blessing today.
Help me to lessen the load of others.
Equip me to encourage, and cue me to show compassion.
Where I can,
help me walk alongside of those who need a friend, with a listening ear, and a helping hand.
Help me to not add to the burden of any person, in any way.
Allow me to voice words of sympathy, sorrow and caring.
Help me to also speak blessings, compliments, and congratulations wherever I’m able.
Give me a heart to comfort and not compare, and to serve without strife.
Lord, open my eyes to the ones who feel invisible.
Allow me to see those who aren’t seen.
May I notice those who feel unnoticed.
Lead me to love without conditions, believe the best in others, and shine your light to everyone I meet.
I pray others see Jesus in me today.
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Pick me up Lord, and hold me in Your loving arms. Protect me from the pressures of the day, and remove the heaviness from my heart. Inspire me with the knowledge that You and I together can handle anything. Amen.
Friday, October 11, 2019
Let the day flow with grace
Expect nothing. Give thanks.
Surrender. Be Open.
Speak only kindness
Impart only love
Never forget you are not done.
Give so you may receive.
See goodness in others
Saturday, October 12, 2019
“Don’t pay back evil for evil.
Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.
Instead pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it.”
It seems unnatural to bless people who make your life difficult, but you never know the difficulty that they are facing. Choose to respond with kindness – not because they deserve it, but because you do.
Rev. Carol Ross Irwin
Sunday, October 13, 2019
“It is not the Joy that makes us Grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
Joy is not based on our circumstances. Our circumstances change. Joy is based on a decision to face the world with a desire to look for blessings regardless of our momentary circumstances, and see them surrounding us.
Rev. Carol Ross Irwin
THIS WEEK I’D LIKE TO DO SOME REFLECTION ON CHANGE AND HOW IT CAN BE A PATHWAY TO EXCELLENCE, ONE OF OUR CORE VALUES. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, JUST LIKE YOU, I DON’T ALWAYS LIKE CHANGES ESPECIALLY IF THEY DON’T SEEM NECESSARY OR BETTER IN MY WORLD. SOMETIMES I CHANGE BECAUSE I LIKE THE CHANGE. SOMETIMES I CHANGE BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A CHOICE AND I’M USUALLY KIND OF CRANKY ABOUT THAT. AND SOMETIMES WHEN I CHANGE I’M SORT OF INDIFFERENT ABOUT IT; IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER. HOW ABOUT YOU. YOU’RE GOING THRU ALL SORTS OF CHANGES. MAYBE SOME ARE PERSONAL, PERHAPS SOME HAVE TO DO WITH RELATIONSHIPS. YOU CERTAINLY ARE GONG THRU A TON OF CHANGES AT WORK. HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THAT? IN A POSITIVE WAY, TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOUR CO WORKERS, YOUR SUPERVISOR, YOUR PARTNER OR FRIEND. LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, HOW YOU’RE DOING. AND IF YOU DON’T FEEL YOU CAN BE HONEST THEN WE HAVE DEEPER PROBLEM THAN CHANGE.
WHEN I WAS AN ALTAR BOY A PRIEST WAS FAMOUS FOR ALWAYS SAYING “CHANGES MUST COME AND FRIENDS MUST PART, BUT THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE SACRED HEART”. IT’S ONE OF THOSE WHIMSICAL LITTLE SAYINGS I HAVE LOCKED AWAY IN MY CATHOLIC TRUNK OF MEMORIES. I REMEMBER ALWAYS BEING TOLD THAT THE LORD NEVER CHANGES. ITS LIKE CHANGING WAS A WEAKNESS OF SOME SORT BECAUSE SOMETHING WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH. THE LORD MAY NOT CHANGE MAY ALWAYS BE THE SAME. BUT IF YOU’RE GOD AND YOU’VE BEEN AROUND FOREVER THEN YOU’VE HAD TO BE ADAPTABLE. YOU’VE HAD TO USE FLEXIBILITY TO GET THINGS DONE THE WAY YOU WANT THEM DONE. YOU’VE HAD TO WORK WITH SOME PRETTY STUBBORN FOLKS, MANY INSURMOUNTABLE ROAD BLOCKS, CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WOULD MAKE A BLIND PERSON SEE STARS. BUT THAT’S HOW GOD SURVIVES. HE’S ADAPTABLE, FLEXIBLE, WILLING TO DO SOME GIVE AND TAKE FOR THE GREATER GOOD. I’LL BET YOU’VE HAD THAT WORK FOR YOU IN THE PAST. SO TRY TO BE THAT WAY AT WORK . SINCE WE’RE MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD WE CAN BE HAPPIER BY BEING THAT WAY. THE LORD IS CERTAINLY HAPPIER THAT WAY.
I BOUGHT A NEW MUSTANG A FEW MONTHS AGO, MY “DRIVE IT WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT CAR”. NOW THIS CAR WAS BASICALLY THE SAME AS THE CAR I TRADED IN, JUST 5 YEARS NEWER AND A STEP UP IN THE TRIM LINE. AS THE SALESMAN WAS GOING OVER ALL THE FEATURES OF THE CAR, I MADE SURE I WAS PAYING PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO ALL THE ELECTRONICS OF THE NEW CAR. IT TOOK ME AWHILE TO MASTER THE ELECTRONICS OF THE OLDER CAR AND THIS NEW ONE HAD MORE. I KNEW IT WOULD TAKE TIME AND PRACTICE TO GET THINGS DOWN. SO WHEN HE WAS DONE I THOUGHT FOR A MOMENT AND ASKED “ SO WHERE DO I PUT THE CD IN? HE SAID THERE IS NO CD. I SAID “WHAT”! HE SAID THEY ARENT PUTTING CD PLAYERS IN CARS ANY MORE. I THINK I WAS IN A MINOR STATE OF SHOCK. HAVE CHANGES AT WORK LEFT YOU IN A MINOR STATE OF SHOCK WHERE YOU MAY SAY “I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING”? YOU ASK YOURSELF “SO NOW WHAT DO I DO” . GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT AT TRYING TO FIGURE THAT OUT. IT TAKES TIME AND PRACTICE. LET GOD, AND THE STAFF AROUND YOU HELP YOU WITH THAT.
I GUESS WHEN THE SAME THING CHANGES A NUMBER OF TIMES IN YOUR LIFE ITS NO LONGER A CHANGE BUT A ROUTINE. BY THE TIME I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL WE HAD MOVED 7 TIMES. SINCE I STARTED WORKING I’VE MOVED AN ADDITIONAL 10 TIMES. NEITHER MY FAMILY NOR I HAD JOBS THAT HAVE TAKEN ME ALL OVER WORLD OR THE COUNTRY OR THE MIDWEST. WITH ONE EXCEPTION ALL OF THESE MOVES HAVE BEEN WITHIN 50 MILES OF EACH OTHER. THEY WERE FOR FAMILY REASONS, JOB REASONS OR PERSONAL REASONS. WHATEVER THE REASON, IT BECAME SO VERY ROUTINE. I KNOW HOW TO PACK AND UNPACK, HOW TO LOAD A TRUCK FULL OF FURNITURE AND BOXES. I KNOW HOW TO SETTLE IN AND ALSO HOW TO UPROOT AND START SOMEPLACE NEW. ITS ALL SO VERY ROUTINE. AND IT ALL STARTED WHEN I WAS A YOUNG KID. IT SEEMS LIKE CHANGE HERE AT THE HOSPITAL HAS BECOME SO VERY ROUTINE. IT HAPPENS EVERYWHERE, TO EVERYONE. NO MATTER HOW OLD OR YOUNG YOU ARE, IF YOUR WORKING HERE, YOU’RE NOT A KID ANYMORE. HOW ARE ALL THESE CHANGES AFFECTING YOU? YOUR FAMILY? YOUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE. FOR ME AND FOR YOU WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO HANDLE THE ROUTINE OF CHANGE, AND TO GROW FROM IT, NOT MATTER WHERE IT TAKES US. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TALK ABOUT IT.
BEAR WITH ME. THIS MAY SEEM A LITTLE LONG AND RAMBLING. ONE DAY LAST WEEK I’M PLAYING BASEBALL AT WORK AND I’M OUT IN LEFT FIELD SO TO SPEAK. I’M CATCHING FLY BALLS ONE AFTER THE OTHER SINCE I PUNCHED IN. FIRST OF ALL I CANT ACCESS MY EMAIL BECAUSE OF PASSWORD ISSUES. SINCE NO ONE WAS IN FROM I T YET, I DID WHAT THE INSTRUCTIONS SAID AND CALLED THE 866 NUMBER. SILLY ME!!! SOME NICE MAN FROM INDIA TRIED TO HELP ME BUT TO NO AVAIL. HIS ENGLISH WASN’T TOO BAD BUT MY HEARING WASN’T TOO GOOD. AFTER I SPENT 10 HOURS, MORE OR LESS, GIVING HIM DATA HE WAS ASKING FOR AND NOT BEING ABLE TO COMPREHEND EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED ME TO DO, I THANKED HIM AND SAID I HAVE PATIENTS TO SEE SO I’LL TRY LATER. I DID GET HELP VERY QUICKLY FROM OUR I T WHEN THEY CAME IN. THEY AND OFTEN OTHER STAFF ARE MY SAVIORS WHEN IT COMES TO TECHNOLOGY. LATER THAT MORNING OUR DEPARTMENT WENT RUNNING ON AN EMERGENCY CALL THAT TURNED OUT NOT TO BE A CODE BLUE EMERGENCY. BUT BETTER TO ERROR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION THAN TO UNDERREACT WHEN SOMEONE’S LIFE IS AT STAKE. THEN IT WAS TIME TO HAVE ANOTHER COMPUTER ISSUE. NONE OF MY ICONS WOULD OPEN UP. SO I T WAS ABLE TO HELP AGAIN. BUT LIKE SO MANY OTHER TIMES, IT’S A MYSTERY OF FAITH AS TO WHY THIS HAS HAPPENED, AGAIN. THIS IS NOT A GOOD WAY TO HAVE THE FIRST PART OF YOUR SHIFT GO. I’M WONDERING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO, HOW THEY FEEL WHEN THE DAY STARTS OUT AND CONTINUES THAT WAY AND WHAT IF THAT HAPPENS ALMOST EVERY SHIFT. WHAT DID I DO? WHAT I USUALLY DO. I GET VERY FRUSTRATED. I START CUSSING IN A LOW VOICE BECAUSE IT WOULD BE A BAD THING FOR PEOPLE TO BE WALKING BY THE PASTORAL CARE OFFICE AND HEAR GOD’S NAME BEING USED IN A VERY UN-SPIRITUAL WAY. I TRY TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING ELSE, SOMETIMES. I THINK ABOUT MAYBE ITS TIME TO RETIRE. I THINK MAYBE I SHOULD DO SOMETHING ELSE SOMEWHERE ELSE. SO WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THINGS GO THE WRONG WAY. ONE THING’S FOR SURE. KEEPING YOUR FEELINGS PENT UP INSIDE OF YOU IS NOT A PATH TO EXCELLENCE. FIND SOMEWAY TO LET GO SO THAT NO ONE OR NO CURVE BALL CAN KEEP YOU FROM BEING THE BEST AT WHAT YOU ARE COMMITTED TO.
TGIF. I OFTEN THINK GOD GOT THINGS MIXED UP. SURELY HE MUST HAVE MEANT THAT WE SHOULD WORK JUST ONE OR TWO DAYS A WEEK AND HAVE 5 OR 6 DAYS OFF TO DO WHATEVER. BUT SINCE GOD DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES MAYBE WE CAN BLAME IT ON WHOEVER WROTE THE CREATION STORY IN THE BIBLE. THEY SURELY GOT IT BACKWARDS!! WE ALL HAVE OUR DAYS OFF FROM WORK, AT LEAST WE SHOULD. BUT IT CERTAINLY DOESN’T MEAN WE’RE RESTING OR ENJOYING FREE TIME. THERE ARE THINGS TO DO AROUND THE HOUSE, KIDS TO TAKE CARE AND ACTIVITES TO RUN TO. THERE ARE FAMILY COMMITMENTS, OTHER JOBS TO BRING IN EXTRA MONEY. WHATEVER IT IS THAT OCCUPIES YOUR TIME ON YOUR DAYS OFF, BE SURE TO CARVE SOMETIME OUT FOR YOURSELF. ITS NOT A LUXURY; IT’S A NECESSITY. YOU CANT ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IF YOU’RE FRIED EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY OF EVERY WEEK. YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO HAVE SOME “ME TIME”. YOU OWE IT TO YOUR FAMILY, YOUR CO WORKERS THE PATIENTS AT THE HOSPITAL.
TODAY IS SUNDAY AND IF YOU’RE READING THIS THEN YOU’RE PROBABLY AT WORK. I NEVER HAD TO WORK ON A SUNDAY UNTIL I STARTED AT THE HOSPITAL. ITS ONE OF THOSE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES THAT GOES ON 24/7, 365 DAYS A YEAR. BUT SOMETIME DURING YOUR SUNDAY AT THE HOSPITAL, GIVE YOURSELF A FEW MOMENTS TO FIND A QUIET PLACE AND JUST DO A LITTLE REFLECTING MAYBE IN THE CHAPEL OR OUTSIDE OR JUST GAZING OUT A WINDOW. HAVE SOME QUIET PRAYER WITH YOUR LORD WHATEVER YOU MAY CALL HIM OR HER. THE ROAD TO EXCELLENCE IS A POWERFUL AND MOVING JOURNEY WHEN YOU CAN ACKNOWLEDGE YOU ARE NOT ON THAT ROAD ALONE. BELIEVE AND FEEL A HIGHER POWER LEADING YOU, HOLDING YOUR HAND, BEING THAT UMBRELLA IN THE RAIN TO PROTECT YOU, BEING YOUR SNOW TIRES IN THE BLIZZARD TO PULL YOU THRU. YOU WILL DEFINITELY HAVE A RICHER EXPERIENCE OF EXCELLENCE.
Before listening to her young patients’ heartbeats, a pediatric nurse at the hospital would often fit the stethoscope over their ears and allow them to listen first.
One four-year-old boy was awed by the sound. The nurse asked him, “So… what do you suppose that is?”
The child, a regular at Sunday school, smilingly answered, “Is that Jesus knocking?”
God is always knocking at the door of our heart inviting us to be more loving and compassionate to one another. The choice to open that door is ours. He will not force His way into our heart.
“If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart!” -Psalm 95
The future of success in any endeavor will go to those who communicate the best. Therefore, mean what you say, say what you mean, and speaks as correctly as possible. ”Let your speech be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer…” Colossians 4:6.
No matter how eloquent our words, if we cannot speak in love, let us not speak at all. If love is not our purpose, let’s wait until it is. “Though I speak with a tongue of men and angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1.
Unexpected answers and timing: that seems to be the method God most often works His will in our lives, not necessarily how we desire, but always how it brings honor and glory to Him. ”’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8.
Are we treating symptoms instead of offering the cure: feeding the poor, and counseling the misguided, are noble and right, but not the cure. The cure is a personal relationship with Jesus. ”Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
Communicating: I’m not the best at it, but I learned a little: 1. Say as much as you can in as few words as you can. 2. Use your best grammar. 3. Try not to make the same point the same way. 4. Don’t use fillers—Uh, like, you know. 5. Be brief. ”Speak graciously.” Colossians 4:6.
Be slow to respond to emotional words, for when the emotion changes so do the words. Listen for truth, not passion. You will save yourself many heartaches and troubles. “Also, do not take to heart everything people say, less you hear your servant cursing you. “ Ecclesiastes 7:21.
Reflections on Integrity
September 16, 2019
If they praise you, show up and do the work.
If they criticize you, show up and do the work.
If no one even notices you just show up and do the work.
Just keep showing up, doing the work and leading the way.
Lead with passion.
Fuel up with optimism.
Power up with love.
Fight the good fight.
Refuse to give up.
Ignore the critics.
Believe in the impossible.
Do the work.
You’ll be glad you did.
True grit leads to true success.
September 17, 2019
Mother Teresa is credited with this quote:
I used to pray that God would feed the hungry or do this or that,
but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I am supposed to do,
what I can do.
I used to pray for answers,
but now I’m praying for strength.
I used to believe that prayer changes things,
but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.
September 18, 2019
Integrity also means whole – all together. In one piece. That is our goal as a ministry to be together. But that is also hard, because while our big picture goal may be unified- we all want to provide wonderful medical care to this community, we will disagree on how to make it happen. Good people will have different opinions. I have said many times that if two people never disagree then one of them is lying.
How do we remain whole when we disagree? It is hard, but necessary. It involves respecting that disagreement is normal. It means acknowledging more than one way could work. It means respecting that the other person’s intentions are also good. It also means speaking up with suggestions, rather than staying quiet and going away grumbling.
Rev. Carol Ross Irwin
September 19, 2019
How do you disagree without being disagreeable? When I was a teenager I loved to argue for the sake of arguing. Too bad my school didn’t have a debate team – I would have been a natural. But these days I don’t find it fun – yet I still disagree with people. How can you disagree without being disagreeable? Be mindful of your tone – are you raising your voice? Sounding sarcastic without meaning to? Are you getting agitated? Be in control of your own voice so that you are communicating in a way that allows your words and meaning to be heard, rather than just your tone of voice.
September 20, 2019
There is an Indian parable about 6 blind men describing an elephant. One described the ears, another the tusk, another the tail and so on. Each believed their experience was shared by everyone else. Often we do the same thing when we disagree with one another. We know our experience so well and it has much to provide in improving our ministry. But the people around us, also have experiences that make their understanding real for them. When you disagree, listen for the truth within the other person’s viewpoint- because there is some there. Together when we share our insights we create something that works better than what any one of us can do.
September 21, 2019
Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
September 22, 2019
Tip your server.
Return your shopping cart.
Pick up a piece of trash.
Hold the door for the person behind you.
Let someone into your lane.
Small acts can have a ripple effect.
That’s how we change the world.
The Contemplative Monk Website
A staff member of a hospital in Tennessee recounted this story:
I had a very unique experience. I went to draw blood from a patient who seemed to be incoherent. He shook a lot and it was very hard to get blood from him. I went to see him again the next day. As I walked into his room, something made me start humming “Amazing Grace.” The patient had not made a sound in days, according to the nurse. But, as I continued to hum, the patient became still, and then started humming with me. So, I began to sing the song to him, and he sang with me, not missing a word. I was so blessed. Sometimes, God’s grace is all you need.
Actress Carol Burnett got out of a cab one day and caught her coat in the door. The driver was unaware of her plight and slowly began to edge out into traffic. To keep from being pulled off her feet, the comedienne had to run alongside down the block. A passerby noticed her predicament and quickly alerted the driver. He stopped, jumped out, and released Miss Burnett’s coat. “Are you all right?” he asked anxiously. “Yes,” she gasped, “but how much more do I owe you?”
Author Rick Warren once said: “When you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’re a lot more gracious to others.”
Be gracious and forgiving of everyone you will encounter today.
May the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me, the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me, the way of God lie before me, the shield of God defend me, the host of God save me.
In every organization, you’ll find the Tate Family.
There is old man Dic-Tate who wants to run everything, while Uncle Ro-Tate tries to change everything. There’s sister Agi-Tate who stirs up plenty of trouble, with help from her husband, Irri-Tate. Whenever new projects are suggested, Hesi-Tate and his wife, Vege-Tate, want to wait until next year. Then there is Aunt Imi-Tate, who wants the organization to be like all the others. Devas-Tate provides the voice of doom, while Poten-Tate wants to be a big shot.
But not all members of the family are tough.
Brother Facili-Tate is quite helpful in many matters. And a delightful, happy member of the family is Miss Felici-Tate.
Cousins Cogi-Tate and Medi-Tate always thinks things over and lend helpful, steady hands.
And of course there is another member of the family, Ampu-Tate, who has completely cut himself off from the family.
How about it – Which member of the Tate family are you?
The Holocaust is one of the most traumatic episodes of modern history, yet it has also yielded some astounding stories of bravery and faith. In France, a Jewish family was hidden by some concerned French nationals in the basement of their home. The Jewish family waited and waited for their deliverance. At the end of the war these words were found scribbled on the wall of that basement:
“I believe in the sun even when it does not shine.
I believe in love even when it is not given.
I believe in God even when he is silent.”
Use this scribble as a beautiful prayer in your daily life especially on those days when things seem to be difficult, challenging, or nearly impossible.
The world is being engulfed in darkness, Lord, the light is fading daily. Evil is trying to consume Your beautiful creation and faithful followers but I know victory is mine and those who believe in You shall be saved. I believe in You, I trust in You and I know You have overcome. Every blessed soul that has lost their way will eventually return to You, for Your timing is perfect.
Father, allow me to be a light in this dark and gloomy world, allow me to be a blessing to others. Manifest Your power and love within me, let it ignite my soul and let it consume those I come into contact with. They will taste Your Holy presence and constantly yearn for it.
Lord, allow my actions to portray You in everything I do. May the light within me conquer the darkness. Let it pierce through those stormy clouds, that await my defeat, let it shine, let it glow and allow it to illuminate the path You have set before us. Let me to be the light in this world and towards others as well. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.
Dear Lord, we who are
prejudiced at times
inclined to misunderstanding
Make us instead
open to learning
understanding and forgiving
May your Spirit be present in us as you are in all peoples. Amen.