Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

Adding Meaning to Your Daily Life


Looking for Greater Meaning

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

I want a greater understanding of:

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

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

photography of book page

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

Seeing the Spirit Within

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

close up of tree against sky

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Loving Unconditionally

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

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

Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy

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

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

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

Restore Lost Bonds

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

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

Joint Effort

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

Let’s begin with A.

Tomorrow.

A = Attention

Quote

Be Led, Not Driven


On this Monday following Easter, I am revisiting some of my old blogs.

The emergence of spring in the air and the “drive” to get some spring cleaning done has me reflecting on life and its purpose.

Some of my newer followers may not have seen this thoughtful post. Please click below and contemplate with me this idea:    via Be Led, Not Driven

Who is My Neighbor?


Book Review

Who is My Neighbor?

I just received a new book to share with our darling Sunday School class tomorrow. We have read the Bible story of the Good Samaritan – and acted it out. Now it’s time to give it a new, colorful twist!

Who Is My Neighbor? is a creative story that’s sure to prompt rich conversations, encouraging new ways of seeing our neighbors and ourselves. It’s ideal for our 3-to7-year-olds.

Blues and Yellows don’t mix, and that’s how it’s always been. No one remembers why. But then comes the day Midnight Blue takes a tumble along the road. His friends Navy Blue and Powder Blue don’t even stop to help. It’s only when Yellow comes along that everything changes – forever.

We will share the book with our kiddoes tomorrow and do a little art project mixing blue and yellow to see the result of our “Green Growth.”

The Foreword of the book reads,

“Love your neighbor as yourself,

and love the stranger,

because you know what it was like

to be a stranger.”

Available from http://www.TheThoughtfulChristian.com  –  or call 800-554-4694

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?


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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?

 

Do You Tweet?


Are you a Twitter fan?

Do you Tweet?

advertising alphabet business communication

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

People can tell a lot about you depending on your answer these two questions.

Who do you follow?
and
What sorts of things do you tweet about?

 

Can I tell what you love by reading your Tweets?
Do you Tweet about things that annoy you instead?

Some people are open books – they use very few filters and they just type in whatever pops into their heads. Some are quite thoughtful.

I prefer to follow people like

Dalai Lama:

“Cooperation comes from friendship, friendship comes from trust, and trust comes from kindheartedness. Once you have a genuine sense of concern for others, there’s no room for cheating, bullying, or exploitation; instead, you can be honest, truthful and transparent in your conduct.”

group of men standing

Photo by Vladimir Maliutin on Pexels.com

Dalai Lama’s messages are usually quite different from

Donald Trump:

“The Fake News Media has NEVER been more Dishonest or Corrupt than it is right now. There has never been a time like this in American History. Very exciting but also, very sad! Fake News is the absolute Enemy of the People and our Country itself!”

silhouette of statue near trump building at daytime

Photo by Carlos Herrero on Pexels.com


In contrast, it helps my spirits to tune in to people like

Bob Goff:

“The world is full of difficulties; but it’s even more full of hope.”

@lovedoes
https://www.facebook.com/bobgoffis/

 

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Bob’s messages are uplifting, and so are those of

Pope Francis:

“Prayer reconnects us to God, charity to our neighbor, fasting to ourselves. God, my brothers and sisters, my life: these are the realities that do not end in nothing, and in which we must invest.” #Lent

If I follow a politician like our president,
I think it’s also important to check out other politicians.
Keep balanced – hear from both Republicans and Democrats.
Check the Tweets by

Elizabeth Warren:

“Our differences make us stronger. I will fight against all forms of bigotry and hate—including white nationalism.”

29497425_10155616515548687_366622635037745281_n

 

And the Tweets by

Barack Obama:

Yesterday he tweeted, “And here are some ways to help cyclone victims in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe:” (linked @barackobama)

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For pure entertainment, I get a kick out of

The Voice:

“When insane runs meet unstoppable energy, you get this incredible battle.

See who @JohnLegend picks MONDAY 8/7c on @NBC! 🎶❤️”

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If you check out Tweets,
why do you do so?

Is it to entertain, to inform, to connect with others?
Or do you avoid it all together?

I find Twitter can be time-consuming if I get caught up in it,
and I’d rather read the blogs I follow on WordPress!

I’m curious,
what is your impression of Twitter
and all the Tweets folks are posting?

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.

IMG_9109

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?

 

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