Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

Adding Meaning to Life … B = Beauty


B = Beauty

How does

paying attention to

and creating beauty

add meaning to your life?

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Photo by Nripen kumar Roy on Pexels.com

 What IS Beauty?

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

selective focus photography of black car

Photo by Maria Geller on Pexels.com

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

Find Beauty in Others

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

 

Find Beauty Within

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

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

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

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Find Beauty in Nature

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

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

Enjoy the beauty of nature

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

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

animals avian birds branch

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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animal bee bloom blooming

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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

human eye

Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

Sing to the Lord


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Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Easter morning’s here

It is a great time to sing

Let your voices ring!

Happy Easter!

Let Me Wash Your Feet!


Foot Washing

“You wanna do WHAT?”

“I’m going to wash your feet!”

“No way! You’re my Boss. I can’t have you washing my feet. I should be washing YOURS!”

“No, you need to let me wash your feet. If you don’t, then you’re fired! You will no longer belong in my company!”

“OK, Lordy me!! If that’s the case, don’t just wash my feet; wash all of me – my head to my toes, and polish my toes, too!”

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“Well, since you have taken a bath, you are clean – except for your feet. You and your friends (except for one) are all clean. I just need to wash your feet!”

“Well, my Lord, if that’s the case, alright then, go ahead.”

After he had washed my feet, He said, “You don’t understand what I have just done, do you? You call me your Boss, your Teacher, and your Lord. It is right that you do so, because that is what I am. But, what I have just done for you, I mandate that you do for others.”

“You want me to wash my friends’ feet?!”

“That’s right. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you… Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice.”

“I’d be happy to do just that, my Lord! With love, I want to find some feet to wash.

Does it matter what age they are?”

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. Have you heard that term? Do you know the origin of the word Maundy? I didn’t, so I looked it up on the dictionary app on my iPhone. Here’s what I discovered:

maundy =

  1. the cermony of washing the feet of the poor, especially commemorating Jesus’ wahing of the disciples’ feet.
  2. also called maundy money (I read that and wondered if it was the origin of the term “money laundering” – but I read on) money distributed as alms in conjunction with the ceremony of maundy (foot washing) – as in Maundy Thursday
  3. origin: 1250 – 1300; Middle English maude <Old French mande>, Latin mandatum – command – Jesus’ words to the disciples after He washed their feet  (John 13:14-17)
  4. mandate

Happy Maundy Thursday, my friends.

It’s the day Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.
It’s the evening of the Last Supper.
It’s the night Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
It’s the night Jesus was arrested.

What’s happy about it?

You wanna do WHAT?

Let me wash your feet!

I’m gonna wash that kiss right offa them!

Hah!

baby foot with red kiss mark

Meaning

What does Jesus mean when He mandates us to wash one another’s feet?
Is it symbolic of some other kind of cleansing?
Or does He really mean for us to wash feet?

The kiss is the symbolism for Judas’ betrayal …

lovingHEARTSflying

. . . Why do you think Judas
(who was one of Christ’s followers – an Apostle, for cryin’ out loud)
betrayed Jesus with a kiss?

Celebrate Palm Sunday


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Celebrate Palm Sunday with branches

Like the ones His disciples laid

Across His path in Jerusalem –

A path on which our sinful debts were paid.

.

Let each branch represent

A deed you’d like to see undone.

Give all regrets to Jesus, and

Lay those sins upon God’s Son.

.

He knew as He was riding in

Upon a humble donkey’s back

That He was headed to fulfill

His earthly purpose – that’s a fact.

.

With that triumphant entrance,

He willingly trudged Golgotha’s Hill.

Today Holy Week is beginning.

Receive its message. Heed and listen.
… Heart, be still.

I listened to the sermon in church this morning,
and as usual, I took notes in poetry.
Here is what I “took away”
from Rev. Jean Johnson’s message:

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Commitment”
– reflections on Luke 22-23

Pageantry and wildly waving palm branches
Are not the acts that really matter.
Palm Sunday is about the difference
Between Christ’s commitment and our chatter.

People were involved as Christ entered
The city of Jerusalem to die;
But their focus soon returned home.
They forgot Jesus, abandoned Him without a cry.

Commitment is a hard road to tred.
It requires we stay when we’re through.
Stay beyond the time we think we’re done.
Tenacity’s hard for me and you.

Sometimes when we feel abandoned,
The emptiness of our heart makes room
For the One who never left us.
He is there through our joy and in our gloom.

Christ gave His all on Golgotha Hill.
He died for us, for our salvation.
We need to walk that path with Him;
Live the pain, know the cost, delay elation.

Our faith voyage leads through Jerusalem.
We must walk the way of the cross.
Walk in commitment to Calgary,
Suffer the insults, and know the loss.

Amen?

Garnering Gratitude


Have you tried your hand at 
Haiku/Senryu Poetry?

This post on Facebook inspired me
to try my hand at Senryu
using the human emotion of gratitude.

Thank God

Great God Gives Gladness
Gracious Goodness-Giving God
Garners Gratitude

Haiku/Senryu Poetry 

Every word in the Haiku must begin with the same letter.

When written in English, it generally follows the syllabic pattern 5-7-5

Haiku/Senryu Poem (also called Human Haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse usually written in the present tense and only references to some aspect of human nature or emotions. Senyrus possess no references to the natural world and thus stand out from nature/seasonal Haiku.

(Published with gratitude for the magic of 11:11 am on the 11th of this marvelous month)

 

Try it, my friends.
Share yours with me!

Faith Amidst Suffering


You know I take sermon notes each week
as I listen to the Sunday message
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
Ennis, Montana.

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No, this isn’t our church, but I thought it would be fun to show you the church in
Chippis, Switzerland where we attended with our daughter and family.
Ah, but I digress…

Today our pastor, Rev. Jean Johnson, was ill, so one of our church leaders, Lucy Ennis, read the message Rev. Jean had prepared.Jean was among today’s “suffering.” The sermon was based on John 12:1-8.

As usual, I listened with intent to take away the message I needed… a message to help guide my actions this day and into the coming week.

The bottom line of today’s message was quite clear,
“Surrounded by suffering,
go reach out to others.
Ready?
Start!”

Jesus faced Jerusalem
Knowing what’s ahead.
His disciples were warned
He soon would be dead.

Jesus returned to the home
Of Martha and Mary:
Friends who’d always be there,
His sorrows to carry.

He knew they would respond;
They’d give him a dinner.
They’d throw a party
For their Savior, their Winner.

Mary went out of her way
To show Jesus her devotion.
She bought expensive perfume
And poured it on Him in loving motion.

Judas was horrified, and cried,
“Why waste this? You should sell it!”
Jesus told Judas to be silent.
Mary knew His end was coming; she’d tell it.

The last reminder of what’s good
In this troubled, earthly life
Was a gesture of love by Mary,
She poured sweet fragrance on His strife.

Such gestures of love and assistance
Help get us through life with courage.
Reach out to others as Mary did.
Don’t let your troubles discourage.

Whatever you do, my friends,
Do it out of a pure and loving heart.
Surrounded by suffering, go –
Reach out to others. Ready? Start!

shrimp soup in white ceramic bowl with chili on brown wooden surface

Photo by Lovefood Art on Pexels.com

So, I did as my heart directed. Following church, I practiced with our little church choir. We are going to sing at the town’s Easter Sunrise service. Then, I went downstairs and helped serve at fellowship. (I had made and brought two pots of soup to share.)

No, that picture is not my soup. I’m afraid our little Sunday School kids and some of my church friends would not have appreciated all those hot peppers and garlic! But, doesn’t it look good? Mine was a more mundane potato soup.

What did you do to reach out to others and show your love today?

Living With Purpose


Saints walk among us

Thank You, God, for Your Angels

Who live with purpose

“Each person on this planet is here for a purpose… That purpose is to care for other people and to help this world become a better place through service to others.” Gary Sinise quote in The Upside in theApril 2019 Guideposts Magazine.

With yesterday’s flooded basement, we had God’s angels working overtime. I told you about Steve, Joe, Joel, and Randall. They worked like troopers.

I didn’t tell you about True Value having sandbags – and the Good Samaritan who loaded them into my car for me. I didn’t get his name. God bless him!

I didn’t tell you about Joe Smithson, the carpet cleaner, unloading those sandbags and placing them out against the rushing river of melting snow that was pouring in. God bless Joe!

I didn’t tell you about my buddy, Lexi Sundell, who rented a sump pump and came to set it up with a 100 feet of hose to suck that lake out into the field.

It worked! Thank you so much, Lexi!

 

It doesn’t do any good to wring your hands and repeat, “Poor Me!”

Reach out to your friends! Let them know your needs.
Watch God’s Angels come to the fore!

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I can’t be more grateful!

 

I am living with purpose. As Gary Sinise suggested, my purpose is to care for other people and to help this world become a better place through service to others. I am so grateful to those Saints of God who reached out to help me. Who can I help today?

Who can you reach out to help today?

Look for the Good Samaritans out there, and see what you can do to give them a little recognition. In so doing, you may be inspired to do likewise… and you may encourage others to step out as Saints of God, too.

Have you seen this YouTube video?
Check it out…

 

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