Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘neighbors’

Adding Meaning to Life C=Connections


C = Connections

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

 

Different Kinds of Connections

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

Us w HopeDrewX +Chris

But what about random connections?

The poem by John Donne reminds us,

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

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

Feel the Intimacy

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

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

Connection with Things

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

Are you one of those people?

agriculture backyard blur close up

 

people riding jon boats

 

Connections Make Us Stronger

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

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

cyclone fence in shallow photography

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

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

What connections have added meaning and enrichment to your life?

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

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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No Joke!


It’s not a Happy April Fool’s Day!
No joke … the joke’s on me!

drape stains

Look carefully and you will see the water stain
on the bottom of the drapes
and the water mark on the carpet.
Look and see the snow drift outside the door.
There is no drain out there,
so where does the water go when it melts?
You guessed it!

We have lived in this Madison Valley, Montana home for 13 years – and this has never happened before! The owners before us lived here for 5 years and they said it never happened to them, either. This has been quite a winter! You’ve heard me complaining, haven’t you? More snow than a friend who’s been here since 1972 has ever seen!!

What does this have to do with a blog whose sub-title is “Love One Another?”

I’ll tell you… it has everything to do with people like Joe Smithson!

Joe Smithson
This delightful man is a God-send!

He came and helped me determine the extent of the damage.
He helped me understand ALL the furniture
in that downstairs bedroom has to come out
so he can come back with his rug cleaning equipment
and suck the water out and dry the carpet
and try to dry the walls where it has seeped up!

So, with my dear hubby off skiing today,
I found two other saints who came to help
move the bed, the dresser, the nightstands,
the desk, the chairs, the whole “kittenkaboodle”
out of there and into the game room
and other downstairs bedroom.
What a job!

guestroom empty

It’s a California King – with two top mattresses, two box springs,
a lower frame, and a headboard! Heavy stuff!
No way I coulda done it alone.

And the triple dresser is solid wood – a heavy sucker!
God bless those two friends who came to do the moving!

triple dresser empty

And before those could be moved, another friend came
and helped me move all the “stuff”
that was on top of all that furniture.
You know, nothing is “clear” like this
under ordinary circumstances, right?

Then, to avoid the continued drain
of the melting snow into the bedroom,
another saint of a friend came
with his shovel first –
and then his snowplow.

Steve's snowblower

The snowplow did
what would have taken all day with a shovel…
and did it so much more thoroughly.

Ah, the blog subject
is “Love One Another”

– right?

There is no greater love than to
lay down your life,
pick up your shovel,
load up your snowplow,
and come to help a friend in need.
That is a friend, indeed!!

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God bless you, Steve!!

Imagine how surprised Bob
is going to be
when he gets home
from a day at Big Sky
enjoying the slopes –
a last day (or so)
with spring skiing –
and sees how much more
is cleaned up
than the beach towel
he set out there
this morning
could have done
to fix the problem!!

Go back up to that first picture. If you look carefully, you will see the green and white polka-dot towel on the other side of the glass door. (Like putting a finger in the dyke to stop it, right?) Kind of gives you a new definition of April Fool!

Ah, God love ’em… we gotta put our priorities in order, don’t we?

Who can pass up a day on the slopes?

Unless it’s a day on the river!

Spring IS coming, you know!!
(Not soon enough here)

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How has your April Fool’s Day been?

Keepers of the Aquarium


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

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

Photo by Kong Ruksiam on Pexels.com

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

(Go to today’s refuel: 3/28/19)

Check it out.

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

Our Aquariums

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

jellyfish inside an aquarium

Photo by Nguyen Tran on Pexels.com

 

Be Inspired

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

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

Blog

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

How Do We Show Our Love?

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

So far, the statistics for CharityWater reports these successes:

35,281

Water projects
funded

 

9,562,163

People will get
clean water

 

37

Local partners

 

27

Countries

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

 

Find a Need Beyond Your Aquarium

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

Reach Beyond Your Borders

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

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

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

 

Bob Goff

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

 

100%

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

 

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Transparent

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

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

Search Your Heart

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

starfish on brown stone

Photo by Guillaume Meurice on Pexels.com

 

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

Wonderful Wednesday


Good morning, my friends!

It’s a Wonderful Wednesday!

Find a way to give.

My friend, Steve, has no trouble finding neighbors who need
their driveways shoveled or blown out. What a gift that is!

Volunteering to help others is giving back … or paying it forward! Someday Steve won’t be able to do this anymore. Then, hopefully, someone will volunteer to shovel or blow out HIS driveway!

Look at the book my daughter sent me:

I bet you have a story to tell about some “giving” you have done.
I try to give daily, so when I received this book, I thought,
Why not write about it?

Sous-Cheffing

I love working at our Senior Center as a sous chef (that’s a fancy name for potato and carrot peeler. salad maker, and onion slicer). I can pretend I am at a fancy Paris Bistro… and my customers are the most precious children of God! (Actually, they are!)

Visiting Shut-ins

Another way to volunteer your gifts is to visit a friend who is in a nursing home or at the hospital. Anyone can do that! It doesn’t take lessons or months of practice. Just an open heart, and a wiilngness to treat yourself to the infectious smiles your visit will bring.

In our little town of Ennis, Montana, I introduced you day before yesterday to Artists on Main, the wonderful art gallery with its amazing variety of locally created art for sale. We are blessed to have that shop… and if I had the ability to paint or sculpt or whittle or create pottery, jewelry, or stained glass, I’d use that talent to provide items for my friend, Carol, to sell… or I’d visit a friend and bring a product of my creativity as a gift.

Share Your Writing

But, that kind of art is not my forte’… I love to write, so I share my blogs orally with friends in the hospital. I read “Art is Life” to one of my dear friends this morning.

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Play Your Instrument

Before going to the hospital, I shared another one of my gifts: the accordion. Do you play an instrument?

I started learning to play the “squeezebox” when I was about ten years old. (Every good little Italian girl or boy played the accordion in those days!) Now, it is a seldom seen (in person) whimsical, portable instrument that can bring joy wherever it goes!

This one is over a hundred years old.
I bought it from Frankie, my sorta cousin, about 70 years ago.
It still works, but with only 8 buttons, you are limited to songs in the key of  F, C, G or A.

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Many people today have never seen or heard an accordion played in person. They think of Lawrence Welk and expect me to play Flight of the Bumble Bees or The Beer Barrell Polka with bellow shakes.

Once upon a time, I actually could play those advanced pieces. But now, I am content to accompany the hymn singing at church when the piano or organist is ill or out of town… or accompany singing at the Lenten Breakfast where no other instrument is available. (I did that early this morning).

In the summer, I entertain  at our Art Festival in the park.
Sometimes I pull it out at home after dinner with friends
and we have a sing-along.
It makes for a memorable evening.

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If music is not your forte’, think of other ways you can give.

I belong to the Madison Valley Medical Center Auxuliary. Sitting at the desk a couple of Fridays each month is one way I can volunteer. Donating our home for the “Home Tour” fund-raiser is another way. Our auxiliary earns thousands with that fund-raiser every year and gives the benefits back to the hospital for new equipment, beds, sheets, and other needs. It’s gratifying to be a volunteer. I’m in the center, middle row here.

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I hope you will consider ways you can volunteer your talents
for the benefit of others.
Perhaps you already do – in ways different from mine.

Tell me about a way you volunteer
or give back.
Does it express your purpose and passion?

Your story may inspire others!

 

Sunday Morning Divisions


Are you in sanctuary or synagogue or temple or church today?
God Bless You!

 

In my quiet time this morning, Carol Mackey reflected on 1 Cor. 1:10 in which Paul wrote to the people of Corinth, “Now I plead with you… that you speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”

Carol wrote in Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus, “Sunday morning at eleven o’clock is the most segregated hour of the week.”

 

two people outside yellow and black wooden building

I was prompted in thinking about that statement to create this Haiku x4:

Sunday Mornings

Segregation thrives
most in Sunday morning pews.
Where’s our unity?

white tealight candles lit during nighttime
Race and culture,
Ideology and thoughts
Pull worship apart.

building architecture church old
It must sadden God;
It must grieve Jesus’ heart
To see divisions.

aerial photography of brown roofed white concrete building surrounded by trees
Instead of focus
On our obvious fractures,
Focus on One God!

.

 

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All Photos here are by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many people are unaware that the first five books of the Bible are the Jewish Torah.

Everything on earth is created by our One God.
On that we who worship the One God can agree, right?


As we worship God,
how can we use that worship time
as a time of

UNITY
and not
DIVISION?

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