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A Servant’s Heart
AUTHOR
Jill  »

As we embark on this season of giving thanks, let us remind ourselves thank you is not just a fragrant expression for the moment. But should also be the gratitude of our hearts through the works of our hands. While we gather together, break bread and give thanks; may we also serve one another with love. Giving thanks for the blessings bestowed on us should catapult us into moments of thankful service. If thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude then gratitude is the fruit of a servant’s heart.

 

How often do we use words when our actions could make a greater impact?

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Grateful Living
AUTHOR
Bob  »

 

https://www.brainyquote.com/photos/m/meistereckhart149158.jpg

 

Grateful Living 

I’d sure like to learn to be a more grateful person if for no other reason than an obvious one: being grateful makes you happier; ingratitude diminishes happiness.  Fortunately, many wonderful people have taught me lessons of gratitude.

  • A friend, Adrienne, when she was diagnosed with cancer, began keeping a “Gratitude Journal.”  Every morning she writes down 10 things that she was grateful for. 

  • Brother David Steindl-Rast inspired a worldwide Network for Grateful Living. Check out its interactive web site: Gratefulness.org.  I feel energized every time I visit it. 

  • Thich Nhat Hanh has taught countless people to find joy in the present moment.  He says, “Every morning we have 24 brand new hours to live.  What a precious gift!”

In these days of such troubling daily headlines (in addition to our own personal struggles), we all easily are in touch with the dreadful part of life.  At the same time, life if full of wonder.   For our own happiness and to help us become more expansive and generous, may we always grow in gratitude.

We all know people who radiate gratefulness.  What’s their secret?

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Law of Giving
AUTHOR
Steph  »
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Purpose
AUTHOR
Joan  »

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."  Charles Dickens

This succinct thought from Mr. Dickens clarifies for me the need for community.  With the recent natural disasters both here in the US and overseas it is very clear we all need each other.  Should you ever feel unneeded or even uneccessary to the proper order of the universe just go out and lighten someone's burden -  you will quickly discover how important one person can be and how connected we are.  We need everyone who passes through our day if only to remind us what really makes us complete - and that is love, kindness and the giving of ourselves in even the seemingly smallest ways.

I wonder who might lighten your burden today should you have any?

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Give Harder
AUTHOR
Jill  »

Work hard, Play harder. We have all heard this survival term of life. The teeth gritting, white knuckled, heart pumping work ethic we pass down through generations. Listen up kids! This is life, give it all you got! And in exchange for your time and energy, you will be granted a wage. We exchange our days and nights for monetary gain. Society has taught us to define ourselves by our financial success and praise those who receive more.

 

But what if we changed this phrase, that has been so deeply rooted in the structure of our society. How different we would live, love and even work if the lesson was ‘Work Hard and Give Harder’? Instead of working to reward ourselves, we would strive to live a life to bless others.

 

In what area in your life could you give more?

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The Paradox of Giving
AUTHOR
Bob  »

 I had gone a–begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings! My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say ‘What hast thou to give to me?’
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day’s end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.

                                                Rabindranath Tagore

I love the unexpected, ironic ending to this story because I know the truth of it from experience.  I’ve learned the hard way that cautious, even stingy, withholding of whatever it is that I have to give, results in little return.  And I’ve found out that the times when I’ve given “my all”, risky or costly as it may be, it pays off royally.  The sacrifice involved in self-giving can be daunting, but as the throw-caution-to-the-wind beggar Francis of Assisi discovered, “it is in giving that we receive.”  

Can you think of times when you have found this to be true in your experience?

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Quick to Listen
AUTHOR
Steph  »

The scripture says in James 1:19, “Be quick to listen, and slow to speak …”

It’s simple enough in principle, but nearly impossible to live. Too often we act on the opposite principal, slow to listen and quick to speak. We all do this …passive listening. We are so focused on what we are going to say next, we miss out on what the other person is trying to say.

Every person has a deep need to be valued and respected. One very important way to show love and respect in your relationships is to listen attentively with intentionality.

Are you quick to listen?

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If today.....
AUTHOR
Joan  »

I woke this morning with the words from Psalm 95 later quoted in Hebrews in my head - "If today you hear God's voice harden not your heart".  I have learned to pay attention to my "first thoughts" when I wake up.  They can often give me some sense of how my day might go  or what I need to pay attention to.  Perhaps my sleeping self knew I was to write a blog post about Listening and it was reminding me that the most important voice I need to listen to is God's.

It is sometimes hard for me to settle all the other voices in my head, and outside of my head, to hear God's voice.  But fortunately God is persistent and patient.  The voice of God comes to me in the people and situations I encounter each day. How I react is up to me. I pray for the ability to respond to the day and all it brings with the heart God desires for me - a compassionatet and loving heart.

 

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Listen Out Loud
AUTHOR
Jill  »

Being silent was a hard lesson for a middle child like me to learn; silence was the last thing on my mind. I was more like “hey, over here” and “listen to me”; it was a overwhelming outspoken itch I had to scratch. That fear of not being heard can breed hasty attention seeking behavior.  As I matured that deep desire for a voice quickly seem to snowball from precocious into self-centered.

Like most adults, I learned if I did not harness this awful impulsion life would do it for me. Smack! Just like that life comes along and you are at a loss. A loss of time, energy, or words; all you have is silence. In those undesirable moments of quiet God creates a space for us to hear Him. We find ourselves asking questions, like “why” and “how come?” Through prayer I found peace and courage in my silence.  God unveils our truest selves when we seek Him, not a voice of self-doubt and angst, but self-discipline and endurance.

Have you ever felt like you had more questions than answers? When was the last time you quieted yourself to listen to God?

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God Says Yes To Me
AUTHOR
Bob  »

Image result for Yes

Sometimes religion makes it seem like God is usually disappointed or even angry at us.  When this poet questioned God, she heard a different kind of answer.

Maybe God is more on our side than we think?

God Says Yes To Me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

—Kaylin Haught

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