Find the Power in Gratitude

Find the Power in Gratitude

If you have strengths such as love, kindness, hope, creativity and 20 other positive powerhouses, you will still be missing the single best predictor of good relationships and emotional well being as reported in the Scientific American journal….that being GRATITUDE.  We did not create ourselves, or our world. We did not get where we are today all alone on our own. So living in gratitude reveals our truth. It’s living honestly giving credit where credit is due. “Gratitude is a way of seeing that alters our gaze.”– Robert A. Emmons Living in gratitude means that we take nothing for granted. Life owes us nothing as we acknowledge all good that we have has been given. Our good gifts have been given to us on loan one day at a time by a very generous God. We haven’t earned them. They’re not owed to us. We have no title to them. They are simply gifts, given not because of our goodness but because God is a father who wants the best for his children. So how can we not be grateful? How can we stop gratitude from welling up inside us? We must give thanks. Our heart insists on it. How do we thank a father who already has everything? Pretty words won’t do it and we can’t send flowers! All we have are his gifts, and that’s our clue. The only thanks that God really wants is that we use our gifts well, and share them with one another as generously as God shared them with us. Thankfulness is ever so much more than just words. It’s a whole way of living,...
Ring For Service

Ring For Service

Wouldn’t it be nice to just ring the bell to request anything that would satisfy our every whim? We’d have no worries, no pain, no sorrows, and anything to make our lives easier, more pleasant and more enjoyable. Buzz….buzzz In actuality we have something, Someone, much better. We don’t even have to push a buzzer to be cared for. God is at our beck and call to hear, responding with an answer to our every prayer. He hears every whimper from our hearts. He is aware of each thought tucked away in our brains. He celebrates every success with us and he is there to wipe away every tear falling from our eyes. The Lord makes sure we have everything we need for our earthly journey to fulfill our “mission”, our reason for being here. God would not commission us to this life without equipping us for the onslaught! When we need courage, faith, peace of mind, patience, tolerance, acceptance, honesty and love….ASK HIM….RING… And the Lord will provide us with what we need when we need it. Never fret because your buzzing seems to go unanswered. God works on DST (Divine Standard Time) while we are glued to our earthly clocks. God has our front and backsides covered as we walk with him in an untimely fashion. God’s time is not our time.  God loves us so much that he will withhold absolutely nothing from us. No matter what, God will always be there for us, with ALL his love and power, comfort and grace. Have faith! There ARE no limits to God’s commitment to us, none at...
Find Your Brave

Find Your Brave

After being “held up” by Krazy Ani, on the Heber Train ride through the Provo Canyon, this guitar -strumming-train-robber entertained us.   She amused us with her “train songs” but it was her original song that spoke to me. We listened to her new song, “My Brave”, as we chugged along. As her musical story unfolded, it resonated with us all. The lyrics, “Braver than I thought I was” and, “Meet the brave within,” melodiously reminded us of how life brings situations that call forth our fortitude and strength within. Sometimes to our own surprise! Fear, anxiety, anger, and doubt play far too large a role in all of our lives, and sometimes they kill us. But finding our buried “Brave” summons our strength from our Divine nature. Sometimes we can’t do it on our own, but have to discover the God, our power within. We are more than we think we are. Psalm 91 is the antidote to the poison of our unhealthy fears, angers, and doubts. God is reassuring us that his has sent his angels to keep us safe in all situations, even when they seem insurmountable.  “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91 resounds as a psalm of protection. (And who doesn’t need that?) People of the Old Testament invoked this prayer during hardship. (And who is free of that?) So as we journey through this school called Life, let us remember that our trials and hardships...
The Call to Serve

The Call to Serve

It’s not WHERE you live; it’s HOW you live. It’s not WHAT you have; it’s HOW you use it. We are all called to be of service, to serve one another.  Throughout the ages, wise sages from all walks of life remind us of this important message of service.  The Buddha relates: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things, which renew humanity. John F. Kennedy reminded us that it’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Jesus preached whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. (Matthew 20:26-28) Saint Mother Teresa warned that, “A life not lived for others is not a life.” How do we answer this call to serve one another?  The call to service begins as an everyday occurrence. It is woven into our daily activities. A smile to a passerby, a phone call, a remembrance, a reaching out, an inclusion of all in our circle of caring and love.  This awareness of serving others can ripple into wider circles…getting involved in charitable work, volunteering, and offering one’s services without being asked, without invitation or payment.  When we look around and see the many in need of our friends, families and communities, it may seem like we are swimming upstream, weighed down with a huge burden. It seems overwhelming. But Mother Teresa offers some advice:  “Never worry about numbers, Help one person at a time and start with the person nearest you.” Remember: “A little kindness makes...
Life is a Beautiful Thing!

Life is a Beautiful Thing!

“Life is a beautiful thing. Pack a bag, make a playlist. Watch the world. Don’t speak. Just listen.”- John Mayer Life is a beautiful thing, but sometimes we miss it. This call, to “don’t speak, just listen,” is consistently challenged in our daily lives. We can get caught up in the noise of daily life. This busyness of our world works to disrupt our spiritual connection. These distractions pull us outward rather than inward. The inside of things is what you need to see and respond to. Look and listen to each person, each creature, and each thing that crosses your path. Each has a message for us and it’s always the same. The silent message that the Lord is asking us to hear is “I am God’s good creation. Take good care of me.” If we listen with our hearts to the inside of each of God’s creature, we’ll always know how to respond to them, and will have the heart to respond with reverence, care, and graciousness. A rabbi once spoke, “We know that night has ended and day has begun when we look into the face of a stranger next to us and recognize he is our brother.” God, with gracious hospitality, has welcomed every single one of us inside a circle of love and left no one outside.  God is asking us to do the same, to make the habit of hospitality the foundation of our lives. How different every part of our lives could be if we refused to label anyone as “stranger”. When we respond with care to the situations in our lives,...
Don’t Trip Over the Small Stuff

Don’t Trip Over the Small Stuff

“The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.” – William James We are bombarded on a daily basis with small things that can bring great misery, small things causing worry and pain taking over our lives. Kind of like the ant taking over the molehill! A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about cheerfulness being an indicator of a wise person. A wise person can laugh off the “small stuff” that can bring us down into a pool of negativity. Richard Carlson, Ph.D. had summed it up in his book title: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff”. His premise is that nothing in this world is so important as to cause us to have constant anxiety and suffering. Besides learning distressing techniques, calming down, and acquiring the art of “chilling out”, the story of the dessert fork can be a great reminder. Remember the story about the woman terminally ill meeting with her pastor to plan her memorial service? After choosing particular songs and scripture readings, the dying lady had one more request. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” She further explained the meaning of this request going back to the many socials and dinners this woman had attended. She always remembered that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork”, knowing that everyone’s favorite part was coming….velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie! This lady’s last wish was to remind all who attended her funeral that ….the best is yet to come. So...