Category Archives: Daily areas of the world to pray for

Anyday Serenity

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There was a great inclusion from a site called, “Girlfriends in God,”

in my monthly church bulletin. I enjoyed this, along with a few other

worthwhile and meaningful quotations.

Hope this finds you peaceful, content and relaxing on this fine morning,

afternoon or evening.

 

You may find their website at:

http://crosswalk.com

http://www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

“Count your blessings instead of your crosses.

Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes.

Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears.

Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth.

Count on God instead of yourself.”

 

(You may substitute Allah, Mother Nature or other form of

a Higher Being.)

 

This is a positive way of explaining a horrible experience. . .

I always like when people use pets to explain life’s situations.

 

“~Death~ What a wonderful way to explain it
A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to leave the

examination room and said,

‘Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.’

Very quietly, the doctor replied, ‘I don’t know. . .’

‘You don’t know? You’re a Christian man and don’t know what’s

on the other side?’

 

The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side

came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the

door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager

show of gladness.

 

Turning to the patient, the doctor said, ‘Did you notice my dog?

He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside.

He knew nothing except that his owner (his master) was here, and

when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.

 

I know little of what is on the other side of death. But I do know one

thing. . . I know my Master is there and that is enough.'”

(No author was listed. Please let me know if this is unknown or if you

know a name to tag this with.)

 

C.S. Lewis wrote of many subjects, some were Christian and some were

fantasy/science fiction:

“Every day in a life fills the whole Life

with expectation and memory.”

 

In Psalms 128:5 there is a lovely wish for those to hear. I like the idea of

psalms being songs and positive Old Testament wishes:

“May the Lord continually bless you with human’s blessings

as well as with human joys.”

 

A Prayer by Thomas Merton:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think that I am

following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in me in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And know that if I do this you will lead me by the the right road

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost

and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never

leave me to face my perils alone.”

 

This prayer by Thomas Merton is featured in his ‘Through the Year”

daily devotional book.

 

World Views

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When people give me a film recommendation, I take this with a ‘grain of

salt.’ There are so many different interests, particular patterns to people’s

choices in what they choose to watch. This is true of television, movies,

theater, music and cultural events. There are some universal choices that

almost everyone enjoys once in awhile. International movies, where the

cinematography and images are breath-taking and fantastic, are ones that

I am thrilled to receive from someone I admire and pass on to others, too.

My friend, Beth, who writes about all kinds of international subjects,

along with her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan and her little ones

that she teaches, included “Vivan Las Antiopodes” as one of her posts.

Here is her blog:

http://ididnthavemyglasseson.com

We have some kindred sisterhood, which I admit I have been close to

several other bloggers along the way, with similar tastes and interests.

Beth has a reason for her interest in Australia and grandchildren, yet

even I am sometimes surprised at such details as liking the same kind

of ice cream that we have connections beyond what I generally find in

my community and home town.

So, to get this movie, I had to mention my interest to the librarian,

who got online to seek whether it was located in our own library or

a part of our district library in Delaware County. Nope! It was from

Greene County, Ohio, the town of Xenia, where this film was sent for.

I watched it and took notes. I then re-watched it while eating dinner

the next night. It is awesome, beyond description in its simple theme

of how across the world, we are all similar. It is complex, in its terrains

and cultural differences. These four cities, chosen because they are

exactly diametrically opposed on the globe, are called, “antipodes.”

If you watch this, the picture gradually slants from the one place to

glide effortlessly, circuitously into the other one. It is hard to explain

but it shows the world on its axis, so to speak, literally turning from

the one location to the next. The dizzying effect is exhilarating!

 

Then it is philosophical, here in my own words, I try to explain the

effect this film had upon me:

 

“We are all mankind.

Look at us, trying to eke out existence where there are few resources.

This is for the desert and sparse land where hardly any green exists.

Where there are miles between homes, across divergent tundras of land.

Trying to make our way among a crowded city, winding between others,

taking care not to enter the personal spaces, but sometimes colliding.”

 

I felt the movie has themes that are universal, no need to try to interpret

or have the languages translated. Why worry about the subtexts? Just

watch this movie for all the reasons Beth mentioned, along with this

short summary of textures I tried to capture in words. There are so many

dimensions, you will see this if you check out Beth’s post on this, too.

 

Swans

Birds

Giraffes

Farmers

Workers

Shearers

Sheep

 

Joy

Dances

Ukulele

Expressions

Discordant tones

Musical instruments

Melodic chants

Staccato “coos”

Dissonant

Calm

 

Round

and

Round

 

Sparse

Simple

Solidarity

Separate

Solitude

 

Fluid

Flows

Frost

Foliage

Fields

 

Round

and

Round

 

Carts

Riders

Walkers

Bicyclists

Complicated

Intertwining

Rickshaw

Vehicles

Trucks

Cars

 

Stark

Rocky

Barren

Beauty

Splendor

Horizons

Grassy

Beach

Lush

 

Men

Women

Diversity

Young

Old

 

 

 

 

What would you do if you suddenly were rich?

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Songs that have the words, “All I Want for Christmas” or “I’m Dreaming of a White
Christmas” make me think of the times that while on a trip, in our family, we would
“dream” or ask the question,
“What would you do if you were given a million dollars?”
Since I have posted a few stories that are more for those of one faith, I would like
to extend this question, broaden it to:
“What are your dreams and how would you make them come true, if money were no problem?”
I think I would right off the bat, give to my children each $100,000. I would hope
that they would understand that Mom cannot give all of the money to them! But, that
would provide a good start to their savings and since they have jobs, maybe they would
be satisfied with the helping hand out.
I would quit Advance Auto D.C. right away! I have been feeling my fingers getting numb
and think that my legs, body, etc. need to have an “easier life after fifty!”
I don’t complain, but when given a chance out of there, I would seize it and not look
back, except to keep in touch with some of my favorites, like Tammy, Melvin and Darryl.
They make me laugh, get me to relax and enjoy my lunch and breaks.
I would like to move to an apartment with two bedroom, furnish one with twin beds, like
Felicia and I had when I first moved into my present situation. I would furnish the
second room with a full or queen size bed. I would like an apartment like my ex-husband
has, with a pool nearby and a patio with a sliding glass door to the outside. I would
plant flowers and some tomato plants, too.
I would live on $30,000 or $35,000 a year, using the rest of the money as a combination
of saving and giving. I would be careful and choose the charities or projects that
deserved my donations, carefully. I would get a simple job with health care coverage.
I do believe that it is a good idea to “tithe” and I would do this to my faithful
and caring First Presbyterian Church. I would pray for insight and inspiration about
my choices.
I might consult someone who is in financial planning to ensure I make wise choices
about my savings and spending, too.
I think it is important to donate time and energy to projects. I am a big fan of Habitat
for Humanity and have volunteered only once (so far) for this in my town.
I should do it more regularly!
Money would allow me to have more time!
I am not sure if I could get a Monday through Friday position, but would try to find
a place that desired my abilities enough to accommodate that “dream,” too.
I would like to listen to live bands more!
I would get a computer and get my Wi-Fi turned back on!
You would still only see or hear from me once or twice a day, since I would like to
be able to spend more time volunteering at my grandchildren’s schools.
I would like to travel, far and wide, over hill and dale…
I would like to move my mother down here, but as my sister in law, Susan, has pointed
out, Cleveland is the “Mecca of Nursing Homes!” and she has settled into her very nice
apartment with plenty of Randy’s artwork there and the close proximity to brothers is
a plus, too.
I would spend more time driving up to visit her on the weekends! I would bring little
ones to visit and we would explore the area more, while I am up there!
This is all to say, that I am overall very happy with the skeleton of this dream, I
have my family, my apartment, my car and my job, so I am thankful for my blessings…
I would just expand my world a little bit, with the extra money, but being mindful to
keep most of the money in savings for the different bends and twists in Life.

Let me know what your dreams would be, if “money were no object!”

And I cannot help myself, when the child asks for “his two front teeth” as All He
Wanted for Christmas! (Do you believe that could really be all he wants? Smiles!)

The Closing of the “Season of Peace”

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In the Presbyterian Church, the celebration of the “Season of Peace”

started this year on Sept. 8th and ended on Oct. 6th. Churches and

other organizations (including schools and businesses) participated

in the Annual Crop Walk. Its slogan is “ending hunger one step at a

time!”

Our church joined in the Crop Walk on Oct. 6th to culminate the varied

ways our church passes “peace” around.  This non-denominational

walk for Hunger was formed by the World Church Services. I have taken

my children for years to this while young, they would gather “pledges”

and in the end, there would be a service with all walks of life, varied

organizations gathered together to try to fight a strong battle against

hunger.

I am not a big attendee of church on most of the Sundays in the year.

I read and meditate, I think and celebrate joy by praising our God for

the many gifts in this world. I enjoy being with someone in church,

knowing that I can join others, still liked it when my youngest girl

was a big “hold out” and attended church the longest, sitting beside

me. She moved in August, so is attending a church closer to her,

even has been an usher already.

I would like to share the way our church began our Season of Peace,

with World Communion Sunday and also, what we consider a Peace-

making offering when we pass the plate around.

Listen, reflect or pray upon, the following words found in Psalm 72,

Verse 7:

May…”righteousness flourish and peace abound until the moon is no more.”

Then in Verse 8:

We hope that peace will “reign from sea to sea, and from the River to

the ends of the earth.”

Lastly,  we pray that the God of Peace hear our prayers and bless our

efforts to bring peace to a world fragmented by war and violence of

every kind.

Here is what I mentioned in another post, to pray for each area of the

world, on a different day:

Monday:  Australia and Pacific Islands

Tuesday:  Africa

Wednesday:  Asia

Thursday:  Europe

Friday:  North America

Saturday:  Latin America

Sunday: Middle East

You could end your prayers or reflections, if you wish, with these

words:

“Loving God, lead all nations into the paths of Peace.”

And if you have any interest in reading more about Crop Hunger Walks,

please keep this in mind next Fall. Sorry to be a little late but it always

is helpful to me, to have something to focus in on while praying and

meditating about our World full of strife.

Hope this brings you the Peace that passeth all understanding…