It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 26, Book 15

I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you . . . and you will be a blessing to others

Genesis 12:2 

February 26th - Lucky in love

To be lucky in love requires falling in love many times - and always with the same person.

 Mignon McLaughlin

I don’t believe that luck has much to do with what we have in life.  I do believe that what we have is due to the blessings that the good Lord gives us.  We are blessed not just so that we can feel good, not just so we can be happy and comfortable, but so that we will bless others. 

A little story for you today

A wise person once decided she wanted to know God.  So she climbed the highest hill she could find, and she sat at the top, thinking and praying.  She was up there all day.  And then all the next day, and the next, and the day after that, waiting for God.  A worried friend finally came looking for her.

What are you doing up here? the friend asked the wise person.

I want to know God, she answered. I’m just waiting for God to show up.

Her friend sighed, and sat, and kept her company.  When evening came she gave her the bread she had brought with her.  When it grew chilly she wrapped her coat around the wise person’s shoulders. She got up to leave, saying, Well, I hope you get to know God.

Her wise friend stood  and prepared to leave with her.  I think I just did, she said.

Things like kindness, consideration, genuineness, honesty, unsolicited help, interest in others, attention to detail, excellence in all things, fairness , things that flow through all our words and deeds as the result of our being blessed of God,  all these things can impact others so that they become aware of having been touched by a hand from somewhere beyond the world as they normally experience it.

Our blessings to others will come back on us.  The more you bless other people . . . the more you help others, the more God blesses your life. 
I wish you all a love filled Lent: of knowing God in the love of other people; a Lent of falling in love with God all over again.

Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.

 Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 25, Book 15

February 25th - Love believes

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Believe in Santa Claus. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will?

Jon Bon Jovi

Worry, feeling uneasy or troubled, seems to plague multitudes of people in our world today. It's human nature to be concerned about the bad situations in our world and in our personal lives.  I’ve found  that the cure for worry is humbling ourselves before God, casting our cares on Him.  He does a much better job of handling things than I can. When we do what we can do, God steps in and does what we can’t.

Attitude has a lot to do with living a worry free life. There will always be situations that cause us concern, but with God's help, we can live above all of it and enjoy life.  When we stop trying to make things happen the way we want and realize we are not the ones in control, we don’t have to worry. Lent’s greatest gift is the reminder that I am completely dependent upon God.

 Faith is stronger than doubt, negativism and unbelief. Faith has a positive attitude that can overcome our past and lead us into a great future. Faith is a powerful force that cannot be conquered.  It's nice to know that we don't have to figure everything out.

Who so loves
Believes the impossible.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 24, Book 15

February 24th - Sprinkled with love

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:6

Could it be that the seasoning we use to use to make our love a little sweeter could be salt?  To be seasoned with salt is to savor the fresh and lively spiritual wisdom and earnestness of others. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.  A message of love should thus be clearly conveyed through the words we speak, through our conduct and mannerisms.

 My grandmother was pretty smart when it came to the tongue. She sprinkled her daily conversation with wise sayings like, Keep your tongue between your teeth,  and, Think twice before you speak once.

Angry words, O let them never
      From the tongue, unbridled slip.
      With the soul's best impulse
      Ever check them,
      Ere they soil the lips.
      Angry words are quickly spoken,
      Bitter thoughts are rashly stirred.
      Fondest links of life are broken.
      By a single angry word.

Our words reflect what's in our hearts. If a man loves sports, he talks sports. If he loves money, he talks money. If he loves art, he talks art. When you get to my age, you look back and it's an awesome thing. I think about the millions of words I must have said over the years.  The important things in my life have always been my faith, family and friends.  I hope my words have reflected that.

True love is delicate and kind, full of gentle perception and understanding, full of beauty and grace… . There should be some flavor of this in all our love for others. 

We all could use a little extra sprinkling of love these cold winter days.  I hope you sprinkle your days with love and fun.

It is a fine seasoning for joy to think of those we love. 

 Jean Baptiste Molière

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 23, Book 15

February 23rd - Please Mr. Postman

If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it. 

Mother Teresa

The ONE Thing Necessary: Lent is for Love

The message that Lent sends out is all about changing our hearts.  To take away any bitterness or brokenness and to love with an everlasting love. It’s meant to be about opening hearts and lowering barriers.  

Love changes us. It causes us to do things we wouldn’t normally do.

Love, Love changes everything:
Hands and faces; Earth and sky.
Love, Love changes everything:
How you live and how you die.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Life knocks us and hurts us from time to time and we retreat into our hiding places. But love invites us back out of our darkness and uncertainties. 

Like many gifts that are given to us each day we tend to take love for granted.  It takes a while to build up love but only a second to lose it. You can't buy it or even sell it. It is up to us to treasure this most precious gift.  Love changes everything. May it find opportunity to change you.

Life is a magic vase filled to the brim; so made that you cannot dip into it nor draw from it; but it overflows into the hand that drops treasures into it drop in malice and it overflows hate; drop in charity and it overflows love

John Ruskin

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 22, Book 15

February 22nd - Love: the only game that two can play and both can win

Lenten Survival Tip:  Make it a love affair

We are called to live the faith we profess each week at church, to live in such a way that all we meet will feel the love we share.  Love is in the small stuff. Love should be in every thing we do each day.  We need to remind ourselves never to take anything for granted. 

Love is fun. Happiness is a decision.  It doesn’t matter if the person we love fails to love us back or doesn’t love us the way we hoped they would… what matters most is that we are happy just to be able to love.

Above all we need to remember who we are in God's sight. To bask in God's love for the imperfect you. He loves us just the way we are.  Why not spend these 40 days of Lent practicing that greatest commandment of all: Love.

Life is a game and true love is a trophy.

Rufus Wainwright

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 21, Book 15

February 21st - Love: the only virtue that can be divided endlessly and still not be diminished

Although Valentines Day is but a memory now and the season of Lent is upon us, I’m sharing a little Valentines tale with you today.

 Imagine a person buys a beautiful bouquet of flowers for his or her beloved for Valentine's day.  The person receiving the flowers is moved to tears and says, Your expression of love means SO much to me.  Thank you so much.  And then imagine the person giving the flowers responds by saying, Well, it is Valentine's Day you know and I didn't want you to be mad at me if I didn't do something for you today.

      Ouch!  The flowers in and of themselves would have been a wonderful gift.  But when the person says, I just didn't want you to be mad at me, all of the positive energy of the gift of the flowers disappears.

Giving someone a gift because you are afraid they might be mad otherwise is very different than giving that gift to express genuine love. 

Lent and Valentine's Day have something in common.  Our true motives in regard to how we approach each of these days makes all the difference.  The expression of heartfelt feelings of love in any form is only authentic and meaningful if the motivation itself is grounded in love, not fear.  

I added the picture of our snow in today's post.  Yesterday the walks and the driveway were clear, This morning it is snow covered here once more.  I'm very weary of winter, but am trying to remember that no winter lasts forever.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, February 20, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 20, Book 15

My God, Thou wilt have mercy on my sin
For Thy Love’s sake: yea, if I should begin
To tell This all, the day would be too small
To tell it in.

Christina Roseetti

February 20th - Those who deserve love the least need it the most.

The Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, is most celebrated for her popular Christmas carols, but unknown to me, some say her most prolific season was Lent. The poem tells of her steadfast hope in the God that she knows hears her. The season of Lent season of preparation is also a season of hope.

Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore 

We’ve heard the term for love’s sake, do this or that, but what does doing something for love’s sake really mean?  To me it means to do something out of consideration for or in the interest of someone I care about. We can help or forgive others for the sake of love.  

Oh God, let me not be cured of love, but let my passion grow! Let me love for love's sake!

Diane Wolkstein