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

Author Unknown

Sunday, July 17, 2005

BREAKING FOR SUMMER


I hope you've enjoyed following along with me in my Summer Bible Study. If you haven't had the chance, please feel free to click on any of the links below and check out my study.

I'm taking a break from this journal until Bible Study starts up in the fall. I will still be spending time each day with the Word but things are going to get very busy here at My House with the visit from my Florida and Mississippi babes for the wedding of son # 6 in August and I just won't be able to keep up 2 journals.

Please check out my other journal: http://journals.aol.com/marainey1/GoodMorningSunshine/

I'll still be updating it each day. Guess I'm addicted to journaling. . .and to letting everyone know how truly AWESOME our good Lord is!!!

I've also posted several links below in the side bar that make some good reading too !

Enjoy !

Have a Blessed and Safe Summer !

'On Ya' - ma

WEEK 6 - DAY 6 - LAST DAY OF MY SUMMER STUDY


The finding is never complete
We can never know God exhaustively or completely....But we can sometimes know....for sometimes we become so aware of the fierce beauty of God's light that it seems to be known because it is burning brightly within us.
Caryll Houselander
God is, above all else, a being of immense beauty. It is this beauty that continues to draw us and enfold us in eteranl goodness. This mysterious Beloved is forever wooing us, longing for us to be totally immersed in love of the purest kind. The immense goodness of God is reflected in every variety of people and in all the facets of the universe. Each one mirrors the essence of God's beauty. Every once in awhile, each of us senses, for a moment, this rare blessing of the touch of God. Brief as it is, it is enough to remind us that there is an underlying harmony beneath all the chaos.
Any and all experiences of God are pure gift. There is eternal beauty giving a loving texture to all of life.
As I end this 6 weeks, I'll try to remember that we are in the embrace of a God of love who calls us 'the Beloved', a God who is our choosen 'portion and cup' Could we ever want for anything more?
Let the beauty of God sing in you
Let the comfort of God wrap around you
Let the goodness of God draw you closer
Let the generosity of God open you to the world
Let the love of God bring you peace
Remain enfolded in this Eternal Beauty for as long as you can
Scripture: Colossians 2:1-4
Romans 11: 33-36
God's mystery... in whom are hidden all the jewels of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3)
Oh the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God ! (Rom. 11:33)
I thank God for all His many Gifts !
My family and I have been so blessed in so many ways that it is hard to count all of them.
When my first child was born, I'm sure I felt the blessing of God. My heart was full to bursting with His love. All the chances of my first son being born, were very iffy. I spent 5 long months of bedrest and with God's help we had a beautiful baby boy.
This was the second of many gifts I've received. The first was knowing and marrying my 'other half'. These were the two most outstainding gifts I've received, of course there were many others in between, but these stand out as probably the greatest ! I'm always in awe of the fact that I was chosen by God to receive His blessings. He does truly love His children - all we have to do is believe !
Today I will place my hand over my heart, unite with God's beauty in my soul and in my world, and give thanks !
'On Ya' - ma

Friday, July 15, 2005

WEEK 6 - DAY 5 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY


For all of a sudden when I saw those lights, I said to myself, Ivy, this is your life, this is your real life, and you are living it. Your life is not going to start later. This is it, it is now. It's funny how a person can be so busy that they forget this is it.

This is my life.

Lee Smith, Fair and Tender Ladies


It is amazing how we can miss so much of life. The key to gratitude is surprise. When we lose our sensitivity to wonder and awe, when we simply trudge or zoom through the days, we can so easily miss the daily gifts of life. When; we awaken to what is within us and around us, we savor, relish and taste fresh each day. Our heart holds more gratitude for our blessings.

The problem with being grateful is not the lack of countless blessings, the problem is with being inattentive and unaware of these blessings

Be aware of your five senses and be thankful.

Scripture: Psalm 116:12-19: Luke 22;14-23
What return shall I make to God for all God's bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of God
(Psalm 116:12-13),
Then Jesus took the cup and gave thanks...(Luke 11:17)

If I said 'Thank You Lord' a thousand times a day, it wouldn't be enough. Yet, I hardly say it at all ! That's something I need to work on. Thank you Lord for my family and friends, Thank you Lord, for my good health, Thank you Lord for my job and my home and ...and...it could go on forever ! Simple little things like a sunny day, or a much needed rain shower are blessings that I let slip by without a notice.

Today I will live this day as if it was my last.
'On Ya' - ma
Just a little note to let you all know what the 'On Ya' stands for:
May the Joy of the Lord be on you !






Thursday, July 14, 2005

WEEK SIX - DAY 4 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY


In our sleep, pain that cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God

Aeschylus





Sometimes the greatest blessing is disguised amid turmoil, confusion, heartache, and struggle.

We are unable to accept the blessing because we are too hurt, too angry, too grieved too overwhelmed to recieve it.

It is only later that we see the gift that has come from what we thought would destroy our happiness forever.

Because I have known great loss with the death of my husband, and because I have undergone a complete change of lifestyle, I try to encourage others that may need a little lift to pick then up.

In the process of healing, we begin to see the blessings that are ours.

Scripture: Genesis 32: 22-32
Jacob was left alone and a messenger of God wrestled with him until day break. When the messenger saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint.... Then he said, Let me go...but Jacob said I will not let you go until you bless me


With the help of Holy Wisdom, we can sift through the rubble and find teachings that can guide us.

Today when an unwanted experience occurs,
I will not toss it out until I find a blessing in it.
'On Ya' - ma




Wednesday, July 13, 2005

WEEK 6 - DAY 3 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY


You anoint my head with oil,

my cup brims over.

Psalm 23:5

God's generosity is like a bottomless cup. No matter what kind of mood we are in , no matter how loving or nasty we are, God keeps offering love and abiding peace. We can drink and drink from the abundance of God and there is still more love to be poured into our hearts.

When we reflect on the gifts we have in our lives we realize that the generosity of God is beyond comprehension. Nothing we could ever do could earn the gifts that are freely given.

The scriputres often speak of the abundance of God. The book of Joel tells of God's Spirit being poured out on all humanity. The Psalms use many images to proclaim the generosity of God's gifts. Our lives are a tesitimony to the generosity of the Divine Giver.

Like cups filled to the very brim, ready to wash over the edge, God's love is fillling us. We need to be open to receiving this love.

Scripture: Psalm 36:5-9
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge
in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink
from the river of your delights.


Gods love and generosity are beyond comprehension, The immensity of His kindness is endless. There have been countless times in my life that I thought I was at the end of my rope. And then...God would step in and give me what ever help I've needed. Praise and thanks be to God, I've been so blessed. I count on Him to supply 'my daily bread' and He does !!! I'll never be rich, but I have what I need. For that I'll always be thankful.

Today as I pour liquids of any kind into a cup, a glass or a bowl, I will smile inside as I remember how generous God is in filling my life with blessings.
'On Ya' - ma


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

WEEK 6 - DAY 2 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY


Going from this place to another place is like the bird in winter who remembers the beauty of her Springtime nest just to keep herself from freezing.

Nancy Wood






We often take our memory for granted until we get to the age where we have trouble remembering. Good memories encourage us, warm us on a cold day and help to keep hope alive in our hearts.

When Jesus blessed the bread and cup of wine at the Last Supper he said to those who were dear to his heart: Do this in memory of me. (Luke 22:19) The power of this statement has remained until this day because we have carried it on from generation to generation.

Our ability to remember is a precious gift. It is in remembering our blessings that our hearts are filled with gratitude. Without memory we would be unable to savor the good things that have happened to us and for us. Memory can bless us or haunt us depending on how we receive it and live with it.

Scripture : Deuteronomy 4:9-20
But take care...so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's children.

We have such a store house of good memories to give us hope and inspiration that are filled with love and happiness. May these memories prevail over the the distressing memories so that we can focus on the ones that are consoling and strengthening to us.

Today I will carry one blessed memory in my heart and
let it sustain me with happiness and peace.
'On Ya' - ma

Monday, July 11, 2005

WEEK 6 - DAY 1


To Bless is to put a bit of yourself into something. It is to make holy, to change something or someone because of your presence.

Macrina Wiederkehr



Each of us can offer blessings and be blessings. When we bless it is God' deep goodness or God-ness in us that blesses another. Jesus did not bless, but rather, is a blessing. His presence , his goodness engenders life, strength, healing, courage and vitality.

Many people have blessed my life. Usually they blessed me by smile, loving looks, stories, their concern and their care. They have given me strength and courage. You may be at a place in your life where you can easily resonate with blessings, or you may be in a tough place where you wonder if you were ever a blessing or ever blessed.

Wherever we are today, we can believe in the power and possiblility of blessings.

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:8-12
...repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called -- that you might inherit a blessing.

We can be be a blessing to someone by just a gentle touch or a smile .
Today I will intentionly bless each person I meet
with the gift of my loving presence

'On Ya' - ma

Sunday, July 10, 2005

WEEK 6 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY


WHEREVER YOU PLACE YOUR FOOT,
THERE RESTS A BLESSING.

RUMI








There is just one more week left of our study. This week we will study the BLESSING CUP

Perhaps the best know cup in the scriptures is that of the blessing cup in

1 Corinthians 10:16
The blessing cup that we bless, is it not a sharing in the Blood of Christ?

What are blessings?

The dictionary defines blessing as: to consecrate or to hallow by religious rite or words to make or prounounce holy or sacred.

To bless is not so much to make sacred, however, as it is to acknowledge the sacredness that is already there. All creation is sacred because it is made by God.
Wherever we are can be a blessing if we are aware of the sacredness and beauty of that place.

Calling forth a blessing is actually a naming of the goodness that is already there

Whenever God blesses, there emerges bounteous life and abundance of goodness.

Anyone and anything that brings good or God-ness into our lives is a blessing. To bless is to bring the touch of God, the touch of love and goodness to another by our presence as well as by our actions. Blessings are a greating from God, saying - I care about you, I desire what will be for your own good. Your are dear to my heart, I want your life to be filled with love.

Sometimes these blessings come disguised in the pain,struggle, and hardship of unwanted parts of our lives. It is only later, that we look and see what a gift those times and events were for usl.

As we pray through the next week with the blessing cup, may we grow in awareness of the countless blessings that are ours. May the love and appreciation for the Giver of all Gifts, the best of all blessings, continue to grow and be enriched.

Today, I will pray that our dear Lord blesses all those family and friends dear to my heart and I will try to recognize all the blessings that I receive.
'On Ya' - ma

Saturday, July 09, 2005

WEEK 5 -DAY 6 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY

JUST TO BE IS A BLESSING,
JUST TO LIVE IS HOLY.
Abraham Joshua Heschel

We have been conditioned to think that it is only by our doing that we make a difference. We think we have to show something for our good intentions. Action is a vital part of Christian love, but it has little effect unless there is a quality of be-ing with it.. Sometimes the be-ing part of our care is what others really need. We may feel better if we do something like make a meal or buy a gift, but sometimes someone may simply need us to sit and listen to their concerns.

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane he need his diciples to be with him while he prayed. Can we, like the diciples, realize that we do not have to b e doing something in order to share our compassion?

Scripture: Matthew 2:36-46
Then Jesus said to them, I am deeply grieved, even to death, remain here, stay awake with me...Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping and he said to Peter, So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?
God of compassion,
When I hesitate to be with another, strengthen me
When I question the quality of my presence, assure me
When I want to show my worth through action, humble me
When I miss the needs of the one who suffers, awaken me
When I forget the beauty of a loving presence, remind me
When I run away from the call to be there, bring me back

Remember - Just to be is a blessing

When we are hurt or hurting it is wonderful to have someone come to our aid. Sometimes there is nothing more appreciated than just to have someone sit with us, share a cup of coffee and talk awhile. There have been many times someone has helped me. No one likes to be alone with their troubles.


Today I will be present to another without charging into action.
'On Ya' - ma

Friday, July 08, 2005

WEEK 5 - DAY 5 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY



Anyone who gives anything to the Divine will find that it comes back to them turned to gold. -Rumi

Jesus encouraged his disciples toward generous loving and assured them that if they were generous in their giving that this same generosity would be the measure of the gifts returned. Their giving would be turned to gold. Compassion is like that. When we let compassion pour fourth generously instead of holding back it can be a powerful experience. We often recieve more than we give.

Scripture: Luke 5:37-38

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

When we are grumpy we tend to take it out on others, and they inturn are left feeling grumpy, but when we are happy, our happiness also rubs off on others. When I'm a grouch, I try to treat others with loving kindness and not let my grumpiness show. A SMILE and a kind word can do so much to brighten someone's day.

Today I will pour generously from my cup of love and kindness

'On Ya' - ma

Thursday, July 07, 2005

WEEK 5 - DAY 4 SUMMER BIBLE STUDY



Compassion...is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal

Sharon Salzberg
Compassion has a price. It does not come without a cost. When we speak out and take a stand against injustice, our compassion can cost us ridicule, rejection, loss of friends, and even termination of our job.
When we are willing to help someone in physical or emotional pain, our compassion can cost us our time and energy.
Compassion invites us to move out of our comfortable zones.
Compassion refuses to accept excuses of busyness, ignorance, or helplessness. We are invited to reach out to those who suffer.
When we think of the great sacrifice that compassion asks, we see Mary mother of Jesus standing at the foot of the cross. Standing there bravely with the greatest sorrow a mother could have. Compassion cost Mary's son his life. Both Mary and Jesus know the price of compassion.
Scripture: John 19:25-27
Standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother , and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene...Jesus saw his mother and the diciple whom he loved standing beside her.
I once volunteered at our local hospital playing and teaching the dulcimer.
It was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I visited the psychiatric ward twice a month for over a year. One day I was playing an old folk song, and one of the patients said how she loved that old song , that it brought back some good memories.
Afterward, the nurse on duty told me that was the first time that woman had talked in years. It was truly a miracle sent from God.
(The song was 'Wildwood Flower')
Mary's life teaches us to suffer with others even when it costs me to do so.
Today I will offer thanks for someone who paid a price for offering compassion to me.
I will place myself beneath the cross of another who may need my compassion.
'On Ya' - ma

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Week 5 - DAY 3 SUMMER BIBLE STUDY



Too many of us consent, or are forced, to spend time doing things for which we have no heartfelt reason. If we were asked : Why are you doing this? - we would not know how to answer.
Parker Palmer


Life is a constant cycle of giving and receiving. The divine gift of love that we receive is meant to be shared. I can offer compassion with a selfless approach when I'm more conscious of my reasons for giving. If the reasons come out of 'have to' guilt, self affirmation or codependency, a 'fix'it' or problem-solving intention, my compassion has too much of 'me' in it.

The better we love ourselves, the better we can love others. Caregivers are often great at extending the gift of compassion but do it poorly when it comes to themselves.

Gifts are meant to be given. Gifts are meant to be received. True gifts are freely offered.

Scripture: Matthew 25: 31-45

For I was hungry and you gave me food
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink
I was naked and you gave me clothing
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
I was sick and you took care of me
I was in prison and you visited me


I would like to think that I give freely in every aspect of my life. Most of the time it seems that no one wants what I have to give. Most days I feel as if I'm reduced to offering up prayers as the only way I can be of help to anyone. I shouldn't feel as if this is a poor offering. God wants us to pray to Him. I think He wants us to utterly depend on Him for our needs. And if we pray, we are showing just how much we do need Him.

I do try to encourage others by my daily emails and my journals. They help to keep my family and friends connected and hopefully uplifted a little each day. In doing this I give myself a purpose , and a way to share God's love.

Today I will choose an aspect of compassion that I need
and give it to myself as well as others.

'On Ya' - ma

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Week 5-Day 2



...there now flows a constant stream of tenderness, a stream in which all petty desires seem to have been extinquished. All that matters now is to be kind to each other with all the goodness that is in me.

Etty Hillisum

The image of the Body of Christ is vital and helpful when it comes to living compassionately. Each of us is a part of the whole, with the Spirit of Jesus uniting us.

Scripture contains images of this unity, paticularly in the description of the one body that has many members. If one member sufffers, all suffer together with it. If one member is honored, all rejoice together . Each and every part of the whole is significant and worthy.

All peoples are our brothers and sisters. We are to be the presence of God to each other. There is oneness of Love bonding us to all of life.

One way of being a sign of God's great compassion is by praying for and with others. Each morning I pray for all the members of my family, my friends, our government leaders, our military and yes, even for our enemies (that they may have a change of heart.) I also pray for all the prayer requests that are sent to me by the prayer group I belong to. In this way I am reminded of my oneness with others and the call to be a messenger of God's love .

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of body, though many, are one body so it is with Christ.... Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Prayer adapted from the prayer

of John Cardinal Newman


Dear God, help me to spread your love everywhere I go. Penetrate and possess my whole being so fully that all my life will reflect your compassion. Shine through me and be so in me that every person I meet will feel your presence in my spirit.

Today I wll intentionally offer compassion to someone I know who is in need of my understanding, kindness and care.

'On Ya' - ma

Monday, July 04, 2005

WEEK 5 DAY 1 - SUMMER BIBLE STUDY



What can we do?
We can become a sign.
Whatever happens,
become a sign of joy
and a fountain of divine love.
Bede Griffiths, OSB

Compassionate people inspire others to be compassionate. Jesus was so consistently compassionate when he met the ill, the grieving, the hungry, the oppresed - He touched the torn and tattered people with awareness of their woundedness. The vastness of his ability to love and be loved is phenomenal.

Compassionate people often have significant suffering or painful life events of their own, a generous heart, a non-blaming and non-judging mind, a passionate spirit, a willingness to sacrifice their life, a keen empathy and a love that embraces the oneness of creation.

We are called to offer the cup of compassion to others.

Scripture: Matthew 10:40-42

...and whoever gives even a cup of water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple --truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.


God has brought so many compassionate people into my life. Many who gave me comfort and strength in my times of distress and pain. I long to be a more compassionate person so that I can reflect the love of God.

Today I will live as a compassionate person.

'On Ya'
- ma


Please note : There were no day 7's in this study - they were set aside for a review of the week

Sunday, July 03, 2005

WEEK 4 - DAY 6 SUMMER BIBLE STUDY


Waiting is endless...I wait because I am powerless to do anything else. I wait because what I most treasure is deepest within and protected by silence. Out of waiting comes patience. Out of accepting my powerlessness comes strength and love and the courage to dare.
Christin Lore Weber


We wait and wait for something to happen and then often don't recognize it when it happens. Healing takes a lot of patience and much time. Just like a deep wound in our body that heals from the inside out, our spirits take time to mend too !

Our mending takes :
naming and working with our unwanted emotions
extending compassion toward ourselves and others
letting go of resistance
trusting and yielding to God
receiving support from others
taking good care of our body and our spirit

We cannot undo or fix the past, but we can be healed from what has wounded us. We need to patiently approach the process of our inner healing with trust and confidence.

Just like a broken cup that has been mended, we too can be mended. We may have little scars left behind but they will only strengthen us.


Scripture: Ezekiel 34 : 11-16

I will seek the lost
and I wll bring back the strayed
and I will bind up the injured,
and I will strengthen the weak

With God we can receive help to mend the broken places in our lives. Direction to sources of hope and healing. He is our vision and strength. Anointed with the oil of his love, we can move forward to ever greater healing.

Waiting is for most of us the hardest thing to do. In times of distress it seems that we'll never be the same again. Just as when I pregnant , it seemed that the 9 months would never end. The closer it got to my due date, the more uncomfortable I'd feel. Then before I knew it, a wonderful little babe was born, and before I knew it, the babe became an adult, and before I knew it...I was a grand'ma'...

We need to keep our hearts open to the times of healing, before we know it, the time may pass us by and the blessings we could have had might just be missed.

Today I will wear a Band-Aid as a sign of my trust in God to heal whatever is broken in my life and as a thank-you for what has already been healed.

'On Ya' - ma

Friday, July 01, 2005

WEEK 4 DAY 5 - SUMMER BIBILE STUDY


I am entirely ready to have the chains that keep me bound be broken. I am entirely ready for the walls I've buildt around myself to be torn down. I am entirely ready to give up my need to control every situation. I am entirely ready to let go of my resentments. I am entirely ready to grow up.
Macrina Wiederkehr

When we are in pain we can easily live with illusions. We may say -- No one loves me, no one cares, I will never feel happy again , I can't do that, etc. We can't begin to be healed because of our resistance.

Resistance can take other forms as well.-- Silent withdrawal, apathy, running away, talking all the time, being constantly busy, ignoring or pretending not to understand, being critical, or making excuses. Resistance is like putting a hand over the opening of a cup.

These things can be blocks to our spiritual growth. When we surrender our pain to God and open our hearts to receive healing can take place.

Scripture: John 11 :1-44
Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha the sister of the dead man said Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.

We know that Jesus did raise Lazerus from the dead. When we think things are impossible, he can show us a way.

God can help us to discover what we need to grow spiritually. He can reveal strongholds and lead us to freedom

Today I will notice the excuses I make for avoiding things that I dislike doing and then I will do one of these things that I dislike.
'On Ya' - ma