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

Author Unknown

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 28, Book 15

Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living.

Travis Barker
February 28th - love is life

Love is life and if you miss love, you miss life. 

Leo Buscaglia

I love my life.  It has it’s ups and downs but more ups than downs and that is something to be grateful for.  There are times though when the older we get, the harder we make things for ourselves. Our minds became gradually disillusioned.  Sometimes we get lost in trying to live for someone else, trying to meet their expectations, and doing things just to impress them. 

The truth is that everyone can find a reason to be offended on a daily basis. The world can be a difficult place. We 
can’t change yesterday, but we can ruin today by worrying about tomorrow.

Remember The 7 Ups of Life 

1.  Wake Up - Decide to have a good day. 

This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 
Psalms 118:24

2.  Dress Up - The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. 

For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up - Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking

He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. 
Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up - For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith
 Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up - To the Lord. 
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
 Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up - For something higher. Always try to better yourself.

7. Lift Up - Your Prayers. 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, 
let your requests be made known to God; 
Philippians 4:6

Lent a journey of love. There are lots of things that keep us from loving like gossip, overwork,  and dwelling on resentments.   Find a way to give them up, or at least reduce their influence. Try to find life giving substitutes for them. Take a walk with a friend. Make it a point to find something UP building to say in every conversation. Give encouragement to the doubting, give a word of praise to the insecure, show kindness to someone who could use a friend, and offer a word of thanks to those whose service of others often goes unappreciated. Give the gift of your attention to someone who simply wants to be noticed.

May we all find joy along the way, which is the fuel we need for the journey.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 27, Book 15

February 27th - moments of love

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

Henry Drummond

It's your life. Who better to control it? 

We all know what jealousy feels like. Even if we’re not prone to it, we know it from the temptation that is common to all of us. In our competitive world, there are plenty of opportunities to get beat out at something. It could be something as major as getting hired for a job, or as minor as getting cut off in traffic. 

Jealousy destroys.  It is not only destructive to our own heart and being, but it can lead to destruction in relationships.  Jealousy can take the form of bitterness, resentment, gossip, malicious actions, and many more ugly appearances.  Often we feel helpless to these feelings of jealousy, and that is when envy destroys siblings, families, friendships, and relationships. 

We can choose to feel resentful, or we can relax, knowing that God will give us everything we need, even if it’s not what we had in mind. 

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own.  

Harold Coffin

The best way to counter jealousy, or any kind of discontent, is to give thanks for what you already have. Gratitude is one of those words that you don’t hear very often, except maybe by me,  but it is one that can do magic when it comes to shifting your attitude.  

As I’m praying my way through Lent, I thought I share this little prayer with you all today. After all is said and done, what you are most grateful for matters most.

Lord Jesus,
as you touched
the eyes of the blind man,
touch us
so that our eyes may be opened
so that we can really see
the many wonderful things around us and in our own lives.


We already have all that we need

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

Vince Lombardi

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 19, Book 15

I prayToday
That God will bring you
Where there's been pain
Where there's been discord
Where there's been loneliness

I prayToday
That God will bring you
Where there's been sorrow
Where there's been inequality
Where there's been chaos

I prayToday
That He will heal your human heart
and help you face tomorrow
With a renewed sense of
And wisdom.

Ted Hibbard

February 19th - Love cures

Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. 

 Karl Menninger

Love is not a feeling. Love is not an emotion. Love is not passion, as the world would define it. However, make no mistake about it: Lent is all about love.   It’s a time to renew our faith, hope and love

I Corinthians 13:4-7 says, Love. . .bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Paul, the author of Corinthians, saw only one solution and that was love! Don’t we need the same prescription today? What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. 

We can strengthen and build up people by speaking soothing, kind, and thoughtful words to them.  Our friends' joy soars, and ours does, too. Love heals. . I learned long ago that it takes so little to do so much good. Often it's only a word of encouragement, a hug, or just saying the words, I care.

Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything.

Only LOVE will save us.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 18, Book 15

A Lenten Reflection


Give up complaining——focus on gratitude.

Give up pessimism——become an optimist.

Give up harsh judgments——think kindly thoughts.

Give up worry——trust Divine Providence.

Give up discouragement——be full of hope.

Give up bitterness——turn to forgiveness.

Give up hatred——return good for evil.

Give up negativism——be positive.

Give up anger——be more patient.

Give up pettiness——become mature.

Give up gloom——enjoy the beauty that is all around you.

Give up jealousy——pray for trust.

Give up gossiping——control your tongue.

Give up sin——turn to virtue.

Give up giving up——hang in there!

February 18th - Love is thick

 Faults are thin where love is thick.

Source: God's Little Instruction Book for Women

Today begins the season of Lent for me.  So in keeping with my theme for the year I’ll be adding my theme for Lent to the daily thoughts on Love. The next 40 days will be all about

Lent: Learning to Pray, Love, and Live Our Lives

We will live the way we love and we will love the way we pray. Lent calls us to learn the way of prayer.  Through prayer, daily life takes on a new meaning. It also changes us. It strips away only what impedes love. Those who pray can then become lanterns of love for others seeking the way through the darkness of their own lives.  Lent is a time to learn to pray, to love, and to live our lives more fully 

There’s an old expression of thankfulness that says, Thanks for sticking with me through the thick and the thin, the good and bad in life.  And I truly do appreciate those that do.  

Remember: When we love it is easy to overlook the faults in others.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 17, Book 15

Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat? 

Goldie Hawn

February 17th - Tomorrow Is Not Promised

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose; teach you a lesson, or help figure out who you are, and who you want to become. 

You never know who these people may be: your neighbor, child, long lost friend, or even a stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment that they will affect your life, in some profound way. 

And sometimes things happen to you, and at the time they seem painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize, that without overcoming those obstacles, you would have never realized your potential strength, or your hearts desire.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, as well as experiencing sheer stupidity; all occur to test the limits of your soul. 

Without these small tests, whether they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a paved straight flat road to nowhere, safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. 

The people you meet who affect your life, and the successes and downfalls you experience, create who you are, and even the bad experiences can be learned from; in fact, they are probably the poignant and important ones. 

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them; for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart... 

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because they are teaching you to love, and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them. 

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment, and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again... 

Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high... 

Hold your head up, because you have every right too. Tell yourself you're a great person and believe in yourself... for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either. 

Author Unknown

I recently heard some very wise words, If you want to have more time, live one day at a time.  

Create your own life and then go out and live in it!
  Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last… 
Tomorrow is Not Promised.

Author Unknown

Monday, February 16, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 16, Book 15

February 16th - Love is marvelous

 It is good to be loved, but it is even better to love. 

Have you ever been on the outside looking in? Too many people have experienced life as the outcast, the odd ball. Sometimes their predicament flows from personal choices, sometimes it’s imposed by forces out of their control. Sometimes it’s unfulfilled wishes, sometimes it’s the results of prejudice.

No one likes to feel left out.  We all need other people.  We can love, support, help, and encourage them, and they can do the same for us.  They help us to look at look out at the world with joy, with gratitude and with love for all that is. Sharing my feelings or remembering the brighter side of life with a trusted friend can really lighten my heart. 

I used to respond to most things people said with 'Baloney!' and I had very few friends. Then I changed and responded 'Marvelous!' - and now I'm invited everywhere!

Mike Moore

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 15, Book 15

February 15th - Love is all you need

All you really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.

Charles Schulz 

In my daily endeavors to find something to write about love, I’ve found that  it is truly the thing in life that matters the most. Love is powerful and is something that everyone wants and everyone needs. Love is a risk. Love is irrational. Love is beautiful. Love is intoxicating. Love is simple yet so complex. Love is amazing. Love is confusing. Love can bring even the strongest to their knees and can lead people to do things they would normally not do. LOVE is one of the most extraordinary feelings in the world. Love is unforgettable. Love is messy. Love is perfect. Love is imperfect. Love brings peace.  Love is unpredictable. Love hurts. In the end Love is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.

 Linda Grayson

Sometimes love is right in front of us and it was there all along. It will present itself when you least expect it.  Sometimes we must lose love to learn, grow, evolve and blossom into the person we were truly meant to be. And sometimes we must lose love before we can appreciate what we once had.

Love is like chocolate, sweet and bitter at the same time

 Love like it is your last day and never take those you love for granted.  Forgive yourself – forgive others.  In the end – love is what matters the most and a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Love is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 14, Book 15

Be Mine Valentine !

February 14 - The Meaning of True Love

It is sharing and caring,
Giving and forgiving,
Loving and being loved,
Walking hand in hand,

Talking heart to heart,
Seeing through each other's eyes,
Laughing together,
Weeping together,

Praying together,
And always trusting
And believing
And thanking God
For each other...

For love that is shared
is a beautiful thing--
It enriches the soul
and makes the heart sing!

Helen Steiner Rice 

It’s Valentines Day and today we celebrate LOVE.  A celebration that is filled with hearts and flowers and loving thoughts and sweet nothings wrapped in happiness, laughter, and love!

My prayer for you on this special day is that LOVE presents itself to you at every turn.

Indeed, that every second of your life is filled with LOVE

Happy Valentines Day!


Friday, February 13, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 13, Book 15

Happy is the person who not only sings, but feels God's eye is on the sparrow, and knows He watches over me. To be simply ensconced in God is true joy. 

Alfred A. Montapert

February 13th - Filled with JOY

Love for the joy of loving, and not for the offerings
of someone else's heart.

Marlene Dietrich

The heart is  fickle and as the seat of emotion, it tugs on us to make snap decisions, irregardless of the consequences. Some of those choices prove positive, improving our lives. Some turn negative, burdening our lives.

The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy. 

Jim Rohn

Even though the heart can blind us to situations, it cannot hide from past choices. We do possess an emotional memory. We feel tugs of the heart we’ve felt before, whether they invite us to love or tempt us to hate. And the decisions we make based upon those urges shade the our choices for tomorrow.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. 

Leo Buscaglia

One decision leads to another. Those choices are shaped and shaded by previous emotions. However, there are moments when an event can shake up our hearts  and change it at a moment’s notice for the better.

May your joys be as deep as the ocean, your sorrows as light as its foam.

Author Unknown
The good news is that you can turn things around. The secret to not giving up is to live in the moment. Instead of counting your chickens before they hatch, enjoy each moment for its own sake.

Favorite people, favorite places,
 Favorite memories of the past,
 These are the joys of a lifetime. . .
These are the things that last.

Author Unknown

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chapter 2, Page 12, Book 15

If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.

Lucy Larcom

February 12th - love warms the heart

To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.

David Viscott

This time of year it’s nice to think about anything warm.  The sunshine is a welcome sight. Winter really can be the most wonderful time of the year. But being cold takes all the fun out of it!   The cold and snow that we endure makes us appreciate the warmth and sunshine so much more than many other people do. Thankfully, there are many ways to stay warm, even in the coldest of climates

 A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.

William Arthur Ward

Living where the winters are cold and very snowy I do just about every thing I can think of to warm up.  One thing I lack is a fireplace and to me there is a lot to be said about sitting by the fire with someone you love.

There's something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart,
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part….

Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr

I’m thinking warm thoughts on this cold day. Research suggests that warm and fuzzy feelings can literally make us feel warmer. And I’m very thankful that at least the days are getting longer. 

A friendship that like love is warm; A love like friendship, steady.

Thomas Moore

It may be cold outside, but love warms the heart

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.

Thomas Jefferson