• Places to go and things to explore
• Stay out of the breakers to avoid trouble
• Joy carries us through dark fear and bright hope
• The immensity of one’s world is full of wonders
• Moving through life with others is a dance
• Life’s rhythm flows with energy
• Those gathered around us can bring protection and security
• Quiet presence when needed… is a gift
• When we are swimming freely… we are in our element
• Peace is found in quiet nooks
From “Reflections from the Everyday”
Having a dream, we hear its call
Hold to truth and help each other
Open hearts filled with longing
One desiring to make things right
Pardon offered and praise given
Produce new life and positive change
Ending despair by showing compassion
Encouraged, you matter
From “My Words to Live By” c-a allen
The water’s hot
The cup is ready
What shall it be today?
For grumbly stomach
Or to ward off ills
But green tea’s good
And traditional black
For strengthened heath
And comforting warmth
What’s that you say?
It tastes like grass?!
Don’t spew it out!
Now give it just a chance.
A bit of tea at end of day
Or when you’re feeling drained
It’s just the thing
I tell the truth
You’ll stick with coffee?
To each his own they say
Ahhh, this is fine
Time to relax and enjoy
… While I sip my cup of tea
• Size does not determine wisdom
• Don’t disregard the value of hard work
• Never pausing to rest will soon burn you out
• Things which look enticing may also bring negative results
• Never consider things from only one small perspective
• Focusing on only what is right before us can blind us to everything else
• Regular communication is key to life
• Working together for a common purpose brings results
• Helping those who are hurting strengthens everyone
• There are seasons to draw together and seasons to venture forth
Bring back and revive
New life bring forth
That which had fled
Return and repair
Once grown faded
Accepted made right
As one dew-touched
From “My Words to Live By” c-a allen
To meet the goal
That’s true and good
A big commitment
But I’ll try
What challenge is this?
The need is great
That first new step
It looks so daunting!
And what if I fail?
To fall and rise
Now once again
Discovering new things
Because I tried
So be encouraged
If you say that I can
Then I’ll try
One foot one hand
A step a reach
How will you know
Unless you try?
World changers that
Both big and small
Not giving up
The car’s packed and we’re heading down the road to new adventures! …I remember my anticipation as a teen going off to college. Along with some normal anxiety, I looked forward to having my own schedule and being able to make my own decisions. I was free to strike out on my own. Free to be me… Rather a scary thought as I look back on that, but my parents and others had prepared me well and my faith in God was real and strong. Growing and maturing is an important step in life.
Free to be. Free to make choices. Free to consider future and present actions… But isn’t it also easy during that pursuit to become too self-focused, missing out on the richness and satisfaction of reaching outward in service and in working with others? We’ve all heard the clamor of the world. “He said…” “She did…” “That’s a lie…” “You deserve…” Perhaps I am just more aware as I’ve gotten older, but selfishness often seems to be encouraged. Talking at once seems to be the norm. People loudly espouse their agenda, poisonous words tearing others apart, hurting and demeaning everyone.
As I discovered during my college days, along with freedom comes new responsibility, greater accountability and consideration of others. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, “’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.” * In our freedom, I pray that we will remember the element of respect, building up and caring for others, rather than tearing down and destroying.
Of encouragement to me is the observation that when we face common challenges or tragedies, we begin to gain a sense of our shared humanity. When we take time to notice and acknowledge people as important and valued, then differing perspectives, needs, or goals no longer seem as significant. When we reconsider harsh words, there are fewer times to regret. When we choose positive actions, then growth and reconciliation are made possible. When we allow change in our own thinking and perspective, we discover room for compassion.
*1 Corinthians 10:23