It’s better to . . .

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It is better to light candles
than to curse the darkness.
It is better to plant seeds
than to accuse the earth.
The world needs all of our power
and love and energy,
and each of us has something that we can give.
The trick is to find it and use it,
to find it and give it away.
So there will always be more.
We can be lights for each other,
and through each other’s illumination
we will see the way.
Each of us is a seed,
a silent promise,
and it is always spring.

Merle Shain

Consider this: What seeds are you planting today?

Turn Your Face To The Sun . . .

Turn Your Face To The Sun
Maithri Goonetilleke

Beloved,

There are days when nothing seems right. When every shell you pick up on the winding shore is broken. When the silken treasure slips through your fingers too quickly. When comforts are empty. And the world is noise.

On those jagged edged days, when the wind is screaming for a reason only she understands. And you find yourself all alone.

Turn your face to the sun.

There is goodness in the world, that even the river of tears cannot erase.

There is love in the world, that the numbed armies of fear can not destroy.

Sometimes that goodness is everywhere apparent. It pours from the heart of every moment. From the light of every smile.

On those soft days, love hides in the eaves to drop like sweet honey on your forehead and sings her lilting lullabies in the arms of the winds.

But on some days, Beloved. On days like today….

We need to look, to see.

So turn your face to the sun.

Even when she is nowhere to be seen.

Go inside yourself. Find a speck, a splinter of beauty to be grateful for.

‘Yes’, the day has worn you. And ‘Yes’ our mistakes have been so many.

But say ‘Thank you’ anyway.

Take account of all that is in your possession.

A mind. A heart. A body.

A life that breathes, even if for just one more day.

Now count the eyes that have smiled
at you on your wild journey,

the hands that have held you tenderly,

the ears that have listened,

the prayers that have been made on your behalf.

And whisper your ‘Thank you’ again.

Count the sky that has watched you grow
with His painted eyes,

The heaving waves that find their echo
in the tides of your breathing,

The little birds that have sung
you their songs,

The stars which have been a lamp
to your path,
and are your
rightful inheritance.

Count unexpected laughter,

Count undeserved grace,

Count Passion and Love making and Dreams yet to be born,

And bow your head and say ‘thank you’,

Now count the lives who still need your light,

The hungry, the sick, the helpless,

Count the children who will die today

and imagine if with the breath of your body
you could help just
one.

Turn your face to the sun,
And know yourself as a child of the light.

You are the Goodness that cannot be extinguished,

The love that burns through the darkest night.

And perhaps,
In turning
You will see what i have seen,
that this day where everything seemed wrong,
was not your curse,

It was your gift,

Your chance…

To find inside yourself a forgotten ‘thank you’,

To smile in the face of the grim suppressors,

To stand in the heart of the glowering darkness
and turn your face to the sun.

Consider this: Ah, turn your face to the sun!

Gratitude . . .

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Remember, if you are criticizing, you are not being grateful.

If you are blaming, you are not being grateful.

If you are complaining, you are not being grateful.

If you are feeling tension, you are not being grateful.

If you are rushing, you are not being grateful.

If you are in a bad mood, you are not being grateful.

Gratitude can transform your life. Are you allowing minor things to get in the way of your transformation and the life you deserve?”

— Rhonda Byrne

Consider this: Are you grateful today?

The Cracked Pot . . .

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The Cracked Pot
Author Unknown

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of it’s water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Consider this: Appreciate who you are.

Precious Gifts . . .

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Precious Gifts
Author Unknown

Yesterday a butterfly
Came floating gently through the sky.
He soared up through the atmosphere
Then drifted close enough to hear.

I said, “I’d love to fly with you
And sail around the way you do.
It looks like it would be such fun
To fly up toward the summer sun.

But I have not your graceful charm.
I haven’t wings, just these two arms.
I’ve been designed to walk around.
My human feet must touch the ground.

Then magically he spoke to me
and told me what his wish would be.

He said, “What I’d love most to do
Is walk upon God’s Earth with you,
To squish its mud between my toes
Or touch my finger to my nose.

I’d love just once to walk around
With human feet to touch the ground,
But I have not two legs that swing,
I haven’t arms, just these two wings.”

And so we went our separate ways
In wonder and surprise.
For we’d both seen God’s precious gifts
Through someone else’s eyes.

Consider this: You have a precious gift.

Welcoming The New Day . . .

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Welcoming The New Day
Margherita Rueger

While spotting the morning star
welcome dawn with a smile
let your gaze roam along
the pink tinted horizon
embrace the sky and the earth
and whisper softly “I love you”.
Then watch the glowing light
of the new day expanding
and hear the answer vibrating
deep within your heart:
“I love you too!”

Consider this: Welcome today!

Fear . . . or Joy?

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A traveler crossed a frozen stream
in trembling fear one day;
Later another drove across,
and whistled all the way.
Great and little faith alike
were granted safe convoy;
One had pangs of needless fear,
the other all the joy.

Author Unknown, but greatly appreciated

Consider this: All joy in 2017

Letter Written by Fra Giovanni . . .

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Letter Written by Fra Giovanni

I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – beneath its covering – that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.

And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Consider this: Life IS a generous giver. What will you take today?

**This letter was written by Fra Giovanni Giocondo to his friend, Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.**

Gifts From The Heart . . .

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Gifts From The Heart
Michael Josephson

According to legend, a young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher. After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.

Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container. The student challenged his teacher: “Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?”

The teacher replied, “You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter.”

I think we understand this lesson best when we receive innocent gifts of love from young children. Whether it’s a ceramic tray or a macaroni bracelet, the natural and proper response is appreciation and expressed thankfulness because we love the idea within the gift.

Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally. Unfortunately, most children and many adults value only the thing given rather than the feeling embodied in it. We should remind ourselves and teach our children about the beauty and purity of feelings and expressions of gratitude. After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart.

Michael Josephson is a nationally known ethicist and radio commentator. For more information, please visit this site: http://www.charactercounts.org

© 2003, Josephson Institute of Ethics

Consider this: Remember to taste the gift!

‘Cause my cup has overflowed . . .

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‘Cause my cup has overflowed

And as I go along life’s way,

I’m reaping better than I sowed.

I’m drinking from my saucer,

‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven’t got a lot of riches,

and sometimes the going’s tough.

But I’ve got loving ones all around me,

and that makes me rich enough.

I thank God for his blessings,

and the mercies He’s bestowed.

I’m drinking from my saucer,

‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,

My faith wore somewhat thin.

But all at once the dark clouds broke,

and the sun peeped through again.

So Lord, help me not to gripe,

about the tough rows I have hoed.

I’m drinking from my saucer,

‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,

When the way grows steep and rough.

I’ll not ask for other blessings,

I’m already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,

to help others bear their loads.

Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer,

Cause my cup has overflowed.

Consider this: Is your cup overflowed?