Tag Archives: Christianity

Thankfulness – Adelaide Anne Proctor

Happy Thanksgiving my dear readers! May you find a reason to give thanks even if you are grieving or working through another nasty life event.

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Here is a poem I found from A Sacrifice of Praise, Second Edition, An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century; Edited by James H. Trott.

May you have a joy-filled Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Thankfulness

My God, I thank thee who hast made

The earth so bright;

So full of splendour and of joy,

Beauty and light;

So many glorious things are here,

Noble and right!

 

I thank thee, too, that thou hast made

Joy to abound;

So many gentle thoughts and deeds

Circling us round,

That on earth darkest spot of earth

Some love is found.

 

I thank thee more that all our joy

Is touched with pain;

That shadows fall on brightest hours;

That thorns remain;

So that earth’s bliss may be our guide,

And not our chain.

 

For though who knowest, Lord, how soo

Our weak heart clings,

Hast given us joys, tender and true,

Yet all with wings,

So that we see, gleaming on high,

Diviner things!

 

I thank thee, Lord, that though hast kept

The best in store;

We have enough, yet not too much

To long for more:

A yearning for a deeper peace,

Not known before.

 

I thank thee, Lord, that here our souls,

Though amply blest

Can never find, although they seek,

A perfect rest –

Nor ever shall, until they lean

On Jesus’ breast.

 

Adelaide Anne Proctor

(1825 – 1864)

 

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while working as a call center team leader, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer.

 

Weekend Wisdom: Psalm Sunday

Here are some verses that spoke to me as I was struggling with what to post today.  May they speak to you today and all through the week.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? 

Psalm 56:3-4

Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of my wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. 

Psalm 37:16-17

For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. 

Psalm 37:28

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsake those who seek you. 

Psalm 9:10

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. 

Psalm 138:7

(There will be no post Tuesday.  The next post will be Wednesday.)

Even In Our Darkest Hour

"Ask, Seek, Knock - Matthew 7:7-12

“Ask, Seek, Knock – Matthew 7:7-12

The candle was a gift I received at the 2009 Women’s renewal at church.  It has a picture of Jesus knocking on a door.   Friday night was the first time I lit the candle.  All the lights in the house were off when I took the picture.  See how the light of Jesus shines, even in our darkest hour.

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart!

I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Michele’s Favorite Christmas Music: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day – Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns version of the traditional carol.

  • Songwriters: John Mark Hall, Bernhard Herms, Dale Oliver, Traditional

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

And the bells are ringing
(Peace on earth)
Like a choir they’re singing
(Peace on earth)

In my heart I hear them
(Peace on earth)
Peace on earth, goodwill to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

But the bells are ringing
(Peace on earth)
Like a choir singing
(Peace on earth)

Does anybody hear them?
(Peace on earth)
Peace on earth, goodwill to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
(Peace on earth, peace on earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to men

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men

And the bells, they’re ringing
(Peace on earth)
Like a choir they’re singing
(Peace on earth)

And with our hearts we’ll hear them
(Peace on earth)
Peace on earth, goodwill to men

Do you hear the bells, they’re ringing?
(Peace on earth)
The life the angels singing
(Peace on earth)

Open up your heart and hear them
(Peace on earth)
Peace on earth, goodwill to men

Peace on earth, peace on earth
Peace on earth, goodwill to men

“Ask, Seek, Knock – Matthew 7:7-12

6 Biblical Tips For Surviving Unemployment

These tips apply whether you are experiencing a short or extended transition period.

Tip #6    “…Love your neighbor as yourself.”  

Matthew 23:39

Just because you are in transition does not mean you are worthless like most of society would have you believe.  You are one of God’s children and that means you are loved by him. You are not worthless to him and I guarantee He has plans for you.

Now that you believe that about yourself, believe and act it towards others also in transition.

Tip #5     Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Start an encouragement file/journal/notebook.  Share the quotes, poems, scripture, and articles you find with another unemployed person or two, or three, or four …etc.  Hold an encouragement party where people share what they find and then work on their files together.

Tip #4     Be joyful always

1st Thessalonians 5:16

This is the role of your gratitude journal as well as your encouragement file.  Keeping a gratitude journal will help you realize all that you have, which in turn helps keep you joyful.

Tip #3     Pray continually

1st Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer works.  Send up brief quick prayers as you go through your day, thanking God for even the littlest thing that lifts your spirit.  Do this in addition to your morning and evening prayers.

Tip #2     Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (emphasis added)

1st Thessalonians 5:18

Realize that as bad as you have it, there are people out there who have it worse than you.  Give thanks for the blessings He bestows upon you every day.

The blessings are there, you just need to look for them.

The #1 Tip  

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” 

Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

 Surviving unemployment starts while you are employed, whether you are a worker, lower management, mid management or C-level. 

  • Your position can be eliminated at any second.
  • You could find yourself in transition at any given moment.
  •  The company you work for can be bought out or go bankrupt anytime.

If you were to be become part of what society deems “The Untouchables”, you would want to be treated with dignity and respect.  You would want help finding a new position.

So treat those who are in transition the way you would want to be treated:

  • Don’t eliminate someone because they have 15, 20, 25 or more years of work experience.  Don’t eliminate a potential new hire just because they are your customer.
  • Do offer to meet someone for coffee to learn about them, give them advice and pass their resume on to a hiring manager you know.
  • Do offer support and encouragement when you find out someone is out of a job.
  • Do offer to speak at job seeker meetings about your particular area of expertise.
  • Be willing to train a person whose experience is similar to the position you have available.
  • Respect people who have learned new skills while seeking a new job, whether they have taken advanced courses in Word, Excel, Access or Powerpoint, or maybe they have dove head first into blogging and gaining a deeper understand of using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for business. If they have a deeper understanding of social media, hire them.  Every business needs social media people now-a-days.

Final Thought

Though you mourn your situation and are poor in spirit, you will be blessed by God in His own way and according to His time.

You fit into God’s overall plan and His plan is perfect.

 

“Fresh Hope … Cleveland” Ideas For Everyone, Everywhere

(Note from Michele:  Sorry there was no fresh post yesterday.  On Wednesday I had issues with WordPress and could not get past the sign-on screen.  Now on to my review of “Fresh Hope … Cleveland by Nanci Gravill.  FYI – I paid for my Kindle version and the links to her site in both today’s and Wednesday’s article are NOT affiliate links.)

I Don’t Know How

Many times people want to help widows or others going through a nasty life event, but do not know how.

Here’s how – buy Nanci Gravill’s book “Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times.” (order through her site to get a signed copy.)

What A Challenge!

My challenge was to write a blog post without giving away all the information in Nanci’s book.  There are so many resources and ideas and you do not have to live in Cleveland to use this book.  

So I narrowed it down to what is the one idea,  project or quote that would be the most valuable for people who want to help widows?

The 1 Idea –  “Start An Encouragement File”

I LOVE this project and you can find it on page 56.   Since the weekend is here, now is a good time to at least get it started.

5. Start an encouragement file ~ Read it once a week or more if needed. Sometimes there are people who encourage us, but for the most part, we must continue to encourage ourselves. Therefore, save cards and notes that others have given you. Write down the great comments also that people have made about you.

 

Nanci J. Gravill (2012-02-22). Fresh Hope … Cleveland: Resources to Help You Navigate through Unsettled Times (p. 56). WestBow Press. Kindle Edition.

Michele’s Idea On How To Implement This Project

Make one for a widow and one for yourself. Then take the folder over to the widow and explain this project’s purpose.  Once a week mail the person something encouraging for them to put in their file. Yes, send it snail mail.  You have no idea how excited she will be to receive something in the mail other than bills, political ads, and grocery store flyers.  Getting an uplifting note from you will give her something to look forward to each week.

Even if you write a fantastic new quote you found on a piece of paper and mail it to her, it will be enough.  You do not have to send elaborate cards each week, just something simple.  It is the simple little things that people cherish the most.

Remember while you are doing this for her, you are also keeping a copy for your encouragement file as well.  There will come a time when you need encouragement.

Works Both Ways

If the widow finds something encouraging, she is to mail it to you for your file.

My Challenge To You

This is not a project that will help you support only widows, it will help you support anyone going through troubled times due to:

  • Divorce
  • Job Loss
  • Health Issues
  • Any other issue

Philosophy

This project fits right in line with one of the philosophy statements behind this blog:

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Thank You

Thank you Nanci for including “starting an encouragement file” idea in your book.  Many people will be blessed by it.

So Much More

There is so much more valuable information in this book than what I can discuss in a blog post.  

I am confident it will spark all sorts of ideas of how you can not only help widows get through tough times but also how to help yourself navigate through troubled times.

“Fresh Hope … Cleveland is for everyone, everywhere who wants to help themselves, help widows, or help friends/family going through another type of nasty type of life event.   

Humor Is A Sign Of Superiority

“Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered weak and weary”

Edgar Allan Poe

As I write this post, it is not midnight but 9 p.m.  But I did come across a quotation I found interesting and after some pondering, decided to share it with you.

“Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man’s superiority to all that befalls him.”

Romain Gary

My Interpretation

God gave us humor as a positive tool for use in dealing with the curve balls life  throws our way.  It is a sign of our superiority over death, illness, and other nasty life events, because finding humor in a situation is like finding the silver lining behind a black cloud.

It is also a sign that God deems us worthy of victory over evil when it enters our life.

Death

Now I can hear some of you saying “There is no humor in death.”  You are right death is not funny.  Joe’s death was not funny.  However, our family gathered at Joe’s brother’s house for dinner the day of the funeral and everyone sat around the dining room table remembering Joe and the funny antics he did during his life.  There was a lot of humor and laughter and as a result, our healing from grief started that night.

So even in our darkest hour, there was humor.  If there had not been humor that night, death would have killed us too.

My Prayer

Thank you gracious heavenly father for creating humor and giving us the ability to laugh, even in our darkest hour.  May everyone of us realize  humor is a sign that you consider us worthy – worthy of victory even when we are weak and weary.  In Jesus name – Amen.

May you be blessed with lots of humor and laughter this weekend, whether times are good or bad. 

(Author’s note:  This post was inspired by Barbara Ann Kipfer’s “8,789 Words of Wisdom.”  On page 457 I found the statement “Humor is an affirmation of dignity.” and decided to research that statement.)

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