Archive for the ‘Experiences’ Category

Relationships   1 comment


Image provided by www.bjmgz.org

Image provided by http://www.bjmgz.org

This week I watched a TED Talk by Robert Waldinger entitled, “What makes a good life?  Lessons from the longest study on happiness”.  He was sharing what has been learned from a study which began over 75 years ago by a researcher from Harvard University.  I encourage all of you to take the twelve minutes to watch this video yourselves.  SPOILER ALERT…..  What the study has determined is that relationships are the key to a happy life.

As I listened to Dr. Waldinger, I had a mixed response.  On one hand, the conclusions which he shared did not surprise me.  Yet, there was a part of me that was surprised the simplicity and truth of these results.  I have contended for much time, based on other’s research, that we were born to be in relationship.  As a believer, I know that God created me (and everyone else) because God desired to be in relationship.  I also know that God intended us to be in relationship with others.

The core of Scripture and all of Jesus’ teachings is relationship.  Specifically, relationship in the context of love.  God created us to live in love.  Love can only be expressed and experienced in relationship.  So we are creatures who crave relationship because we crave love.  This has also been expressed through a song made famous in the musical, Moulin Rouge.  In the song, Nature Boy, we hear the great line, “The greatest thing, you’ll ever learn, is to just to love, and be loved in return.”  Only in relationship can this be a reality.

So today, I encourage you all to consider the relationships in your life.

Energized   Leave a comment


Image provided by pureheart.org

Image provided by pureheart.org

Have you participated in an event which causes you to feel energized by the end?  Recently I have been attending worship at a local church where this feeling occurs every time.  I enjoy the worship experience and find a great connection with the Spirit each time I attend.  There is a genuine sense of love and a high level of energy.  People of all ages gather and truly worship because they feel a connection.  The focus is on worshiping the Lord.

Another truly wonderful aspect is that I look forward to going to worship.  I know that no matter how challenging my week has been, I have an opportunity to focus on my faith and find fellowship.  The people whom I am with provide energy for me.  They share with one another and support one another in an uplifting manner.

Unfortunately, I am sure all of us have been in situations within the church where the opposite occurs.  I have attended worship in some churches where I walk away feeling drained.  The atmosphere, the worship style, and the people’s attitude extracts energy.  This has nothing to do with the style of music, the volume of music, the pastor’s style, or how liturgical the worship.  It is all about the feeling and attitude of those who are worshiping.

My hope for all of you are that you have the opportunity to participate in an event that provides energy to you.  I know that I am grateful to find this church and this worship experience.

Snow   Leave a comment


So today is supposed to be the first snow of the season.  I am becoming less enchanted with snow each year.  However, in view of the weather predictions, I thought I would share this music video for Music Video Friday.  Enjoy your day!

Posted November 20, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life, Music

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Who Are You?   1 comment


Image provided by wellhappypeaceful.com

Image provided by wellhappypeaceful.com

One of the interesting aspects of all the social and professional networking sites on the internet is the creation of an online profile.  Each of these websites asks questions in an attempt for you to share information which will introduce you to the world and identify connections with others.  A person has to determine what information she/he chooses to share and how to best describe one’s self.  The major question which is being asked is, “Who are you?”

I find this question a bit daunting.  Most of us begin to answer this question by describing our employment.  We have been trained that one of the key purposes of our existence is to work.  This alone is an interesting topic which is best discussed in another blog post.  Once a person describes the type of employment, then the challenge is to determine where to go next.  Should the next response be to talk about my marital status?  Should the next mention be about my children?  Should I tell about where we grew up?  All part of my life, but does it really answer the question of who I am?

I struggle with this question for another reason.  I struggle with it because at times I wonder if I really know who I am.  Again, I can share endlessly about the factual aspects of my life.  Yet, I know that a life is much more than a list of facts.  I know that a person is much more than his/her career, family, or place of origin.  However, if I am going to go beyond the facts, I have to spend time trying to understand who I really am.

Then there is the issue of how much personal information to share and how comfortable others may be with receiving the information.  There are appropriate boundaries regarding personal information which should be observed.

So maybe this is not so much about trying to fill out the information for a personal profile on a website.  Maybe that is just a catalyst to ask a bigger question of who I am.  What I am truly grappling with today is if I really know who I am.  What would I tell someone if I was asked for more than just the factual aspects of my life?  I think this is a question which will require a much longer process than just one day.  I guess I have created a challenge for myself which will take a bit of time.

What would you share if you were asked, “Who are you?”

 

Follow Your Dream   Leave a comment


One of the most important thing to remember in life is to keep moving toward your dreams.  No matter what a person’s age, having faith in yourself and moving toward your dream is important.  I share this song with each of you today.

A Different Path   Leave a comment


Image provided by myderech.wordpress.com

Image provided by myderech.wordpress.com

One of the joys of life is that there are many different paths from which to choose.  An advantage that our country provides is the truth that pathways are open to all individuals.  Some would argue that there are too many options of pathways which makes it very difficult to choose one.  Anyone who has, or has recently had, a college-aged person in their household can relate to the struggle of choices.  Other interesting aspects of the paths include the way in which they converge upon one another, come to dead- ends, or have forks along the way.

Over the past few months, I have been trying to determine some new paths to follow in my life.  Some  of these new paths have developed nicely.  Other paths have remained uncertain.  This week I have made the decision to return to a previous path in my life which I explored only a little.  As I have tried to take steps in developing a new employment pathway, I have found a lot of dead ends.  Now I am going to journey down a path which I believe combines my skills and my experience in an exciting way.

As I reflect upon the paths of life, I am grateful that I live in a place and a time where there exists so many different paths for us to follow.  I am also grateful that if a path leads to a dead-end, there is always the opportunity to choose a new path.

Posted November 12, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life

Holding On to Hope   Leave a comment


Image provided by postcardepiphanies.blogspot.com

Image provided by postcardepiphanies.blogspot.com

There are times in life when the challenges can appear overwhelming.  The list of concerns becomes longer.  The uncertainty seems to be more than those things which are certain.  During these times, a person can easily become bogged down and weary.  Each day becomes a struggle.  Focus and determination can appear elusive. It is during such times that reminding one’s self that there is hope becomes vital.  Having individual(s) who will support and restore hope is critical.

I consider myself extremely fortunate.  I have a strong faith in my Lord.  I have people in my life who provide me more support and hope than many.  I must wonder what it would be like if I did not have these two elements in my life.  Each day I read in the newspaper or see on television situations that are truly devastating.  When I am made of aware of these situations, I quickly wonder how the people impacted by them are able to move forward.  Do they have a faith in a Lord who is far greater than any situation on earth?  Do they have a strong support system of friends and family?  I confess that I truly cannot see how anyone can go through difficulties without those two elements.

So I want to remind all of you, hold on to the hope that you have.  Each day is a new beginning with new possibilities.  Make sure that you invite people into your life that can restore your hope when events tear it down.  Have some type of faith which will help you to remember that there is someone greater than anything in this world.  Hold on to hope!