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  • But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36, ESV)

Posts Tagged ‘life’

Sheep are a comon symbol throughout scripture. We think of them as creatures which often need guidance and get into trouble without help. Tune in and explore a different perspective.

I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to always try to do the right thing because when you do you will reap blessings more than you can think or imagine.

PAINTED WITH A DIFFERENT BRUSH

One man who loved the color yellow had yellow carpet, yellow furniture, yellow drapes, yellow walls and even yellow appliances in his yellow kitchen. He slept in a yellow bed with yellow covers and wore yellow pajamas. He got sick. You guessed it…yellow jaundice.
He called a doctor who came to his apartment building. The manager told him he’d have no trouble finding the right one. “You just go down the hall and come to a yellow door,” he said. “That’s the one.”
In a few moments the doctor was back. The apartment manager asked, “Were you able to help him?”
The doctor replied, “Help him! I couldn’t even FIND him!”

I suppose it’s not always a good idea to blend too closely with your surroundings. And that holds true for the way we think and behave, too. We may not always want to be like everyone else around us. I admire those people willing to stand out from the crowd.

People like a Miami mother who came to police and spilled out cash and coins totaling $19.53. Her young son added another 85 cents to the little pile. It turns out that, after two days, they were the only people to return money scooped up from an armored truck that toppled on an overpass and rained more than half a million dollars onto the street below. Police said that witnesses reported seeing rush-hour commuters loading money into their cars and driving off while the armored truck employees lay bleeding. Police had pleaded with residents to return the money, but got nothing but laughter until a mother and a boy came in.
In a world that seemed to think alike, two people had a different idea. They refused to blend in with those around them. It was as if they were painted with a different brush. “I have children and I needed to set a good example,” said the mother of six, who could have used a little extra cash to supplement her low retail store wage.
Most people talk about values and what they believe to be right and wrong. But I’ve noticed that our REAL values can be seen by the way we live. It is the things we do and the choices we make that show what we truly believe.
An 11-year-old boy who turned in 85 cents because he felt “it was wrong for me to keep anything” stood out from the crowd. And a mother who wanted to teach her children to do the right thing set an example they will never forget. Like Ruth E. Renkel says, “Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritances.”
When this Miami mother one day passes away, she will leave her children a rich inheritance. Maybe not a pile of money, but she will leave them an example of a life of integrity and self respect, an example of what it is like to be painted with a different brush. She will leave them something far more important than wealth.
If her children inherit her values, anything else is just money.
Paint them fortunate.

By Steve Goodier

I hope this message encourages and inspires your heart to believe again that greatness lies within you and that every dream that is in your heart can be realized.

WHAT ARE YOU DREAMING ABOUT?

The agricultural school dean was interviewing a freshman. “Why have you chosen this career?” he asked.

“I dream of making a million dollars in farming, like my father,” replied the freshman.
The dean was impressed. “Your father made a million dollars in farming?”
“No,” the student said. “But he always dreamed of it.”

All right. That was corny. But at least this student has a dream, even if it is only a dream about money.

I prefer the story of a man who was discussing with his wife a trip he wanted to take to Alaska. He told her he’d always dreamed of such an adventure. He wanted to travel deep into the wilderness. He wanted to rough it. He talked about how exciting it would be to stay in a log cabin without electricity, to hunt caribou and drive a dog team instead of a car.
“If we decided to live there permanently, away from civilization, what would you miss the most?” he asked his partner.
She replied, “You.”
His dream; not hers. A better dream might include her.

This is a time of year we often examine our dreams and goals. I’ve found a couple of questions helpful when I consider which dreams to chase and which to leave alone.

First, does my dream have deep meaning? Or put another way, is it significant and important enough to commit my time and energy toward? What will it ultimately mean if I accomplish this thing I think I want? Probably the pursuit of prosperity alone will not bring the kind of meaning you desire at a deeper level.
The second question is similar. Does my dream spring from the best that is within me? Does it come from a place of love or altruism? Will my life and the lives of those I love be better for it? My best dreams include those I love.
What are you dreaming about?

By Steve Goodier

I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to give your all in the work that you do and know that your contribution does make a difference in the lives of others.

WORKING IN JOY

When I was a boy we had a wood stove that heated the house in the Winter. Keeping that stove full was no small task. My Dad, two brothers, and I would spend days cutting up trees on our land to fill the woodshed. It was hard work splitting up the logs, tossing them into the back of the pickup truck, and stacking them into cords. We never complained however. We spent the time laughing, joking, and teasing each other. We knew that hard work was a part of life and was best done in joy. We knew too that this hard work would keep us warm during the long, cold Winter to come.
Putting food on our tables and heat in our homes is only a small part of our real work in this world, though. Our greatest work here is the hearts we touch, the good we do, and the love we share. Our hands may be able to lift a log into a truck, but our smiles can lift another’s heart in joy. Our arms may be able to carry a load of wood, but our kindness can help someone carrying a heavy load in their life. Our skills and talents may be able to make us some money, but our love, goodness, and oneness with God can help to make this world a better place forever.

Leo Buscaglia said, “To work in love is to work in joy, to live in love is to live in joy.” Don’t be afraid of a little hard work then. Do all of your work in love and in joy. Work at giving, work at loving, and work at living happily ever after, day by day and choice by choice. God put us here to grow, to learn, to work, and to love. God put us here to find joy in our efforts and to share love in our lives. Do all of your work with a smile on your face, with love in your heart, with joy in your mind, and with light in your soul. If you do so your work will become play, your life will become joy, and God will always work through you.

By Joseph J. Mazzella

Who is powerful? Do you think it is those successful people? Tune into the leisenring presbyterian church July 8, 2012 worship service to gain a different perspective. Your life can be more powerful than you think!

Have you ever felt as if you were looking for something? Maybe you couldn’t even understand what that might. But something about your life was incomplete… If so, tune into the 02/05/2012 worship service of the Leisenring Presbyterian Church.

I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to see that success
can be yours when you place the Lord first in your life. He will lead us
in the right direction and guide us on to the best for our life.

Steve Goodier has this to say:
SUCCEEDING AT LIFE

It’s said there are three ways to get to the top of a tree: climb it, sit
on an acorn or make friends with a big bird. But without too much
imagination I can think of a couple of other ways – like one that involves
a parachute and a poor landing.

However, the point is still well taken: getting to the top of that
organization or reaching a new height requires effort. And it is taken for
granted that reaching the top is exactly what everyone wants to do. After
all, isn’t that what “success” is all about? More power? More money?
Reaching the top?

But what about success at living – trying to get it right this go around?

Success at this thing we call living has always been important to me. And
climbing to the top of a tree has never been a good metaphor for it. I
like to think more about the word “priorities.” Getting some basic
priorities in order is key. And I know that if one’s life can be organized
around solid priorities, then a full and worthwhile life will be the result.

It is always risky to use sports illustrations; they just don’t speak to
everyone. But let me forge ahead with an oft-quoted statement by American
football coaching legend Vince Lombardi. He is remembered for saying,
“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And Lombardi’s dream was
certainly to coach winning teams, but it’s a mistake to think that climbing
to the top of football’s ladder of success was his greatest goal. He
believed it was more important to succeed at life than at his career or
anything else.

Actually, winning football games was not “the only thing” to Lombardi. He
once actually listed his life priorities in this order: God, his family
and his career.

He knew what was important. And he knew that keeping his priorities
straight could bring him joy, peace and, ultimately, success at life.
Which is probably the only thing that truly matters.

By Steve Goodier

I hope this message encourages and inspires your heart to see that we are
blessed beyond comprehension and we have many people in our lives ready and
willing to help us overcome the challenges in our path.

SAIL ON

My friend and neighbor gave me a book recently. It is called Parables From
The Sea and was written by Robbins Wolcott Barstow. What amazed me about
it was that in the first few pages I found a paragraph that describes my
friend perfectly. It goes: “I often think of the way some people are
always leaving trails of light and gladness as they sail on through life.
There must be a great many who do for I know a lot of them. They are the
kind of people you are happy to meet anywhere, in a shop or on a street or
at home.”

That quote made me think not only of my friend, but also of all the other
people over the years who have blessed my life’s voyage with their light
and gladness. There was my Mom and my Grandma whose shining love guided me
over the rough waters of childhood and all the storms that went with it.
There was my Aunt and my Dad who kept me sailing on through the heartbreak
after my Mom and Grandma died and back towards a joyous horizon once
again. There were my two brothers and three children who taught me how to
find the joy in life even on the fiercest days when the waves crashed
against my ship.

There were my teachers, neighbors, and friends who showed me the many ways
to steer my boat into the peaceful harbors of love and happiness that life
gives us. Each and every one of these people taught me a little more about
sailing the ship of my life. Each and every one of them showed me as well
to always look towards God’s North Star and to always set my sails with
the winds of His love.

May all of you always sail on towards greater love and joy in your own
lives. May all of you always bless those around you with trails of light
and gladness as well. But most of all may all of you always keep your
ships guided by God’s loving light and never forget the true place that
you are sailing towards.

By Joseph J. Mazzella

Have you ever said “That’s not fair!” If so, please listen to our May 15, 2011 worship as we explore what Peter states in 1 Peter 2:19-25.