Purpose – Amazon Smile

No, Amazon Smile does not indicate a LARGER than life grin. Amazon Smile is a charitable program available through Amazon.com that contributes 5% of your purchase price to a favorite charity. I am mentioning it as a blog post because most people don’t seem to know about his terrific opportunity to give through your purchases at Amazon.com.

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If you shop through Amazon.com, please take a moment to check out Amazon Smiles.

Purpose – Plucking the Moon & Stars in 2015

WordPress Photo Challenge: “Possibility. Opportunity. Potential. As another year gets underway, let’s celebrate the new.”

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“It’s the first photo challenge of 2015, and the theme is ‘new.’ Cliché? Perhaps, but clichés develop for a reason. For many of us, the year’s beginning is time to take stock of the past and plan for the future; this week, let’s get excited about those plans by celebrating what’s new.”

I know, I know…another cliche`, but sometimes cliches` are “Just what the doctor ordered.” (Discerning in advance much eye-rolling here from post readers.) Yes, I’m going to say it…one of my goals is “Reaching for the moon this year” (More eye-rolling and cheesy grin too!)

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Why let your heart be earthbound my friends? Reach for the heavens, open your heart to the Father of Creation. Raise your arms to the sky and let your first goal be praising the Lord every day. Hallelujah!

“Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens.” 

Lamentations 3:41

Photograph taken at Turkey Point Lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.

Purpose – Unexpected Gestures

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Years ago, this unexpected note, a gesture of support from a co-worker uplifted my spirits. This young woman knew of the adversity I faced in a place of employment where a few wore two faces. What others said to me, was not what was spoken behind my back. We’ve all been there. Most of us leave it behind in high school. Unfortunately, as adults, many are also victims of ill will in the workplace or other social situations. Barely out of high school herself, this sweet girl took the time to leave a note of encouragement on the counter where I would be sure to see it. I don’t think she realized how much it meant to me. She couldn’t have known that I would keep it tucked away in a satin bag filled with letters sent from those dear to me. I keep it still, to remind me of her sweet spirit and thoughtfulness, and to help me remember that sometimes an unexpected gesture of kindness is also the Grace of God extended to us through another.

What gesture of kindness can I extend to someone today in the name of Jesus?

Promise and Purpose – Walkabout

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When I need rest for my soul I often expend physical energy in walking. An unhurried stroll along a forest path, beside a bubbling stream, or on a sandy beach always gives me a mental boost. I look down at the treasures of nature at my feet, I look up at the beauty of the skies, I feel the breeze, wherever my senses alight there seems to be a sense of peace waiting for me. The Sabbath is a good day for a long, uplifting walk. Blessings to you on this day.

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Purpose and Praise – Landfill Harmonic and 1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

This amazing video trailer inspired me, gave me chills, and also brought a few tears to my eyes. I hope to be able to see the full-length feature when it is released.

“Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash.”

Purpose – Finding/Creating Sanctuary

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In previous posts I’ve stated that during my childhood I lived for two years in one of the cottages/homes built around the Pitman Methodist Camp in Pitman, New Jersey. Today I live in the town next door to Pitman, and on sunny days you can often find me riding my bike the mile or two to the center of the grove to walk within the shadow of the tabernacle.

The blue cottage above is one of the homes encircling the tabernacle. The cottages form a wheel, with twelve paths, as spokes, leading to the sanctuary. These walkways, according to the camp history, signify the twelve apostles.

I find walking on these paths conducive to inner peace and an attitude of prayer.  My spirit is uplifted as I dwell upon the fact that many souls were saved and lives committed to God upon these grounds.

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Here is another view of the home in the first photograph. You might wonder why I am posting a photo of the back of the cottage. I ask you to take notice of the white door. Behind this door is a set of stairs that lead to the basement of the home. When I was in third grade, a precious elderly lady started a club called the JOY (Jesus & Others & You) club. Children from the nearby elementary school would gather within that small space, sit on the stairs as if they were the finest pews, and sing songs of praise. Within that stairwell, this wonderful woman of God created a sanctuary of hope and joy for a handful of grade school children. I often think of her, and thank God that she did what she could, and used what she had, to bring to us a sense of our Father in Heaven.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf…” Hebrews 6:19-20 (NIV)

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

Purpose, Perspective and People – Doing Good

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I have been studying the book of Hebrews this past year. I am about two thirds of the way through this amazing book of the Bible. In recent weeks I have come upon a verse that I decided would be a verse of purpose for me in the coming year.

“In response to all he has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good.” Hebrews 10:24. (TLB)

I like the way this verse is worded, and it seems to go hand in hand with what Jesus told us in Matthew.

Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find you are obeying all the others.” Matthew 22:37-40 (TLB)

Two members of my family are a good example of fulfilling the commandments and purpose expressed in these verses. In towns in Panama, Nicaragua and Peru there are now beautiful and structurally sound churches for worshipping God due to their commitment to doing good and using their strengths and resources to further God’s Kingdom. The churches they build stand in the place of lean-tos and sheds or no building at all. When the new church buildings are complete there is room for up to three hundred people. Congregations of 28 have grown to 200 or more people praising and worshipping God. There is room in the churches for the congregation to grow, lives are changed, people are saved. Children grow up worshipping God in a structure that is sound and secure. I can’t help but add an “Amen” and “Praise God.”

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I might not be able to build churches, but I can use the resources I have to build good things in the lives of those my life touches. Every day usually brings an opportunity of some kind to us all. Whether it is a large thing, a small thing, a public work, or a work done in secret, all of us have the opportunity to fulfill the purpose in Hebrews 10:24. I am committed to “doing good” in the New Year of 2013.

Here are a few more pictures of the new churches going up and their congregations. God bless us all in this New Year.

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