Mark, Buddy, and the Book of Common Prayer January 10, 2022

Two of my favorite singers are having a deep conversation about today`s scripture reading in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. At least it starts out that way and then it evolves into so much more.

While I was listening to them live I added a couple of videos here to introduce you to Buddy and his amazing talent. Who knew he would sing the same song live. Now you get to see him perform in two different settings.

Introduction to Buddy

One of his songs

I love today`s podcast, I hope it blesses you as much as it does me.

They will be doing this again and I plan to share them all.

Read and enjoyed December 01, 2021

I’m excited to share this enjoyed read with you.

In my world, 5 stars are reserved for truly great books.

In this case the definition of a great book is highly subjective. We are not talking literary excellence here with a book appealing to the masses. Although we do hope many will read and enjoy it.

The writing is taken into account and it is at a high level, editorially speaking, which adds to the enjoyment.

The most important thing, though, is this book has chemistry. That is what makes it awesome.

Like in a movie where they have the right story and the right pairing of actors with skill, but also with that special something that just makes it work.

I read a lot of Chautona Havig, and I have to say her book one in this collection is my number one favorite of all time. It has a solid five stars from me.

I’ve moved on to book two but couldn’t wait to share book one with you.

Home for Christmas: The Christmas Lights Collection

♥ The Stars of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig

Christmas in Rockland—battleground or romantic?

Avalon is ticked—seriously livid.  Who does this Marine recruiter think he is? Her brother is a boy and is not ready to be sacrificed on the altar of “service to your country.”  No. Thank you. When trying to talk sense into Max doesn’t work, she does the only think she can think of. Take it to the top.

Gareth Hudson has an exemplary record as a Marine recruiter and knows a good man when he sees one.  So when Maxton McCollum starts asking questions in a diner one afternoon, it was obvious. This was a match made in military heaven.  One young man anxious to serve his country.  One country ready to train him to be the best version of himself.

So when Avalon walks into Gareth’s recruiting office, all the wrong kinds of fireworks explode. In a peacekeeping move unlike him, Gareth asks for four Saturdays to change her mind. If he can’t, he’ll suggest that Max wait six months before signing up.

Romance wasn’t part of the bargain, and with their age difference, Gareth knows it still shouldn’t be, but how do you resist the pull of love at Christmas?

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I hope you love this as much as I did.

The rest of the collection has authors worth reading too. Just sayin’

Final notes on Love Like You`ve Never Been Hurt November 28, 2021

Chapter Six is about Loving-Kindness.

To catch the full impact of the chapter you need to read the book. My notes are never comprehensive, they are short quotes that capture the essence of a thought standing out to me. Something that grabs my heart.

Page 102

If you want to love like you`ve never been hurt, get rid of bitterness and start being kind.

Being kind means treating people with respect, apologizing sincerely, and stop criticizing. Doing this all the time.

Page 162

Forgiveness is important in loving but the other side of it is “I`m sorry.“

If you want to reconcile a relationship, you must be willing to say “I`m sorry.“

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This book has many good things to say to us, they are just not always on topic. That`s why skimming to the end for the sake of the topic seems like a good idea for now.

I`ll share a few of the relevant thoughts outlined on Page 226

Key Principles Designed to Help You Love.

  • Love never fails. Choose love over hurt.
  • It`s never wrong to love people who have messed up.
  • It`s unforgivable to not forgive.
  • We can begin to love others when we love ourselves.
  • We are called to be kind.
  • Instead of fanning the flames of discord become a peacemaker.

And a little more.

Page 228

Offenses are inevitable. No one is exempt.

Some of us look at opposition as a bad thing.

Opposition can cause you to face things and do things you could not have done, had you not had the opposition.

Bottom line.

Never give up.

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That is the end of this book.

As mentioned earlier, many helpful things were shared in this book and it has been a good read even though it strayed off topic a fair bit. It was written by a pastor with real life experiences not a psychologist so that explains why the perspective is different.

I enjoyed this exercise of sharing a non-fiction book with you.

There are still a number of unread books similar to this on my shelf and I`m planning to choose another one to continue on with this experiment.

It gives me the extra incentive needed to get with it and read instead of allowing them to sit and pile up.

My hope is that you will also find these books helpful as you travel on your personal healing journey.

P.S. as I read back over this post I`m reminded of a book I read years ago.

The flavor of this post is all about changes within us. This thought is reminding me of a book called Lord Change Me.

Really, in the end the only person we can change is ourselves. I know it sounds unfair but it is reality. Changes have to come from inside us, external pressures accomplish little most of the time. We cannot force someone else to want to change

Changing ourselves, especially in the areas of forgiving and loving, has a positive effect on the atmosphere of a relationship. Change begets change.

It pays to embrace change for ourselves.

Notes on Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 21, 2021

Last time we ended just before the topic… Changing the channel on our invasive words and thoughts.

Page 92:

There are a number of components and I will highlight a few that stand out to me. There is so much more to be said, reading the book would be helpful.

...how you can start: Change what you tell yourself. … Talk back to your inner critic.

The most important battles we fight, many times, happen internally.

The past can be healed in only one way: Forgive it. That is the one thing you can do for yourself that can change all of your tomorrows.

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Page 93 – 96

I’m going to deviate from the book here. The author is dealing with shame in this section and uses the example of the Prodigal Son in the Bible. He tells how the father, with love, received his son back home. Despite his “bad boy” lifestyle, wasting his inheritance, and returning home in disgrace.

The father is a picture of the way God loves us and receives us no matter what we’ve done or what has been done to us.

I’m deviating from the book, though, because I think it’s important for us to understand the difference between shame and guilt. The information I’m about to share I’ve seen expressed in many places over the years, but for today’s purpose I found it laid out on verywellmind.com under living with BPD.

I’m paraphrasing here for space sake.

Guilt is the feeling you have related to things you have done. With guilt you can take steps to make things right and move on.

Shame is the feeling you have related to you are, or who you’ve been led to believe you are, your whole self not just an event. Shame it is not as easily dealt with because there is nothing you can do to make restitution. It’s about who you are, not something you’ve done.

There is an excellent ten minute podcast on their website discussing the shame we have been hiding and the link is posted below.

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-verywell-mind-podcast-5113058

The important take away from the podcast was this: there are two things shame cannot survive. One is exposure, tell someone. The second is empathy, tell someone who understands and is supportive.

It’s very important to find the right person to confide your secrets.

If shame is an issue for you, and it is for those of us who have survived an abusive life, this is highly helpful information.

So, back to the book. Check it out for the larger conversation.

I’m not sure what’s next but we will find out.

Notes on Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 18, 2021

This experience, reading through this book, has been beneficial.

Right off the hop, we have the first quote and there’s no disputing the truth of it.

Page 71: Forgiveness holds the key to freedom, to healing, to wholeness.

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Page 75: – Forgiveness does not mean you forget what happened.

Page 76: – Forgiveness does not release the offender from consequences.

Page 77: – Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation.

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Page 79: Forgiveness is a decision. Choose to forgive.

Practical steps to allow forgiveness to happen.

Open your heart. Extend compassion. But most importantly…

Release the person from the prison you put them in inside your heart.

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The final quote is a useful admonition. Bottom of Page 79

Do not run away from forgiveness. Run to forgiveness. It is a great friend. If you choose to forgive, your heart will heal.

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I’ve noticed several common qualities in those of us struggling to forgive.

We build protective walls. Massive protective walls.

We are imprisoned with our words. (I will never, I can’t…)

We imprison our offenders in our hearts. As long as they dwell locked up inside of us we can never forgive.

Letting them out of our prison doesn’t do anything to free them but it surely does something to free us.

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Enjoy the book.

Grasp and enjoy freedom.

Notes from Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Nov 16

There is so much in this book. I’d have to quote the whole thing to share every shred of life giving wisdom. Since that is not possible, I’ll share a few nuggets. You will have to get the book to fill in the blanks.

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Page 16: When we seek to love God, love ourselves and love others, we can learn to love despite what happened in the past. We can mend brokenness that has plagued our families for generations.

Page 17: Many of us fail to realize that what matters most in life is relationships. (not power, fame, riches, social standing, things)

Page 26: To move forward you have to let go of the past. … If you will reach for a new day, God will begin, little by little, to release you from the past. … This means loving so intensely that it overrides all your natural instincts for bitterness and revenge.

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Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt: Hope, Healing and the Power of an Open Heart

I feel like the little bit I’ve shared from this book doesn’t begin to fill the need for explanation.

Love heals is something I’m hearing from many directions these days and I’ve found it to be true.

Love and hate can’t exist in the same body, at least not very well, it’s just not possible. As we work on growing the love portion in us the hate part will diminish and disappear. The best part of it is: the peacefulness of love makes life worth living.

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The discussion in this book is relevant to some of the conversations I’ve been in lately and that is very encouraging.

Enough so that I will be back looking for a few more nuggets to share next time.

Seriously, get the book if your life needs to hear these words, you won’t be sorry.

Wishing you the very best on your journey to wellness.

The kernel of a thought October 12, 2021

Just start talking. That’s what I have to do tonight. Once again I do not have a post in mind.

I’m going to keep it short because I need sleep to be able to function tomorrow. I know if I don’t use restraint this could easily end up being really long, leaving me with a very short night.

This whole subject has been on my mind for a long time but it’s complex and not necessarily easily understood, especially when spoken about briefly. I think it would take a book for me to say everything I need to say on this subject.

I don’t even know how to begin and it’s already been a half hour. I think slow, trying to get it right enough to make sense, and I write even slower.

I’ll try to express the kernel of it in a sentence or two and expand on it another time. Or even more likely, it will take many times to get it all out.

I love God deeply, and at the same time I feel loved by him. We have loved each other for a very long time.

It’s killing me not to expand on this but I know I have to go.

In the meantime…

I love looking at the mountains, they remind me – our help comes from the creator, of heaven and earth. And what a creator he is.

Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

Until tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Tomorrow is technically Thanksgiving Day in Canada but today was the day that worked best for our family gathering.

We have so much to be thankful for. Most of all for the safe arrival of two family members who recently had to travel a great distance to be with us.

We are all presently healthy, happy, and well cared for.

The fellowship around the table was sweet, hilarious at times, and the turkey dinner was delicious.

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That’s about it for this post. Nothing to share for new books. The current historical read that I predicted wouldn’t be boring, kind of is. I was expecting story but it’s more like a history course. I’m skimming through it.

I like learning lots from a well crafted story but I’m not much for pages filled with facts, figures, and the names of many players who may or may not appear in the story itself. Personal preference, what can I say.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

In the meantime… Happy Reading!

I’m outing myself.

The reason I haven’t done it sooner, preferring anonymity, is because I thought you wouldn’t like me anymore if you knew the truth.

At this point I don’t think it will be much of a surprise to anyone, as I’ve been leaving lots of hints. I’m sure you may have already guessed anyway.

I don’t know why, but age has never really meant a whole lot to me when it comes to relating to people. I’m attracted to who they are and what they are all about. Do we share common interests? Do we enjoy talking to each other?

Currently, the person I relate to best in the company I work for is the young thirty-and-a-bit gal on my team. We each have our part to play in the process we are responsible for and we support one other in whatever way is needed. We enjoy hanging out, especially if it involves ice cream.

You may suspect I am past retirement age and you would be right. I have no plans to quit anytime soon and some of my clients are counting on it. lol

I’m not taking a job away from a younger person. So far we haven’t found anyone who wants it, and I think it’s funny. It’s true, I might not want it either if I were new to it today. I’ve grown into the job as it’s changed hugely over the last nine years and it would be much a bigger challenge now, having to start from scratch.

On the other hand, challenges and learning new things keeps a person young.

Talking about young, there’s a meme out right now that makes me laugh, and it fits me perfectly.

It says: my mind thinks I’m 35. My body tells my mind it’s an idiot.

It’s easy to forget how old I am until I pass a mirror or try to attack the garden like I did a few years ago.

One thing is sure about getting old; it’s going to happen to everyone. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten to be the age I am, not everyone makes it this far.

I’m grateful I can still think like I’m 35 and some days I can even behave like it. Not everyone has the health to do it.

I’m grateful that I see people, not age. I love hanging out with the teenagers in my family, well not just my family, other people’s too. Not everyone does, but we won’t talk about them. I feel blessed.

I feel blessed by the smiles on our faces. We haven’t seen much of each other through the years, with their family living in China and all. These two are home now and we are going to have a good time.

These guys take after my brothers in the height department.

We took this picture at their father’s request. He wanted to see us together, missing us all.

It’s not easy letting your kids go.

We promise to do a better job of keeping them in the loop.

Josh, in the red shirt, likes to cook and he knows how to get great treats when he wants them. Zach, the tall one, is not used to baked goods as they are uncommon in China. Ingredients are not easy to find. This will be an adventure for him.

Not sure what he was thinking… probably, go way
By the looks of this it must have turned out OK