A Great Thought

Who inspires you? Who has planted that great thought that changed your life or way of thinking about something?

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning readers! Welcome. I hope you’ll leave here this morning, encouraged to go out and make a difference in the world.

One easy way to do that is to let joy shine out from you.

Here’s a simple truth: If you have joy inside, it will find a way to show off. 🙂 Sometimes a smile is all it takes. A heartfelt one is especially effective.

Notice how the light flows through this open window? Imagine the dark room as your neighbor, a coworker, or friend who’s going through a difficult time. You can be the source of that light.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 says this:

“We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

Who inspires me?

I have a couple of dear friends who are going through tremendous difficulty. Yet, whenever I see them, they’re smiling. Not the bland, forced smile, either. The all-out, joy-down-in-my-heart smiles.

I’m smiling right now at the memory! Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, I think about them and the countless others who endure daily pain and tribulation.

I’m most inspired by the Word of God that gives me daily strength and inspiration.

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;—Psalm 16:11

So, make someone’s day better today. If you make the effort and are rewarded with a smile, that will make your day better too.

Big news next week! See you then.

Perception

Art. According to Webster’s Dictionary, art is something created with imagination and skill that is beautiful, or expresses important ideas or feelings.

You might be wondering what that has to do with perception. The best and most beautiful art inspires. It touches the heart, or spurs the imagination. But do we all perceive it the same?

_MG_0490 as Smart Object-1Photography as art can please the eye…

9a4ea-kalnik2b050stimulate the imagination…

cooking-chocolate-674508_1280even make you hungry.

oldhouseFor a writer, a photograph can spur a memory, and inspire a story. One person’s perception.

Because…

writing is also art. It is definitely something created with imagination and skill. The outcome can be beautiful, thought-provoking, expressive.

Poetic…prosaic…melodic…

These three words sound nice, but two of them can imply beauty. One of them means ordinary, commonplace, run-of-the-mill. Prose: ordinary language.

Why did I toss an ordinary word in there? To show how perception plays a part in everyday life. The most ordinary things become extraordinary on occasion.

bird-838735_1280Gaze at this photo for a moment.

What stirs inside you? Feral. Stark. Dangerous.

But quite ordinary, if you’re the bird.

My aunt lost her sight and had a difficult time adjusting. She lived in a rural area, bordered by several acres of woods. She lived in fear of stepping on a snake, or touching poison ivy, so she seldom went outside. Her world was dark. Feral, stark, and dangerous. A world haunted by memories of what she could no longer see.

A friend of mine also lost her sight. Perhaps it was her age, she was younger when it happened, and she adjusted to it. Her world was filled with light, but not the kind you see. We stepped out onto her back porch on a beautiful day.

I took a deep breath and exhaled, thankful for the gift of sight.

She touched my arm. “Isn’t it a lovely day?”

I said yes, but wondered how she knew.

She gave a soft laugh. “I feel the air, the warmth of the sun. I hear the birds singing, and I know it’s a beautiful day.”

We live in troubling times, often bombarded by shocking images and violent words. Your perception, when your soul is darkened by worry, fear, even weariness, or illness–any or all of these things–can send you into a panic. You may want to withdraw and stay inside your shell, where it’s safe. Until you can’t function.

But when your soul is full of light, your perception is enlightened also. You see beyond the ugliness of the images. It doesn’t make them go away, but your perception helps you deal with what you see. It’s not always easy. I start each day with prayer. It calms me and turns my thoughts to something or someone other than myself.

Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.–the words of Jesus Christ, John 12:45-46 The Message

Perception.


 

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