Category Archives: Inspiration

Fun and Easy Ways to Shine Your light: A Grattitude Tree

Take time during the holiday to create a tangible reminder of the blessings in your life.  A gratitude tree may be made using a tree branch you bring inside.  Try to use a branch that that has fallen on it’s own.  Write things you are grateful for on leaves cut from paper, create a hanger using yarn or string and hang from the branch.  Or tie ribbons to a tree or branch.

You could also turn your Christmas tree into a gratitude tree.  Or save a tree and tie your blessings to a live tree in your yard.  You can add blessing as you think of them and see how they add up or create a special blessing ceremony with readings, songs, prayers, poems or other things you find meaningful.

Of course this is a good activity to use with children.  But don’t we all need to stop and remember how blessed we truly are?

For more information on gratitude trees visit:

http://showmecrafts.blogspot.com/2009/10/gratitude-tree.html

https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/how-to-make-a-gratitude-tree

http://momitforward.com/gratitude-tree/

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Fun and Easy Ways to Shine your Light: Be Nice

Snow Couple Wreath
Copyright 2011 by R.A. Robbins

When you read todays topic you may have thought, REALLY?  Do we need to be reminded of this during the holidays?

Well apparently we do.  It seems that each year during November and December we start hearing about things like brawls at the mall with people fighting over particular items that may be in short supply.  Or angry battles over nativity scenes being displayed on government property with both side being sure they are “right.”  Then we have the annual brouhaha over what type of holiday greeting is proper to extend to people.

As I watch this unfolding year after year, I can’t help but wonder what all this has to do with what we say we are celebrating.  If you are a Christian, does your holiday behavior reflect the life and teachings of the Master Teacher, the Price of Peace whose birth you say you are celebrating?  If you celebrate a “secular” Christmas and say your celebrations are all about family, does your behavior reflect this?  Do you want to pass down traditions that bring you closer as a family or that teach greed and selfishness?  No matter what you celebrate during this time stop and ask if you behavior is reflecting what you say you are celebrating.

Okay so what can we do to make the holiday season a little kinder and gentler?

  1.  Remember this is a stressful time for many people.  Retail workers in particular are working long hours and  serving larger crowds.  Tempers can be short and people can be easily provoked.  Be patient with others and do  not do anything to intentionally provoke another person during this time.
  2.  When someone gives you a holiday greeting accept it in the spirit in which it is intended.  They are greeting  you from their traditions and customs and may not even know that you believe or celebrate differently.
  3.  Focus on light, love and peace rather than who is right and who is wrong.
  4.  Buy an extra gift, pair of mittens, winter hat, etc. for charity.
  5. Watch what you post on social media.  Focus on the positive.  Be the voice of love and light instead of discord and anger.
  6.  If you practice random acts of kindness, continue throughout the holiday season.  If you don’t this is a good  time to begin.  These don’t have to be big and flashy.  Something as simple as opening the door for someone  with their arms full will be appreciated.
  7. Each day think of one thing for which you are grateful.  Speak it out loud.  Come back to this throughout the  day.
  8. Finally take time to listen.  I mean really listen to someone else.  Give them your full attention.  Look them in the eyes and listen.  Don’t look at your cell phone or other distractions.  Let the other person know you are present and you really hear them.  Give the gift of listening — this could be the best gift someone receives this year.

Life is not always about who is right and who is wrong.  Our life on this planet is a school.  We are here to learn how to get along with each other.  If we are ever going to learn this we need to start practicing.  Isn’t this the perfect time to start?

Oh and one last thing…  SMILE!  But be careful.  It’s contagious you know.  🙂

 

Fun and Easy Ways to Shine Your Light: Non-Perishable Food Donations**

A word of advice here.  Don’t just give that old can of lima beans no one really likes anyway.  First think of practical needs.  Items always needed at food pantries include:
 *Shelf stable proteins — Canned tuna or salmon, Canned chicken or other meats, Canned beans, Dried beans, Canned soups and stews, Peanut butter, Nuts, Canned chili, Trail mix
* Pantry staples such as Rice (especially whole grain), Oatmeal, Pasta (especially whole grain), Diced tomatoes, Tomato sauce, Canned vegetables, Cooking oils (such as olive oil or canola oil), Flour
*Holiday Ingredients and Side Dishes, Canned pumpkin, canned yams, cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing, dried macaroni, canned vegetables.
Think about healthy foods you like to eat.  Hold off on the snacks and junk foods.  Most food banks get more than enough of these.  What they need is good food to fill people up.  Some food pantries like to have juice boxes for children, but real juice only please.  If you have special dietary needs think about picking up an extra when you buy your special foods.  People in need also have health conditions requiring special diets.  If in doubt call the food pantry and ask what they need.
Finally, remember there are hungry people every day of the year.  Contribute to food pantries throughout the year, especially in the summer.
For more information:

Fun and Easy Ways to Shine Your Light: Think Good Thoughts

We create our reality with our thoughts, so make them good ones.  You have to work at this folks, but it is well worth the effort.  Remember it’s not what happens to us, it’s how we think about and react to it that matters.  We make our world heaven or hell through our thoughts.   Wouldn’t you rather live in heaven?  Wouldn’t you rather be an example to others that they can live in heaven?

Leaves and Divine Design

Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

With 60 years of living on this earth I am still amazed at the perfection of creation and the way everything is designed to work together for our good… if we only allow it.  But we often think we know better.  How many of our health problems today are created by bad habits and unhealthy choices?  How have we damaged our mother earth by taking charge, tearing down, digging up, relocating and killing?  Is the imbalance we see in our bodies and our earth a result of humans trying to redesign creation to meet our own, often selfish, needs?

So what got me thinking about this?  Falling leaves.  Some of you may know I live in a wooded area.  We have trees — old trees and lots of them.  Things fall from the trees — nuts, leaves, branches, occasionally an entire tree falls.  We also have wildlife.  This is their home too.  But humans are not always good neighbors.

Right now we’re in the middle of the annual uproar over the falling leaves.  There are people who want them out of here and as quickly as possible.  I know this is a common practice, but why do we rake leaves out of our yards?  And why burn them?

Leaves fall from the trees with a purpose.  They cover and protect the ground over winter.  They also decompose, nourishing the ground.  It’s all part of divine design,  But because we want perfectly manicured lawns we rake them up and burn them which causes us to add fertilizer to the grass and makes the air difficult to breathe.

When we mess with creation it pushes back.  When we don’t take care of our bodies, they stop working as intended and we become ill.  When we don’t take care of the earth it begins to become uninhabitable.

It’s time to come back home to who we were created to be.  Only when we stop trying to control nature and learn to co-exist with her will we learn to live in balance and harmony.

It’s Your Choice

Do you have concerns about the Solar Eclipse?  Bob has a new post on Espirational Faith. This is very powerful writing on an important topic. Please take the time to read it.

Espirational Faith

“I call heaven and earth to record thisday against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live….”

(DEU 30:19; as found in Bible Gateway; In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations)

Okay, so the worldly prophets are at it again. All over the virtual world of the Web, in numerous churches and even on the planet’s talk on the streets and in the homes of many our eyes are being turned toward the heavens as the soothsayers and the doom prognosticators are pointing toward August 21 and September 23, 2017, as harbingers of the beginning of the end. Are they right?

You’d think we’d know better by now that a total eclipse of the sun, caused simply by the passage of the moon between the direct path of the light…

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