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sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

Singing With the Angels

Kristie with Grandma Linder 001My daughter Kristie was born May, 25 1986. My friend Janice also had a baby girl right around that time, Rachel.  Kristie was born with a muscle problem and went to be with Jesus when she was three years old. But during her short life, although the doctors told us when she was born that she would never speak, not only did she speak, she sang at the top of her lungs with great joy, much of her days. Pictured here is her singing with one of her grandmas when she wasn’t even two years old.

So Janice just sent me this little two-minute clip of Rachel, who is now a lovely young woman, singing with what seems the voice of an angel, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” The beauty of it made me cry. And it also made me cry that Kristie is also singing, turning her eyes often upon her Savior and joining with the angels in song.

Please listen to this short song, and turn the eyes of your heart upon Jesus. There is no sparkle that compares to joining the angels in song, and looking to the one who loves you so deeply, Jesus.

Inner Sparkle, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

The Lent Fast That Will Make You Sparkle

I used to be Catholic. When I was a little girl, I would fast on candy and when I got older, all sweets, during the time of lent. Later, I went to a faith that did not involve lent or fasting, at least not at any certain time.

But recently I was looking into the Anglican faith, and I ran across this wonderful poem, a lent fast, the kind of fast that would certainly please God and most definitely cause a sparkle in the soul!

Here it is. Enjoy, and feast on the wonderful outcome of fasting on the things that would destroy us:

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ within them.
Fast from emphasis on difference; feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from worry; feast on trust in God’s Care.
Fast from unrelenting pressure; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on verities that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragements; feast on hope.”

-William Arthur Ward (American author, teacher and pastor, 1921-1994)

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And don’t forget to have a joyful Easter. Jesus lives so that we might live!

emotional and spiritual struggles, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

Root of Bitterness…the Sparkle Quencher

Bitterness, resentfulness, sullenness, stand-offish-ness, walking around with, as my dad used to say, “a chip on your shoulder,” these are all sparkle quenchers. But it goes even deeper than that, this “root of bitterness,” as the Bible describes it in the book of Hebrews is a life-destroyer…not only of our own lives, but of the lives around us.

downloadIt’s not always that we destroy our lives and other lives actively or aggressively with our sour spirit, but it’s that we forfeit the opportunity to use our snowflake-like, one-of-a-kind gifts that God has given us to glorify Himself and to bless the world, in a way that literally no one else can do.

No one can touch lives and express the life of God in exactly the way you can, no one!

But bitterness changes all that.

Bitterness makes us inward. Our minds go round and round like a hamster wheel, rehearsing offenses, justifying our sullen spirit…and meanwhile, with each ticking moment, life is escaping us. Wasted. Those moments of bitterness turn into days, and months and years. And we can get to the end of our lives and realize that we had a dreaded companion and enemy, Bitterness, who stole away our opportunities and robbed God of His glory, and us of the joy of our lives being used by Him in a positive and wonderful way.

48112c027a01b8a67a889920f3019275For me, there’s only one thing that really motivates me to forgive those who have deeply offended me, and that is to really think about what Jesus did so that God the Father would forgive me. That one fact leaves me defenseless in my accusations of others and of any justification of resentment toward them. God is not resentful toward me because of what Jesus did for me. It’s that simple, and that is the only real escape from this enemy, Bitterness, who would destroy us and rob us of the opportunity to be a bright sparkle in the world, rather than just another gloomy, pessimistic face.

This idea of sparkling is real and important. Have you ever been feeling down, and a perfect stranger smiled at you, looked you in the eyes as if you mattered, said some kind words, and in so doing, lifted your spirit?  Even a stranger in a grocery store can do that. Think of the impact of touching lives each day with just a little kindness and a sincere smile. We can’t let Bitterness take that kindness out of our heart and that smile off of our face!

 

 

 

healthy lifestyle, Inner Sparkle, Outer Sparkle (Health for the Body), sparkle inspiration

When All Else Fails, Take a Bath…

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Sometimes, my muscles ache, my head is tight, I feel tense all over. When that happens there is only one thing to do…take a very warm, almost hot, bath.

I call it my “think tank,” because there I am finally quiet with my own thoughts. No one is telling me what to think; no news is alarming my mind; I can pray. I can ponder. I can close my eyes and melt into the calming warmth.

I don’t like just plain water. I have some favorite things that I put into the bath. One is finely ground oatmeal mixed with powdered milk and a blend of orange, vanilla, and peppermint essential oils. The other is my handmade goat milk soap, which is creamy-dreamy and scented with wonderful smells.

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I’ll share a couple of my favorite bath secrets. One is Bach for the Bath, the most wonderful music ever to soak in the tub! I never get tired of it.

The other thing I love to do is to make the bath steamy and to contrast the warmth with a cracked window, yes even in Colorado in winter! The cool breeze and the hot bath feels wonderful. At least I think so.

Whether or not you are a bath lover, find your own way to have that completely relaxing “think tank” time for body, mind, and spirit. Doing so will help you come away more ready to give to others, more able to sparkle, you might say.

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emotional and spiritual struggles, Inner Sparkle, sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

Sparkle By Speaking the Truth, In Love…

My husband and I recently watched a video by John Bevere, one of the themes being “speaking the truth in love.” That is, by the way, instruction from God’s Word in Ephesians chapter 4.

It is not popular to speak truth to people, certainly not to warn people of long-term consequences. But we should love them enough to do it…and by the way…we should accept such honest communication toward ourselves as well. It’s called being wise!

So enjoy this short 3 minute video. Apply your own specific application to it…but do think about it, however God leads you to apply it.

Inner Sparkle, sparkle inspiration

Sparkle by “Keeping it Classy”

I looked up the word “classy” and one definition described it in this way:  “Classy can refer to someone who puts a high standard on the way he/she behaves.”

I recently watch a video by Dominique Sachse entitled “Keep It Classy, Girlfriend” and her thoughts got me to thinking especially about one particular point she made…

b8cae1818c297240723e6d04a4b05260“Class” is pretty much a lost commodity in our society. One reason for that is we, as a society, more and more speak from our emotions rather than from our brains. When people disagree with each other, there is a tendency to begin spewing emotional insults toward the one who dare to disagree. There is very little “exchange of ideas.” This often leads to a “potty mouth” kind of communication, which is not classy!  Also, to talk at someone rather than with him or her is a supreme lack of class.  This birdy picture is cute. I guess it represents the opposite of what the verse in Ephesians 4 is encouraging!

The remedy of engaging in this mindless and un-classy way of communicating is to have some quiet reflection time: reading, praying, thinking…knowing not just what we believe, but why we believe it. And looking into the beliefs of the “other side,” because how can we exchange ideas in a thoughtful way if we only know one side of an issue? Being a good and genuine listener is class par excellence’.

Recently, I had the flu (which I haven’t had in over a decade) But when I was feeling bad, I read a book sent to me by someone who holds a way different religious view from my own. I read the whole book in one day (ahhh, the luxury of being sick). But I wanted to kind of get into the head of someone who believes differently from me.

It was a truly great book with some admirable thought behind it, but in the end, I had to “agree to disagree” on some very major issues. But we are surely more able to have an exchange of ideas in a positive way rather than a condemnation match when we take time to understand the point of view of another person.

Cursing, insulting, bad-mouthing, and in general being a self-centered blaster in communication is a true lack of class.   I don’t mean being a conflict avoid-er. If you know me, you know that I am not that! But conflict doesn’t have to be nasty. Having strong convictions about something doesn’t necessarily mean that those who don’t agree are the enemy.

Trust me, I personally have a long way to go in learning this whole thing. But I usually write about issues where I need improvement, and I do need to improve my communication class level, that’s for sure! Writing about it makes me think twice before I lunge into bad habits.

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We sparkle when we know what we know because we have thought it through, but we aren’t so arrogant as to think that no other opinion is worth listening to. What a different world we would live in if we were all committed to “keep it classy”!

 

 

 

healthy lifestyle, Inner Sparkle, Outer Sparkle (Health for the Body), sparkle inspiration, Uncategorized

Sparkle By Being “An Outsider.”

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, Be an Outsider. It’s actually a promotion for the store LLBean, but I liked the message, so I used the bumper sticker they sent me, which is amazing.

For me it had two meanings: first, a person should be who they are and believe what they believe, even if it means being an outsider in the culture in which they live, which it actually often does mean that. The second meaning to me of  “be an outsider,” is that a person will sparkle inside and out if he or she gets out to revel in the Creation that God, the Creator, has made for us to enjoy!

Have you noticed how blaaaaa you feel when you’ve been indoors too long, breathing the stale air, looking at a screen, lulling to sleep because of boredom?

IMG_3466reducedSo speaking of being an outsider, I have another blog, which is actually the blog for our little shop that we own. But on it, I have begun to write some hiking blogs, sharing pictures and experiences from our hiking times. Pictured here is Dream Lake, which is a place as dreamy as it sounds!

Click here to see the blog about our hike there!

So be an outsider! Go against the grain of popular thinking, if that is necessary to be who you really are. And get outside! Because when we get outside, we have an environment to get to know ourselves, and to get to know God, and to think about what really matters in life. Be an Outsider.