This week our focus is on gratitude. 

On behalf of the Spiritual Life Team, I invite you to pause for a moment to center on being thankful.

  • What are you thankful for in this moment? 
  • How will you show your gratitude today?

 Here are some inspirational thoughts to guide us in our practice of gratitude:

Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say.  I say that one a lot.  Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.                               Alice Walker

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude.  Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.  Thankfulness may consist merely of words.  Gratitude is shown in acts.        Henri Frederic Amiel

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.            William Ward

Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.      Melody Beattie

I believe deeply that gratitude is an essential component of positive living.  Gratitude is healing and transforming.  It cannot be imposed; gratitude can be nurtured and modeled.  Gratitude makes us more fully who God created each of us to be.  It brings us perspective.

Be intentional about living in gratitude.  Let us look for ways to show our gratitude to God (Higher Power) and to one another.

Don’t forget to do something kind for yourself in gratitude for the gift of your life and the unique person you are.

On Wednesday of this week UMHC and BCC held a merger celebration.  Some of you may know that for many years UMHC has used a heart as part of its logo.  The picture above includes a heart and it reminded me of how grateful we are to be working together as one.  We are grateful for the past years of dedicated service through our organizations; we give thanks for the promise of the future together and we express gratitude for the present partnership that will lead to impacting more children, more families, and more communities.

I conclude with one verse of scripture from the early Church:  “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (New Living Translation)

 

 

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Be Kind

A message from Reverend Stacey, BCC Chaplain and Director of Church and Community Engagement.

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deed are the fruits.
-19th century rhyme

Our focus this week is on being kind to ourselves as well as to others.

I am reminded of this quote from the Dalai Lama:
“Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.”

We need to practice being kind at all times.  Small acts of kindness make all the difference in our lives and in the lives of others. 

In one of our houses in Baltimore, the youth are writing in on their “40 Days of Positive Actions” calendar the specific actions that they are taking each day. One example was that a youth shared a snack with another.  It is inspiring to learn how our young people are making this practice meaningful in their daily lives.  Thank you to all of our staff who are encouraging positive actions and modeling them.

There are many scriptures that make clear God’s desire for us to be kind to one another.  God’s own kindness is our example.

Here are some verses from the Bible to illustrate:

Since God chose you to be the holy people whom God loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you.  Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
-Colossians 3:12-13 (New Living Translation)

Be kind and loving to each other.
-Ephesians 4:32

The Lord has told you what goodness is.  This is what God wants from you:  Be fair to other people.  Love kindness and loyalty, and humbly obey your God.
-Micah 6:8

Let us encourage one another to be kind to ourselves and to be kind to one another.  We all deserve more kindness in our lives as well as the joy of showing kindness!

Hope we have a great week!
Rev. Stacey

And always remember:

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
-Aesop

 

 

This was originally part of our 40 Days of Positive Actions activity, sponsored by BCC Spiritual Life Team.

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