Giving (Up)

In this time of Lent, I know many people decide to "give up" something in honor of the season. Whether it is chocolate, deserts, or maybe even TV ( I couldn't imagine not watching "The Voice"), it is meant to be a solemn sacrifice.

A dear friend of mine posted on Face Book that instead of giving up something for Lent, why not go out of your way for 40 days and do something extra special for others. Call, WRITE a note, send a card to reach out to someone. I really liked this idea as I could not decide what I would give up, other than housecleaning!

In the book, "Don't Sweat  the Small Stuff," Richard Carlson writes about smiling at strangers, look into their eyes and say hello! Have you ever noticed or thought about how little eye contact most of us have with strangers?  What keeps us from opening our hearts to people we don't know? Are we afraid of them or possibly their reaction to us? It is somewhat intimidating. I'm not really sure what the answer is, but Carlson writes that there is a parallel between our attitude toward strangers and our overall level of happiness. A smile, nod, or hello to someone you don't know must come from a happy or at least calm/peaceful heart. Who knows, it may just be contagious and carry forward. Most people are more similar than we think-- they have families, loved ones, troubles, concerns, fears and so forth. If you can touch someone's heart with a smile or greeting, you'll notice how grateful others can be when you are the first to reach out. God tells us to "love your neighbor as yourself " in the gospel of Mark 12:31.

1 John 4:9-12 states: "This  is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world
that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

So, today..... Find someone ( or more) to smile and greet in sharing the love of God !




Linda Culberson

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Linda Berner wrote:
Our friends daughter. Kristine married Richard Carlson. They met at Pepperdine College in CA. They had two daughters. Richard died several years ago flying home from a book signing event. Pilot asked ppl to shut their electronic device as they were approaching the landing strip. Richard closed his computer and suddenly died in his seat. Think it was a blood clot. Kristine wrote a book about their lives together after he died and I saw her on TV. It was either the Today Show or Good Morning America. This has been maybe 10 yrs ago or so. I am sure you can find her book for sale. Linda Berner

Thu, February 26, 2015 @ 9:04 PM

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