Tag Archives: smile

Simple Pleasures!

This amazing gift we’ve been given, that most of us call life, is such a wonderful and beautiful thing. We really do fail to appreciate life in it’s simplicity, because somewhere along the way we have become convinced that it just has to be complicated.

I’ve been hanging around this human experience for a little over a half a century and what I have discovered and what I am rediscovering almost everyday is that simple pleasures are such a blessing, if we will just allow ourselves the time and permission to enjoy and be blessed by them.

Here are just a few of the simple pleasures that I am grateful for. These simple pleasure make each day meaningful and help to keep me focused on what really matters. These simple pleasures take me away from my ego and get me in touch with my soul.

1. Going Outside! I love the outdoors. Nature has become one of my best friends. I love to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, the cool from the breeze as it blows through the trees and the sounds of life all around me.

2. Time To Enjoy A Beverage! One of my favorite things is sitting in a comfortable chair and “sipping” on a cup of mocha flavored coffee as I think about the day in front of me and look forward to living it.

3. A Journal To Record, Plan & Dream! Not sure what I would do without paper and pen. I try everyday to write down my Scripture focus for the day, a list of at least three things I am thankful for, my tasks list of things I hope to get accomplished and any thoughts or ideas that are influencing me at the time.

4. My Favorite Pen! I love writing instruments. I love to sketch and draw with pencils, write with different kinds of pens and color with markers, paints and such. I like a pen that allows my thoughts and ideas to freely flow. Sometimes I am totally amazed at what comes out of the pen onto the paper and think: “Was that really me.”

5. Conversations With Friends! Having someone to talk to is a vital part of life, living and growing. It’s also important to have people we listen to, because as we listen, we learn and as we learn, we grow. One of the great blessings of this human experience is that we get to do it with such interesting and amazing people. So many times, we miss this magic…

6. Enjoying The Taste Of Good Food! I love to eat, but even more than eating, I love to cook. When I cook, I like to cook to taste, which means I am trying to create something that I am pretty sure I’m going to enjoy. So many people, grab their food, scarf it down and move on to whatever is next. The tragedy in this rush to feed our face is that we miss the opportunity to savor the flavor of life. I like it all, so the main thing for me is just making sure I slow down and enjoy it.

7. Exercise! This has become a dirty word for a lot of us, but it doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t be. A few things that make a big difference for me is just keeping it simple. And by the way, we need to exercise physically, mentally and spiritually. Physical exercise for me consists of stretches, walking, some time on an elliptical and a little work with weights. Mental exercise is made up of being open to learning something new and there is education all around us. I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts and even researching the web. Spiritual exercise does not have to be complicated and I like to keep mine going all throughout the day. I try to stay in a spirit of prayer. I read and meditate on scripture. And I look for opportunities to serve and minister for others. When it comes to exercise, remember this: A little is better than none at all.

8. Something To Read! I love to read and we have access to all sorts of material to choose from. Sometimes, I like to have an old fashion book with pages in my hand. At other times, I enjoy reading from the convenience of my smart device. And one of my favorite ways is to listen as the book is read and read along. I love to read history, leadership, biographies, blogs, motivation, how to books and Scripture.

9. Sitting In Solitude! The older I get, the more I really do seem to enjoy and need this one. There are times when I like to sit in a comfortable chair and do absolutely nothing, but enjoy the stillness and silence of the moment.

10. Meaningful Purpose! Getting up everyday energized with something meaningful to do and going to bed bed every night tired because you’ve done it, is a big part of what this human experience is all about to me. I love helping others and I get to do that everyday in a variety of ways. I love my routine and it drives me to try and make this amazing gift called life better for everyone.

So, there you go – that’s a few of my simple pleasures and if you see me with a smile on my face, then you probably know why. I pray that something you’ve read here today, might help you to find and wear a smile on your face too…

Are You Happy?

I used to have a friend that would ask me a simple, but powerful question on a fairly consistent basis. He would ask: “Are you happy?” I would answer: “I guess?” I mean, I wasn’t sad, so the opposite is happy, so I must be happy, right? Every now I then, I would wonder to myself: “Are you happy?”, but something else would come along and take control of my thoughts and I would drift onto something else.

I see and hear a lot of people in our world today that are not happy. I think if you asked most people, they would say: “I would like to be happy, but I’m not so sure how to get there. I think a lot of folks spend the first half of their lives, just trying to figure out what “happy” is. We think we know, get it rounded up and discover that what we thought it might be, turns out to be a wrong guess. Which is exactly why I think that a lot of us tend to give up and become satisfied if “happy” just kinda crosses over our tracks every now and then.

But the truth is, we were created for so much more than that. I think one of the problems with the idea of “happy” is that we think it’s a place to be, a destination to arrive at, but it is so much more than that. One of my favorite teachers, Wayne Dyer, puts it this way: “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” I really do like that:  “HAPPINESS IS THE WAY!”  We just have to get our definition and understanding of happiness right and then the rest tends to fall into place.

So what is happiness? Happiness is a lot of different things and it really depends on who you are talking to. Happiness is a choice, a decision of direction that we choose for ourselves, regardless of the situation or projected outcome. Some are happy going and some are happy sitting at home. Some are happy in a noisy crowd and some are happy enjoying quiet time alone. Some are happy with abundance, while some are happy with very little. This actually gives us a clue as to what happiness really is…

HAPPINESS IS  A CHOICE!  Abraham Lincoln said: “We are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be!” That is why you can see two people go through identical situations and one will be happy and up on cloud nine and the other will be down in the dumps and ready to die. So, the one most important thing we can learn about happiness is that happiness is a choice that we get to make for ourselves.

There it is, YOU GET TO DECIDE FOR YOU! You cannot decide for anyone else, but you can decide for yourself and you, yourself can make a difference in helping others to get there for themselves. If you are going through something hard, difficult or challenging, you can be happy knowing that it is making you stronger, revealing wisdom to you and showing you a side of yourself that you never knew existed. If you are going through good times, blessings and success, you can be happy knowing that what you’ve dreamed of and worked for is a reality that makes life better, sweeter and easier.

Choose to by happy, regardless, you will be glad you did!

Thank You Jesus Dance!

I have always loved ministry, but I have to confess that I am having the most fun in ministry that I have ever had doing what I get to do everyday. It is not the easiest and it comes with more than it’s fair share of challenges, but the blessings of God come in all shapes and sizes and always seem to come at just the right time.

Today I had a lady that came into Grace today looking for a vacuum cleaner. I told her that we had two and she could have her choice. Mrs. Florence picked the one that was actually the cheaper of the two and said: “Thank you Jesus and thank you Grace Place for meeting my needs.” She took the vacuum cleaner home and it didn’t work, so she brought it back and I told her: “No problem, let’s exchange it for the other one.” I went to get it and brought it back to plug it in to make sure that it worked. We plugged it in and it came on and after showing her that it worked, I said: “The Lord must have wanted her to have a vacuum with all the bells and whistles.” She said: “I got to do my “Thank You Jesus Dance!” We enjoyed it and I think you will too!

I just want to say thank you to all of the people who have contributed to helping to make the ministry of Grace Place a reality. In the last several years a lot of people have contributed time and money to enable this ministry to grow and take shape. I am able to experience the blessing of serving in this amazing ministry every day, because of your faithfulness and generosity of time, talents and treasure. Live Blessed!