faith & spirituality

A Multi-Faceted Definition of Love

Love. What is love?

The four letter word that tugs at our heartstrings and makes us dance with happiness and joy. What is love? The feeling that overwhelms us and causes harsh reactions when faced with adversity. What is love? The overpowering wave of emotion which ignites a smile as warm as the rising of the summer sun. What is love?  The painful feeling of being left behind without ample notice. What is love? The fresh smell of flowers that illuminates our senses and opens our hearts to give freely. What is love? A thunderstorm of tears that cascade down our cheekbones when the end is near. What is love? It wakes us up in the morning with the strength and endurance to live another day. What is love?  The sweet caress of raindrops on our lips which entices us for more. What is love? The hope and probability we will love again. What is love? The pounding of drums within our hearts that creates a melodic rhythm. What is love? The trembling force of a volcano ready to explode. What is love? Love is giving without expectation of receiving in return. What is love?

Making Your Vision Happen With Action

Seeing what you want and making your vision a reality is not just a good idea or a philosophy–it’s action.  It is the work, effort, and process of doing what it takes to build the Vision.  Your Vision.

If I lost you at Golf  last week, thanks for coming back.  I won’t use any more sports analogies, for now anyway.  I hope my last post got you thinking as to what you want to see happen in your life by 2013 and beyond in both the Big picture and in the small areas.

A Visualization Exercise to Confront and Overcome Your Fears

Once, during a very dark patch in my daughter’s life, I searched for some way to help. We lived a bit more than five hours apart, but her need was immediate. Skype and phone calls were insufficient because they must come to an end, and schedules and commitments shrink our abilities to use them. So I proposed that we mimic John Donne’s famous sonnet and cry, “Fear, thou shalt die!”

Forget Resolutions– How to Formulate a New Year’s *Vision* for the Future

What’s your vision for 2013?

No, that’s not a typo– I didn’t mean 2012. I mean 2013. Where or what will be true of your life in less than 12 months from now when the flip of the calendar goes from 2012 to 2013?

Barely into the New Year, 2012 resolutions are new and hopefully not yet broken. At the beginning of the year, we look ahead, make plans, but primarily our focus is on the footsteps in front of us.

Instead, I envision 2013. Clear in my head, it’s a picture of the end result of a work in process.

How to Find a Mentor and Form a Relationship

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I’d pose some ideas on how to establish a life mentor or mentors in your own life. There are two steps to this – finding a mentor and forming a mentor. Once you do these two things, it’s a matter of sticking with it and making a commitment to getting together regularly.

Finding a Mentor

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my mentors came to me as part of a faith-based group. Faith-based groups are a great place to find mentors, as you are already in a more open, vulnerable place when in one of these groups. So, a prayer, meditation, or support group can be a great place to find a mentor.

Teenager Ben Breedlove’s YouTube “My Story” and His Message of Life and Death

You may not yet have heard of Ben Breedlove.  But chances are that if you’re on Facebook, one of your friends posted a link to two YouTube videos called “My Story” in the last few days.  In these simple videos, an extraordinary young man delivers a message one week before he passed away on Christmas Day of a heart attack.

Ben’s message was simple: do not be afraid of death.

He was eighteen years old.

This Morning Over Breakfast, My Daughter Taught Me to Prioritize

All month I have been brainstorming a post about New Year’s resolutions.  It seemed fitting with the upcoming New Year.  In a single moment this morning my post changed.

My daughter, who is 2, and I sat down for breakfast this morning.  I situated our bowls and cups at the table.  As I went to grab my spoon, a little hand extended across the table to me.  Puzzled, I thought maybe she was playing a game.  I reached my hand out to hers.  When she saw we had joined hands, she bowed her head.  I was still puzzled.  Then she began to say a prayer.  Instantly my heart melted, and I bowed my head.  She went on in her 2 year old gibber jabber for about 30 seconds, ending with a very clear “Amen.”  You may or may not believe in God, but there is something we can all learn from a child.  

I Know You Are But What Am I? A Look Into Dating and Religion

If you haven’t noticed it’s Christmas time. And while I LOVE Christmas for giving me the opportunity to celebrate the people I love by shopping for them, I understand that the holiday is divisive. Some people cannot stand Christmas– too materialistic, too stressful. Others do not celebrate Christmas because they are not Christian. Many just celebrate because of tradition and duty.

Ways to Give Back and Help Others During the Holidays

The holidays are absolutely my most favorite time of the year!

I get to spend time with my family, friends, and we just simply enjoy one another.We engage in the exchanging of gifts, visit each others homes and spent time being thankful and grateful for what we have, as well as, what we don’t have.

But I can’t help to think of those who are less fortunate and struggle with life’s most simple pleasures, that so many of us take for granted; such as a warm home to go to, a hot meal to eat, or clothing to protect their flesh from the winter cold. Being grateful is more than just saying that you are, it’s about proving that you are!

Religious Freedom and the Bravery of Anne Hutchinson

At Thanksgiving, it is right and proper to consider those Founders who brought us to this place and time in history. Some of them, the Puritans, have been the center of attention in classrooms across the land. Children learn that the Puritans sought freedom from religious intolerance and sailed to this North American continent in order to find it. They struggled and strove, but could not succeed without the aid of America’s first citizens, the Native American tribes. From them and their generosity arose the legend of the First Thanksgiving when European and Native Americans broke bread together.

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Jessica Chan
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