Assisi column and steps  

   The Religion Network publishes Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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   Originally published 1-11-10
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Max Lucado, James Allen, Tzvi Freeman, Animal Video


Dear Readers,

I read something that took me aback. I don't recall where I saw it, but the words
have clung to me. The author's inference was that we spend so much time aspir-
ing to be what we dream of being that often we ignore the way we've been
uniquely crafted, with personalized talents and qualities. Aspiring is one
thing, but wishing we were basically someone else is another!

I'm chagrined realizing I've wasted time wanting to be more like someone else rather
than wanting to be more like me. It's a headbanger to realize I've actually wasted
time subconsciously making mental lists of all that I'm not, instead of all that
I am. Here's an affirming exercise for all of us: take pen and paper
and make a list of all the good qualities that God has bestowed
on you; drawing a word portrait of who you are as a unique
individual. And being grateful for it all.

- Lisa

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assisi, italy nook with madonna and motorcycle
Photo by Lisa Bowman                   All rights reserved

Grace defines you. As grace sinks in, earthly labels fade. Society labels
you like a can on an assembly line. Stupid. Unproductive. Slow learner.
Fast talker. Quitter. Cheapskate. But as grace infiltrate, criticism disinti-
grates. You know you aren't who they say you are. You are who God
says you are. Spiritually alive. Heavenly positioned. Connected
to the Father. A billboard of mercy. An honored child.

Of course, not all labels are negative. Some people regard you as
handsome, clever, successful or efficient. But even a White House
office doesn't compare with being "seated with him in the heavenly
realms." Grace creates the Christian's resume.

Excerpted from "Come Thirsty,"
by Max Lucado
W Publishing Group, 2004


• Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.

• A man is literally what he thinks, his character
being the complete sum of all his thoughts.

• Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music
that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind,
the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of
them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly
environment, of these, if you but remain true to
them your world will at last be built.

From "As a Man Thinketh,"
Essay by James Allen, in 1902

ancient italian oven with flowerpot
Photo by Lisa Bowman                   All rights reserved


Never underestimate the power of a simple, pure deed
done from the heart. The world is not changed by men who move
mountains, nor by those who lead the revolutions, nor by those whose
purse strings tie up the world. Dictators are deposed, oppression is
dissolved, entire nations are transformed by a few precious acts
of beauty performed by a handful of unknown soldiers.

In fact, it was encoded by Maimonides in his code of law,
"Each person must see himself as though the entire world were
held in balance and any deed he may do could tip the scales."

Tzvi Freeman
Courtesy of



This real life video illustrates how being your
authentic self is the best way to contribute
to the world...even when you're a dog...

"From Service Dog to SURFice Dog"


The Last Word:

You hang as God's work of art, a testimony in his gallery of grace.

Max Lucado





























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Get rid of the self and act from the Self!

Zen saying


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