Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
February 15, 2014
We will be hosting the area United Methodist churches for our annual Ash Wednesday Service, March 5, 7:30 pm. I hope you can attend. Here are my notes from last week:
A Good Life, Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 2-16-14
From the fifth book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, we have this teaching for life: “I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.” When faced with a clear choice, very few would consciously choose death and evil over life and good. But we can easily get confused about the “good life.” We can stray into the large and tempting areas of money, sex, and power in our quest for “the good life.” We want more and better things for ourselves, and we forget to live the truly good life, which is the life of compassion for others (and ourselves). The scriptures of the faith traditions of the world all agree that we should treat others as we want to be treated. This is a key to living a good life. This is much more important than the answer we give at a cocktail party when asked, “What do you do for a living?” Love God and neighbor. Keep the commandments, above all the commandment to love your neighbor as you love yourself. If you do this, you will have a good life. Love is your life. Live all your days with love.
from Diane Frary: Cindy Holbrook manages a blog that focuses on Overcoming Life’s Obstacles <http://cindysense.com/> . She pulls from her personal experiences as well as through her 15+ years working in social services. Pick up your free e-book “Your Guide to Happiness” when you visit CindySense.com <http://cindysense.com/> . Read more at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/happy-people/#GGbAhQFl9fCXOtlw.99 < http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/happy-people/#GGbAhQFl9fCXOtlw.99>
We’ve all seen people who are always happy – even amidst agonizing life trials. I’m not saying happy people don’t feel grief, sorrow or sadness; they just don’t let it overtake their life. The following are 21 things happy people make a habit of doing:
1. Appreciate Life Be thankful that you woke up alive each morning. Develop a childlike sense of wonder towards life. Focus on the beauty of every living thing. Make the most of each day. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. Choose Friends Wisely Surround yourself with happy, positive people who share your values and goals. Friends that have the same ethics as you will encourage you to achieve your dreams. They help you to feel good about yourself. They are there to lend a helping hand when needed.
3. Be Considerate Accept others for who they are as well as where they are in life. Respect them for who they are. Touch them with a kind and generous spirit. Help when you are able, without trying to change the other person. Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with.
4. Learn Continuously Keep up to date with the latest news regarding your career and hobbies. Try new and daring things that has sparked your interest – such as dancing, skiing, surfing or sky-diving.
5. Creative Problem Solving Don’t wallow in self-pity. As soon as you face a challenge get busy finding a solution. Don’t let the set backs affect your mood, instead see each new obstacle you face as an opportunity to make a positive change. Learn to trust your gut instincts – it’s almost always right.
6. Do What They Love Some statistics show that 80% of people dislike their jobs! No wonder there’s so many unhappy people running around. We spend a great deal of our life working. Choose a career that you enjoy – the extra money of a job you detest isn’t worth it. Make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.
7. Enjoy Life Take the time to see the beauty around you. There’s more to life than work. Take time to smell the roses, watch a sunset or sunrise with a loved one, take a walk along the seashore, hike in the woods etc. Learn to live in the present moment and cherish it. Don’t live in the past or the future.
8. Laugh Don’t take yourself – or life to seriously. You can find humor in just about any situation. Laugh at yourself – no one’s perfect. When appropriate laugh and make light of the circumstances. (Naturally there are times that you should be serious as it would be improper to laugh.)
9. Forgive Holding a grudge will hurt no one but you. Forgive others for your own peace of mind. When you make a mistake – own up to it – learn from it – and FORGIVE yourself.
10. Gratitude Develop an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings; All of them – even the things that seem trivial. Be grateful for your home, your work and most importantly your family and friends. Take the time to tell them that you are happy they are in your life.
11. Invest in Relationships Always make sure your loved ones know you love them even in times of conflict. Nurture and grow your relationships with your family and friends by making the time to spend with them. Don’t break your promises to them. Be supportive.
12. Keep Their Word Honesty is the best policy. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Be honest with yourself and with your loved ones.
13. Meditate Meditation <http://www.thechangeblog.com/how-to-meditate/> gives your very active brain a rest. When it’s rested you will have more energy and function at a higher level. Types of meditation include yoga, hypnosis, relaxation tapes, affirmations, visualization or just sitting in complete silence. Find something you enjoy and make the time to practice daily.
14. Mind Their Own Business Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.
15. Optimism See the glass as half full. Find the positive side of any given situation. It’s there – even though it may be hard to find. Know that everything happens for a reason, even though you may never know what the reason is. Steer clear of negative thoughts. If a negative thought creeps in – replace it with a positive thought.
16. Love Unconditionally Accept others for who they are. You don’t put limitations on your love. Even though you may not always like the actions of your loved ones – you continue to love them.
17. Persistence Never give up. Face each new challenge with the attitude that it will bring you one step closer to your goal. You will never fail, as long as you never give up. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. We are always happiest while pursuing something of value to us.
18. Be Proactive Accept what can not be changed. Happy people don’t waste energy on circumstances beyond their control. Accept your limitations as a human being. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire – rather than waiting to respond.
19. Self Care Take care of your mind, body and health. Get regular medical check ups. Eat healthy and work out. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Exercise your mind by continually energizing it with interesting and exciting challenges.
20. Self Confidence Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. After all no one likes a phony. Determine who you are in the inside – your own personal likes and dislikes. Be confident in who you are. Do the best you can and don’t second guess yourself.
21. Take Responsibility Happy people know and understand that they are 100% responsible for their life. They take responsibility for their moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. They are the first to admit when they’ve made a mistake. Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these habits as you own. The more you incorporate the above habits into your daily lifestyle – the happier you will be. Most of all: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF.
From the gospel for today, Matthew 5: beware of anger, lust, and swearing. Let your answers be simply “Yes” or “No.” Trust God’s grace and mercy. Cultivate the habit of living with joy and thanksgiving.
Don’t wait for the next life to do this. At every age and stage of life choose the good. Forgive and move on. Care for others every day. Say please, thank you, I’m sorry, I love you, I’m praying for you. Say these often.
Romans 12:18 “As much as you can, as much as is in your power, live at peace with all people.“ Sometimes we can’t, but even then, we do all we can to create peace in our relationships. We do not control the other person. We cannot control the governments of the world, but we can influence them for the good. As much as you can, live in peace with all people.
L’chaim: To life! is a popular Jewish toast. Our lesson today is from what Christians have called the “Old Testament” as if it were passé. In seminary I learned to call it the Hebrew Scriptures, the Torah, the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. Jesus was a Jew who fulfilled the law, the teaching for life, which is compassionate and joyful living.
Today, take this ancient lesson deep into your heart. Take it with you as something you can share. Let it overflow in your lives. Live now with love and joy.
Pat Dornan and Linda Pereira continue to need your prayers of support and healing.
Sandra Kokoruda (Fran Smith’s daughter) has had surgery postponed due to anemia. Keep remembering her in your prayers.
Barbara Haley’s friend, Pat Cahill, fell and has a torn shoulder cuff. Pat had surgery a month ago. Once she has healed sufficiently, it will be a long rehab back. Prayers for healing are welcome.
End deportations, pass immigration reform
Friday, February 21, 2014
Peer Educators in Doti
|Students discussing modes of transmission of HIV|
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has sent out a request for School Supply Kits. UMW (United Methodist Women) are spearheading a request for items from you to fill 10 kits by April 1st. Kit supply lists are in Friendship Hall. UMCOR is very specific about the supplies needed and will remove those not on the list. UMCOR has been very busy in the Philippines and is sending a shipment of school supplies shortly. They need to restock their shelves. This is an easy way to help. A carton will be in Friendship Hall for your donations. UMW will assemble the kits at their April meeting.
February is here and in honor of Helen Valentine, we will be collecting all the coins you have saved over the past year (paper money and checks also accepted) for Heifer International. Please donate generously so we can buy a variety of animals or trees to improve the lives of the less advantaged. The children love choosing the animals!
Saturday, February 22, United Methodist Women in conjunction with Writer Coach Connection will have a second showing of the film “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” by Shaki Butler from 1-4 pm in the sanctuary of First Methodist Church. If you missed it last time it is a timely piece about the racism in America and a conscious raising film. Dr. Butler is a master at challenges and inspires us to grapple with the complexities of social justice.
Friday, February 28, 7:30 pm Point Richmond Jazz presents Jeremy Cohen and his Violin Jazz Quartet. His electrifying jazz violin performances have earned him nationwide accolades. He has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras and been on motion picture and TV sound tracks. He has been a faculty member of the Henry Mancini Institute (LA) and the Jazz School (Berkeley) for many years. This would be an evening well spent. Advance tickets thru: prjazz.org. $15, at the door, $20. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond.
Ash Wednesday Service here, 201 Martina, March 5, 7:30 pm. Observe the beginning of Lent with our circuit United Methodist Churches. Music by Dan, Eileen, Alice, and the Joyful Noise Choir.
Friday, March 7, Sweetheart Dinner– Tammara Plankers will be installed as our Sweetheart for 2014. Gathering music at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7 pm at the Point San Pablo Yacht Club, 700 West Cutting Blvd, Point Richmond. Tickets are $45. For reservations contact Fran Smith: 510 685 2338 or email@example.com. Please mail reservation requests and payment to : Fran Smith, 2149 Beaujolais Court, Fairfield, CA., 94533. This is always a fun night with good food and companionship. Fundraiser for First United Methodist Church.
Monday, March10,at 6:30 pm Prayer and Self Denial Supper and Program, for United Methodist Women, at The Open Door (Good Shepard) United Methodist Church Hall, 6226 Arlington, Richmond. This is a simple supper of soup and a program to center our thoughts at the beginning of Lent. Please let Jean Reynolds know if you plan to attend so there’s enough soup! 510 235 2988 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Carpool would be nice.
An Evening with Dan Damon, Saturday, April 12, 7:30 pm. First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St., Point Richmond, suggested donation $15, choir members free. Come and sing new hymns written by Pastor Dan Damon. The session will be recorded for our new website. Join your voice with ours, no rehearsal needed. Experience congregational song at its best, singing hymns of peace, justice and joy.