Community of Blessings

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Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world… It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

Last summer I mentioned to my mother and sister the fact that the harvest season does not seem to be as decorated in the West as in the East. “Perhaps that’s because Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, the place of the landing of the Pilgrims, is geographically closer, so the season of fall is more celebrated. But, I really don’t know what it is,” I admitted.

On Sunday I arrived at the doors of my church and found it beautifully decorated for the fall season. The blessings of community and sermons of life lessons, relevant to today’s world, are always inside these church doors.

IMG_20151011_084245_836 Reflections last week from the Rev. Tim Selby included the question “And How Are the Children?”  Unfortunately in this day and age with all of the incidents in schools we can’t confidently answer “All are safely gathered in.”IMG_20151011_084455_846

By the end of the sermon each and everyone of us hoped our prayers would be heard as we sang the closing hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

If you wish to hear the words of the message, keep your eye on the church website where recordings of each Sunday’s lessons are always posted.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Lessons of Heart and Soul.

Views on Entitlement

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“Finding your life’s work involves taking risks.” ~ Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Ok, so, I am a self-professed personal growth junky. It comes from my interest in human behavior. I’m entitled to be that way, I suppose, as long as I don’t spend too much time reading about life rather than living it and enjoying the results.

An author, Dr. John Townsend, recently sent me an Advance Readers Copy (ARC) of The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way to review. I was psyched when it arrived in my mailbox! Why? Because as long as I am on this Earth, there is room for more self-improvement.

The book is dedicated “To all who live life the hard way, because life works best that way.” 

Haven’t most of us experienced some of that? In my own life I know faith and hope ( basic fundamentals) have kept me moving forward and optimistic when facing challenges.

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Hard knocks bring the biggest challenges paired with opportunity for change and a reason to prove something to ourselves.

The good news according to Dr. Townsend is none of us are exempt from a little entitlement (he refers to this as pocket entitlement). We are made that way from our Creator and there is a cure for those who suffer from more entitlement than what is considered normal.

The author, Dr. John Townsend, a leadership expert, psychologist, public speaker and NY Times best-selling author of Boundaries gives strategies that help individuals understand that the “easy way” is not the best way. It is what brings about feelings of entitlement in the first place.

I highly recommend this publication. Here is more about the author and the book.

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Pounds of Love

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Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. ~Seneca

This is one of the best good news stories I have read in a long time about the power of women who band together to make the world a little bit better.

The heartwarming ingredients in the story include:

  • Nine compassionate women
  • A wonderful mission
  • Pounds of sweet beginnings and endings
  • 35 years of  secrecy and dedication
  • Southern soul, charm and kindness
  • Love for others and community

The end result: “Happiness Happens!”

Pound Cake  with love

Do not miss this article.  Click here and read the full story.  Check in on us tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Heart of the Stories

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“A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.”― Chuck Palahniuk

Do you miss those days when the words commitment, pride and work ethic really meant something? Are you tired of reading news stories that are sensational and shocking because healthy relationships are missing? The good news is stories about valuing oneself and others who are different than us do exist.

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Lessons of Heart & Soul, is a collection of stories that go back to the days when things were much simpler and when kids learned and understood what decent values were all about. These ten short stories which were cut from the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected were previously unpublished. They are bound to put a smile on your face.

If you are looking for something to make you feel good and lift your spirits, both publications will remind you of a time when life was not so complex. You’ll love Fanny the central character in the story and her pearls of wisdom. You’ll want to learn even more about her in the award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, if you haven’t already read it.

Where is the best treasure in the story? Check out the memorable voice in the audio book, narrated by the author. Prefer to read it on a different platform? Select the paperback or e-book.

Books on Spirituality

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Statistics indicate fewer people are church-going. The reasons for the decline runs the gamut, and it depends on who you talk to and what media you favor. What do you think is the truth of the matter?

As I was writing this blog, I saw this statement come across my social media news feed.

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It immediately lead my ticker tape of thoughts to ponder what people really value in today’s world. Are we Americans perhaps not as interested in things that lead to inner growth and development and more interested in keeping up appearances? Does valuing one have to be exclusive of the other? I don’t know, but it sure begs the question.

I’ve noticed there is a new generation of books that have sprung up regarding spirituality.  Today on All Things Fulfilling, I’d like to mention a few of them. I am not pushing any of them or their authors because I have not read these publications. I’ve posted these publications for no self-serving reason other I find their titles interesting and thought worthy.

  • Wearing God
  • Accidental Saints – Finding God in All The Wrong People
  • Searching for Sunday
  • There’s a Woman in the Pulpit
  • Saint Mazie: A Novel
  • Prayer, Write, Grow
  • Mudhouse Sabbath
  • Girl Meets God
  • The Wisdom of Stability
  • Praying in Color
  • The Sacred Year: Mapping the Soulscape of Spiritual Practice
  • Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost & Found Again
  • Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Do any of these titles appeal to your personal interpretation of what spirituality means to you? If so, pick up one of these titles, read it and write a review on Amazon.com or send us your thoughts through this website.  Reviews help other readers decide whether a book is worth reading. Why did it touch your heart and soul?  Authors appreciate feedback from the public!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. Click here for more information on her  publications, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

 

 

Remembering Leaps of Faith

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If you have ever been successful at anything against all odds, you come to understand that sometimes risk is worth it.  There are valuable lessons to be learned when we let go and take a leap of faith. Without some element of believing in something greater than ourselves, it is hard to move forward. For instance –
I remember….

When I was in my late teens our family vacationed in the Thousand Island region of Canada on a lake called The Opinicon. On many of the islands that dotted the lake there were huge rocky cliffs, perhaps 20-30 feet high. We’d jump off the crags into the water. It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

I’d run up the edge of the cliff all filled with vim and vigor and then stop just before going over. Finally after a few failed attempts, I’d surrender and take the big leap. Why? Because in life there are few certainties and I knew my life had been saved by grace and providence before. And, I must be honest. I was not going to let myself be outdone by my siblings! I couldn’t let that happen since I appeared to be weakling among them.

This article outlines why having faith is important to our future.

leaps-of-faith-lead-to-wonderful-adventure

Deciding not to let being an inexperienced writer stop me from writing and publishing my memoir is just one leap of faith I’ve taken in my life. Others you can read about in my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling.

Cornerstones of Community

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“The spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few!” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

It was a fabulous 4th!  Ski Town USA was abuzz with activity that well-demonstrated the great hometown spirit this community is noted for.

Independence Day would not be a day to celebrate if it wasn’t for the cornerstone principles that our forefathers laid before us. They fought hard, literally and figuratively, to build a society which includes more than just the freedom of the press.

Over the weekend I indulged myself with a gala complete with cupcakes to commemorate independent publishing since it’s been at the heart and soul of my interests.

Terrys photo 4th

And of course, helping with the Strawberry Sundae fundraiser at the United Methodist Church has become something I look forward to each year. We ladies sliced and diced a heap of strawberries for the throngs of people looking for their next Independence Day treat after the parade.

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lots of berries

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pray for our leaders

The Tread of Pioneers Museum, right next door to the church, offered hotdogs and Routt Beer floats a plenty. On the 4th of July there is always free admission to the treasure trove that helps tourists and townies alike understand what life was like when the trailblazers arrived in this ranching community.

Now Steamboat Springs is also known for it’s tourism and broad variety of recreational opportunities. It’s home to Olympic athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, philathropists and others who love the Western and very friendly lifestyle.

Come on back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow when leaps of Faith will be the topic. I look forward to sharing my independent thoughts with you!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard.