Meeting Needs, Circuitously

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“I’m conscious of a series of circles working its way through my life.” ~ Ben Okri

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Image above: Artist Nathalie Parenteau

There has been a certain synchronicity lately on All Things Fulfilling around the theme of building things – building stone walls and memorials, building a beautiful home and family, building business through our passions, building meaningful relationships between people and community.

If you read yesterday’s blog called “Riding the Circuit,” there was a bit of self-deprecating humor over searching for answers to what the term “circuit rider” means. Here is a continuation of my story.

As a first time visitor, I opened the red doors to the tiny UnitedMethodistChurch on TaylorsIsland with quiet trepidation, and with much curiosity about what this “circuit rider” my mother spoke of might look like. I imagined someone in the pews would be wearing a cowboy hat, since that is what I had grown accustomed to seeing on Sunday mornings as I entered the UMC in Steamboat, Colorado. From my relatively new Western point of reference, in my mind a circuit rider is a cowboy who rides the rodeo circuit.  

In I entered. I sat in a pew behind a small group of people who turned, smiled warmly and said “Good morning, welcome!” 

“No cowboy hats in this crowd, East coast dress code” I thought. I sat quietly and reverently listening to small town conversation around me. Finally, someone remarked that “the Reverend must be running late.”

“No big deal,” I thought. I was used to people running late, in places where people recreate (in vacation places like shore towns and ski resorts) people have more laid back attitudes, and seem to run on their own time clocks. 

Finally, in the Reverend walked. What I came to find out after the powerful, inspirational sermon he delivered was that the “Rev ” is the “circuit rider” my mother talked about. He goes around fulfilling  the spiritual needs of people at four services, at four different churches on Sunday mornings. That’s why he is called a circuit rider! To read more about this preacher’s life, please visit this article. http://delmarvane.ws/1bqWxTq. This minister has been serving people for almost sixty-six years helping to build one-on-one relationships between people and God, in different communities.

Tomorrow, a shorter blog. I promise! This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

 

 

The American Story in DVDs

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You need to take pride in what God has given you.” ― Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

God Bless America.” Those words get to me every time! Over 4th of July I was with my family at a small marina on the Chesapeake enjoying a band that was playing popular songs from the 1970s and 1980s. I was in my glory listening to “oldies but goodies,” including Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in America.” The band ended the evening with singing “God Bless America.” Many of us stood, and placed our hands over our hearts, as we were taught to do during patriotic anthems.

learn our historyIn today’s world many students are not aware of the role God has played in our nation’s history. In my opinion, it is sad, and frankly, un-American not to teach it in schools. Love of country and our creator, go hand in hand. If you ask me, without a personal belief system that includes faith our country, and in our fellow citizens, and  belief in a force much greater than humankind there is less hope in the world for growth, prosperity, ingenuity, and other things that we Americans have always held near and dear to our hearts. These attributes are what has made our country great.

There is a new series of animated films called “Learn our History.”  Writers, animators, historians and educators collaborated on this project to make certain highlights from America’s story of independence available to students and teachers. You can see a sneak preview, free of charge, through this website. http://www.learnourhistory.com/Columbus.html.  The lessons are uniquely told, in a fashion that is interesting and compelling. The American Revolution, Lewis and Clark Expeditions, The Mayflower and the First Thanksgiving, Christopher Columbus’ Great Discovery are just a few topics on this DVD series.

Order these independently produced films to share with your children and keep the American story alive. Teaching history does not have to be rote learning of facts, creative storytelling is incorporated into each of these movies. They are also formatted for on-line streaming on I-Pads and i-phones  and other internet connected devices.

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by http://www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

America’s Oldest 4th of July Celebration

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He who loves not his country, can love nothing. ~ Lord Byron

Bristol, Rhode Island, the home of Roger Williams University http://rwu.edu/,  is a place that can claim the title of the city with The Oldest 4th of July Celebration. The town celebrates Independence Day in grand style and it is very special. This year, its residents will beat the drum to the 228th annual event. A patriotic parade, music concerts, an interfaith service, and a 4th of July Ball  are only a few things on the docket. The town will be decked out in its red, white and blue regalia – flags, banners, buntings and posters adorn the buildings. All things fulfilling about our country’s freedom and independence will be evident, including an abundance of food and drink that we have in America.

In the most recent issue of Yankee Magazine, an article about Bristol’s 4th of July celebration was featured. Pick up a copy of the magazine at your neighborhood newsstand. You can also read about the scheduled events on the official website, by following this link. http://www.july4thbristolri.com/.

Happy Independence Day, everybody and don’t miss the photographs below of Americana at its finest. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. A company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

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Film Friday: Red Doors

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 Never lose a holy curiosity ~ Albert Einstein

I am trying to put two and two together, and it has me inquiring. As I have driven around the Mid-Atlantic States, I have noticed a trend that never occurred to me before.

What is it about churches and red doors? There must have been a run on them at some time in history because they seem to be prevalent. Or perhaps, I think, “maybe I am reading  into something that isn’t there.”

As I have come to find out, red doors on churches, apparently, do have historical and meaningful significance. They indicate a place of harbor for those who are facing life’s storms. Physical and spiritual protection is found for many who open and enter into crimson-colored doors.

Did you know there is an award-winning film called Red Doors?

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http://www.reddoorsthemovie.com/story.html. It is not a new release but it still has relevance in the world today and it is worthy of attention. The film is about a family that is trying to communicate its feelings and each member is doing their own soul searching about relationships. Diversity of culture is also a theme that runs throughout the movie.

If you are looking for something to do that is thought provoking this weekend, Red Doors may be the solution. Click for Info & Ordering Red Doors

Before you leave this website, there are photos below of some of the places that  have given me inspiration for this writing.

Come back on Monday, we will share some other independent thoughts, words and views from author Sue Batton Leonard and www.allthingsfulfilling.com , the blog of www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

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 Photo Above: Old Trinity Church, Church Creek, Maryland – built between 1686- 1692 http://oldtrinity.net/aboutus.html

Photos Below: Other ” Safe Harbors ” on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

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This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Providential Visit

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All that I know of tomorrow is that Providence will rise before the sun ~  Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

It’s a city rising, moved by philanthropists, architects, artists, bankers, shopkeepers and others who have engaged in The Providence Portrait Project http://providenceportraitproject.com/  to revitalize Providence, R.I. a city full of history, art, architecture. I enjoyed a day in this city last week when I went to visit my niece who is an architect at Union Studio Architects, and is currently involved in the design of a new library in Tiverton, Rhode Island. http://www.unionstudioarch.com/ .

I encountered so many wonderful sites in Providence that had to do with architecture, history, libraries, books, art, design and education that I will share what I saw through images, rather than words. Enjoy the pictures!

My next stop will be in a city of mansions where wealthy bankers, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs lived in the early days of our country. Many of them invested in the railroad which allowed for westward expansion of commerce and thus, more prosperity for citizens of our country. Many of the castle-like mansions have become museums, open to the public for touring.

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow.

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Above two images – my niece Kara explaining about the Providence Portrait Project http://bit.ly/14tLl1w.

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 Image above: Symposium Books, Providence, RI  www.symposiumbooks.com

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Image above & below: Athenaeum Library http://www.providenceathenaeum.org/

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Twin Sisters (yeah, I know, it’s hard to believe) together at the List Art Center

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Walter Feldman Book Arts Studio http://brown.edu/academics/visual-art/facilities

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At the Gates of Brown University, Providence, RI  http://www.brown.edu/

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Image above: John Hay Library http://library.brown.edu/about/hay/

Three Images Below: Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

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 Above: Catherine Bryan Dill Center for the Performing Arts http://bit.ly/16MpQN5

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Above Image: The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in Providence, RI http://naturelab.risd.edu/

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Photo above & below: Strolling the streets of Providence looking at church architecture and steeples.

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A beauty, isn’t it?

Image below: Grace Episcopal Church, Providence, RI

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I found providence,  grace and many more fulfilling things in Rhode Island! Thank you Kara, for being a tour guide and showing the sites.

Please return to www.AllThingsFulfilling.com tomorrow.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers.

Family, Faith and Travel

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Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

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My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

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Hope for a bountiful catch

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Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

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John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

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Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

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Stained Glass Window

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Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

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Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

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My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

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Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business!

Armchair Travel to Europe

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armchair travelpgIf art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” ~ John F Kennedy

Europe is an old civilization compared to the United States of America. Tourists from all over the world flock to museums in Rome, Paris, Venice, London and other cities as part of their European vacations. The Louvre has approximately seven to eight million visitors every year. People enjoy taking in a wide variety of art reflected in paintings and other artifacts – from Celtic art to the Renaissance and Baroque eras, as well as Neoclassical, Romantic and the Impressionistic period. A chance to see  architectural elements many hundreds of years old, are reason enough to visit European cities – turrets, towers, flying buttresses, steeples, spires, vaulted ceilings and gargoyles, embellish the buildings.

If you are a connoisseur of European culture, there is a new blog that you will enjoy called Castles and Coffeehouses: Exploring European Art and History. http://castlesandcoffeehouses.com/. Blog writer C S Carley shares all sorts of interesting information geared around the humanities. And of course, she can’t mention European art and history without including just a little bit of how religion fits into the overall picture. It played such a major role in the world’s development during the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Travel along with C S Carley as she shares her knowledge of places abroad and finds all kinds of fulfilling things to explore and write about.

Return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Visions and Memories of Easter

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Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things, but in terms of ideals.~ Charles M Crowe

It’s Friday,  the beginning of Easter weekend. Today on All Things Fulfilling rather than communicate through text, I have posted a visual extravaganza of all things Easter, as seen through the eyes of a child. I have tried to capture images of my favorite things that represent the coming of spring, and my childhood memories. Dressing in our Easter finest, and going to church, was part of what made the day so special. Sadly, for many families this is a tradition that has gone by the wayside. http://bit.ly/YHBXpF.

Listen in to one chapter of my memoir about Easter Traditions. You will get a feel for my publication, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, and for the voice in it.

 

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Have a wonderful weekend, and return on Monday to All Things Fulfilling. Click on this link for info and ordering my memoir.  Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Stories of Faith on Film

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 “Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and  looks out the window which hope has opened” ~ Charles Spurgeon

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To many people around the world, preparing for Easter  means more than shopping for Peeps™ candy, jelly beans, chocolate eggs and other confections. Spring is the season of renewal of spirit. For people of faith, that means remembering the Easter story of biblical times – a tale of crucifiction, death, resurrection and life.

On this Film Friday, I have resurrected a list of the top ten Easter movies of all times. Although Easter is several weeks away, perhaps your family would enjoy receiving one of these films in their Easter basket. I am posting this list early so you can add one of these DVDs to your shopping cart. Many of them are considered to be epic productions and can be located, and your order can be fulfilled through the Internet Movie Database www.imdb.com :

    • Passion of Christ (2004)

Click for info & ordering

    • The Robe (1953)

Click for info & ordering

    • Ben Hur (1959)

Click for info & ordering

    • Holiday Inn (1942)

Click for info & ordering

    • Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

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    • King of Kings (1961)

Click for info & ordering

    • The Easter Parade (1948)

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    • Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

Click for info & ordering

    • Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Click for info & ordering

    • The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

Click for info & ordering

It’s interesting, as I was doing research for this blog I noticed that most of these films were produced decades ago. Is it true that the American people have fallen out of favor with the one of the cornerstone principles that our country was founded upon, faith? Is that why contemporary filmmakers are not approaching religious subjects? I’d like to think not, and Reelz is offering outstanding programming over the Easter Season.

Barabbas: Where the Bible Left off…His Story of Redemption BeganClick for info & ordering, a Reelz Easter Event,  premiers Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26. Part I  of the mini-series, featuring Billy Zane, will be broadcast on the night of March 30 and Part II on March 31. To find out the times and the channel for Reelz in your viewing area, please visit this link . There is also a trailer on the Reelz website .http://www.reelz.com/barabbas/.

I’d like to end this blog with an audio Chapter from my memoir Gift of a Lifetime – Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It is a short Easter story that the entire family can enjoy listening to together. Have a great weekend!

Lift Up Friends

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 “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust 

Friday’s blog on All Things Fulfilling was a tribute to friendship and the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. 

I’ve had have further thoughts about the value of friends  since that blog writing. Coming together in friendship is the result of finding community with like-minded people – individuals who have joint interests, passions and beliefs in life.  In recent years I’ve made friends in service, through Kiwanis, and by volunteering once a week at an interfaith, community-run thrift store called “Lift-Up.” Being involved with arts organizations such as We Write Steamboat(a meet-up group for independent publishers), the Steamboat Writers Group , the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and  Strings Music Festival has brought me pleasure. Community involvement, with the Yampa Valley University Women has also been part of my life here in Routt County, Colorado.

It’s interesting, in a time when the news is reporting  church membership is declining, there seems to be very active participation in churches, in this town. Perhaps the remote location and natural beauty of the region make spiritual exploration important to folks. Yesterday, Reverend Tim at the UnitedMethodistChurch in Steamboat, elevated our spirits through his lenten season storytelling. Our new Director of Youth Ministry and independent musician, Taylor Anderson charmed us with  his musical skills playing the modern remix of  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on his ukulele. Very uplifting for a day of Irish celebration. A song appropriate for so many who are grateful they can be here to retire, run location-neutral businesses or for recreational reasons.

After the service, our appetites were fulfilled with  tasty goodies baked by women with whom I volunteer at the thrift store donation center. Thank you, Jeanette, Shirley and Louise and to all the other generous people who bring in provisions for fellowship moments after the service each week. The special St. Patty’s Day confections were decorated artistically. The women poured heart and soul into their efforts, it was evident.  It is a pleasure to volunteer with these women at the donation center for the thrift store.

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Jeanette, Louise, Shirley and Sue (top image). We are only a few the 100+ volunteers that make Lift-Up so successful in this community.