Sisters For Sunshine

Receive God's Warm Love Through Reflection

Weekly Prayer: Understanding Others

Each one of us is special with unique desires and experiences, and we may not always understand everything about the people we love and care about. This prayer is about asking God for the gift of understanding others. With better understanding, we can embrace who they are with more compassion and love.

Lord Jesus Christ,
grant me the gift of understanding.
Help me to understand the feelings of others,
the desires of others,
the goals of others.
At the same time,
help me to understand myself
in my actions and reactions.
Widen my vision beyond my own small world
to embrace with knowledge and love the worlds of others.

Help me, Lord, to always see you at work in my own life
and in the lives of others.
Bless me with insight,
acceptance and love
that is tempered by you
who are all things to all men.
Help me to understand, Lord.

Amen.

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What does love and loving your neighbor mean?

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'” -Matthew 22: 37-40

What does love mean? What does it mean to love your neighbor?

God’s love and the love He shares is ‘agape’ love. There is no one adjective to describe it. Love encompasses so much and expresses itself in many ways: Brotherly love. Charity. The love of God for man and of man for God. Going out of our way to help someone. Trusting. Being patient. Respecting others. Being genuinely happy for someone. Encouraging someone when they need it. Accepting someone for who they are. Showing affection and kindness through actions and words. Being mindful of how someone feels. Willing to sacrifice yourself for someone. Unconditional forgiveness and kindness. Passion.

God’s greatest commandment is to love. How can we? What standard do we have to look at? With all the types of families out there and people, different sizes, some married, some single, some childless, some with young ones, some same-sex, some having to take care of aging parents, we can’t look to one for an example.

God gave us the family. Though varied and diverse, it always leads back to love and commitment. If a child is misbehaving, the parent will discipline them, to learn and grow, out of love. The family is always there for one another, no matter what happens.

There is a lot of sacrifice and adaptation in the family life. Because family never stays the same. But no matter what the love and togetherness is there. We do things out of love to better our family members, keep them safe, follow the law, etc..

One thing that we have a hard time doing is loving someone as they are. We may love the things they give, the facts about them, the  money they have, etc… Facts such as type of sex, height, their career, their hobbies. But do we love them beyond all that? Beyond all their labels and facts, we need to love their core.

Like a family, the church sets guidelines and traditions to keep us better in line with the faith and stay close to God. There is a good amount of news right now about churches debating on this topic of love and marriage and opening the doors to same sex couples. I believe we should remember the first and second commandments and follow love. Because God is love. So this means to love everyone, to open the church to everyone, to embrace diversity. Love should be the core of our lives and the church, and in all of our actions in the world.

How would you describe love? How do you love your neighbor? Today, may you think about some ways you can better love the people around you.

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Weekly Song: The Sun Is Rising

The Sun Is Rising, by Britt Nicole, is a hopeful song about overcoming hardships. New light, new sun is shining beyond the clouds!

When life has cut too deep and left you hurting, The future you had hoped for is now burning, And the dreams you held so tight lost their meaning, And you don’t know if you’ll ever find the healing

Chorus:
You’re gonna make it
You’re gonna make it
And the night can only last for so long

Whatever you’re facing
If your heart is breaking
There’s a promise for the ones who just hold on
Lift up your eyes and see
The sun is rising

The sun is rising

Every high and every low you’re gonna go through, You don’t have to be afraid I am with you, In the moments you’re so weak you feel like stopping, Let the hope you have light the road you’re walking

Chorus

Even when you can’t imagine how, How you’re ever gonna find your way out
Even when you’re drowning in your doubt, Just look beyond the clouds

Just look beyond the clouds

Chorus

Even when you can’t imagine how, How you’re ever gonna find your way out
Even when you’re drowning in your doubt, Just look beyond the clouds

 

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Grace Unplugged

I recently watched the movie, Grace Unplugged, which is about a girl who goes after her musical dreams and to find her own way, but finds that her family and God are what’s important.

This Christian-based movie was morally engaging and musically entertaining (AJ Michalka!). Grace got so preoccupied with her selfish desires and the success of being a star, that she pushed out her family, her church, and her God. She thought that this path for becoming a musician would make her happy, but she still wasn’t happy. Only when Grace came to realize that God is the way and that her family is what’s important, then she felt happy.

In the end, she had the courage to ask for forgiveness to her church and her family. What a great image. So many of us struggle to repent or to have the courage to say sorry, and despite her tears while she did it, it was a beautiful moment. Grace was then blessed with grace!

Grace = the love and mercy given to us by God, because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it

Where have you felt the grace of God?

Stop chasing after empty dreams. Follow God, He is all we need.

 

 

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Weekly Prayer: Resolve Conflict

http://christianstt.com/praying-conflict-resolution/

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Christians and Citizens

Does your faith shape how you act as a citizen of the law? Does being a Christian shape government policy? Or does the law shape your morals and faith? I would think it’s a little of both. It’s hard to say which one leads to the other. But no matter what, they should blend.

The priest on Sunday talked about Paul and the Thessalonians and how Paul gave them praise for being active Christians and good citizens.

In terms of politics, there could be considered four groups. Voting groups include:

-the “base” group, those active and enthusiastic about political issues, filled with a spirit, a passion for it all, who do their part as citizens and vote, attend political events, and/or express their views and stay involved.

-the good citizen group, who votes and has a preference for one political party over the other, but not as enthusiastic or active as the “base” group, though still opinionated and involved.

-the independent group, who has no real political party preference, but votes based on the individual’s personality and agenda, who may vote but not actively, is a little more passive, and is all about the circumstances and the candidate.

-and the group that has no care for politics and goes on with their own lives, not aware of the issues and has no real faith in politics.

Like the different voters groups, there are different groups of Christians:

-the “base” group, the Christian who is active and passionate about their faith, living it out daily, striving to have a relationship with God.

-the good Christian who attends mass each week, has faith and beliefs, but doesn’t do much outside of church.

-the independent group, someone who may have a sense of right and wrong and beliefs but doesn’t quite fit in a church or Christian group.

-the non-believer.

Many times when thinking about leaders, government, and voters, it doesn’t seem that faith can be in the mix. Politics can get complicated and messy. Talk of war, laws, crime, education, employment, etc…are involved in politics. But faith should be involved in it all, too.

We are reminded that we should strive to be better, to strive to move up in to the next group level, to be a better Christian and voter. We are called by God to constantly apply our faith to all that we do. Government and faith should be involved. We should act based on our faith and vote to make the world a better place for all. Continually think about which decision will be good for all, bring equality and fairness, help support education, etc… and stop crime and violence. We should put our faith and morals into play.

*May God guide you in this election season to vote for what’s right. May you be more enthusiastic for Christ and be filled with His spirit. May every decision you make, big or small, public or private, be what God would want you to choose. Be a Christian citizen! Let your faith shine through. Amen.

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Weekly Song: Ready To Fly

Are you ready to fly? Ready to soar in your life? Just listen to these inspiring lyrics, and you’ll be empowered to go out in the world with confidence and determination!

Ready To Fly, by Richard Marx

I’ve been trying to open the door, To the secret of my destiny
And every new road I think is the one, Seems to lead right back to me

I’ve looked for a way to be wiser, A way to be strong
Now I see the answer was hiding, In me all along

[Chorus:]
And I’m ready to fly
Over the sun
Like a rocket to heaven
And I’m ready to soar
Right through the sky
Never dreamed I’d find something to lift me so high
I’ve always had wings
But I wasn’t ready to fly

Restless, hopeless, and misunderstood, Like so many others I know
So busy tryin’ to keep holdin’ on, When I should’ve been letting go

I was given the gift to find it, The spirit inside me
But I never really imagined, All I could be

[Chorus:]

The answer to all of my wonder, Was right in my hands
Now it’s time for me to discover, All that I am

[Chorus:]

I’ve always had wings
Now I’m finally ready to fly

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Two Years Blogging

It’s already been over two years since we created this blog! We wanted to post positive inspirational content – advice to help us grow personally and be encouraged. And it’s been a wonderful journey.

We’re grateful to have even a small group of readers. Just sharing sunshine to even one person is a wonderful thing! We hope to continue to share with you more ahead.

Many blessings! May you live in sunshine!

L & K, Sisters For Sunshine

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Making health your priority

Your health is something to be valued. It’s not something to be thrown away or ignored, but something you should continually work at and focus on. It’s easy to get preoccupied with other things and then have your health suffer because of it. But we need to take care of our bodies and minds with practicing good healthy techniques.

What can you do to make your health a priority? Try some of these healthy habits.

  • Make a commitment to schedule regular doctor and dentist visits
  • Squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise daily (how about a walk at lunchtime?). Creating a daily ritual will help with your motivation to exercise.
  • Re-prioritize your other commitments to better prioritize your health.
  • Make an effort to purchase healthier food alternatives. Try finding a local nutrition class on reading nutritional labels and shop consciously!
  • Get a good night sleep
  • To help with motivation, write down a specific health goal and go for it! Writing down what you need to do will help motivate yourself.
  • Make fitness fun. Change up your exercise routines, exercise with friends (a good support buddy!), try something new, or just dance to your favorite music.
  • Create personal time for yourself to focus on just yourself.
  • Drink plenty of water.

 

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Weekly Prayer: Live in love

I read this in the book “Heart Strings”, by Karen Moore, and I thought to share. Advice to walk in love!

Lord, help me to embrace your love and live it out in my daily life. May I follow these tips:

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. 

For beautiful eyes, see the good in other people.

To lose weight, let go of stress and the need to control others.

To improve your ears, listen for God’s voice in every conversation.

Touch someone each and every day with your love.

Count your blessings, and step back from the thorns of life.

For greater strength, lift the spirits of those around you.

For stronger heart, hug others and offer forgiveness.

Try more faith and less worry.

Follow your path of life, embrace others along the way, or carve a new trail for others to follow.

Walk in love and love others as God has loved you.”

– Karen Moore

 

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Weekly Song: Happy As The Sun

Tyrone Wells sings a happy song, Happy As The Sun. This sweet easy-going song makes me smile and think of sunshine and spending time with loved ones.

Whenever this world gets the best of me, And it all goes wrong
I count down the hours till the time we meet
And I move along, ‘Cause I know that when I see you I will be

Refrain:
Happy as the sun, lighter than a feather
Walking on the clouds when we are together
Every day with you just keeps getting better
The world’s as it should be, when are you here with me
Here with me

Whenever you leave, my heart skips a beat, Unless you are here, I am incomplete
Like an undone song, Only you inspire the melody in me

Refrain

How could I go wrong, When you are here with me
How could I be anything but smiling

Refrain

 

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Breathe and Smile

Breathing in and out slowly is a great way to relax and calm your mind and body. When I’m feeling anxious or blue, I take a few slow deep breaths.

Smiling and breathing slowly seems to be a great practice to do daily! Breathe in peace, and smile for life!

Breathing in, Breathing out. www.GratitudeHabitat.com #Thich-Nhat-Hahn-quote #present-moment

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