Denzel Washington on Grace, Prayer, Blessings and St. Elsewhere

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A couple of friends, who are in the entertainment industry, shared a inspiring video with me of Denzel Washington talking candidly to a group of young actors. He packed a lot of wisdom into a few minutes and what he revealed is worth remembering. 

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you, sent beforehand, to indicate that it is yours already.” – Denzel Washington

Prayer and Grace

Denzel goes on to say, “Understand this also… dreams without goals, remain dreams… Between goals and achievement are discipline and consistency. I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you got to get on your knees in the morning to find them, right? And while you’re down there thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory.”

Denzel Washington on prayer, blessings and St. Elsewhere

“We all got plenty. If you just start thinking of all the things you got to say thank you for, that’s a day; that’s easily a day, right,” the Oscar winner asks? “So you have all been given these gifts.”

Sharing Gratitude and Blessings

Denzel Washington feels very blessed to be in a position to be able to share what God has done in his life. He explains, “You’ll never see a u haul behind a Hearst. Now I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can’t take it with me and neither can you”, he said. “So it’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you have and we all have different gifts, some money, some love, some patience, some the ability to touch people. But we all have it. Use it; share it. That’s what counts.”

Faith and Humility in ‘Tinseltown’ 

This two-time Academy Award winner is one of Hollywood’s highest profile Christian actors. Spirituality is important in every aspect of his life. “I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word“, he said in a 2012 GQ interview. ¹ Although Denzel admits to straying from the Christian faith for a short time, he is now a church-goer who prays before starting his work in entertainment. He’s a family-focused man who likes to say this prayer of his mother’s, “Heavenly Father, we come before thee, knee bent and body bowed, in the humblest way that we know how.” ²

I met, Denzel Washington after he landed his first major acting role as Dr. Philip Chandler in the television show “St. Elsewhere,” back in the early 1980’s.

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I played the part of a dancer in one of the St. Elsewhere episodes. At the start, I was very excited about showing off my tap dancing know-how, but it turned out, the partner I was given to dance with was good at other styles of dancing but only knew a little about tap dancing. So our routine was limited to a few time steps. That was a bit disappointing.

As they were rolling tape for our scene and we were about 30 seconds into our dance, the director abruptly yelled, “cut”! We stop taping. I thought to myself, “oh no, we weren’t dancing well enough”. The funny thing was, apparently, the director wasn’t looking at our feet. Within seconds, he had the wardrobe people pinning up the top of my costume. “Too much bounce,” they said as they tucked me in. Then they mumbled something about the censors, cleavage and discussed with each other the guidelines of exactly where everything should be. We then re-shot that part on the scene.

Let me just say, my top was no where near as revealing as some of the outfits High School girls wear today. But that was the 80’s, when prime time TV was always G rated. It’s crazy how many ‘warnings’ you have to read before viewing most television shows now a day.

Despite the humiliation and the fact that I didn’t get to show off my dance skills the way I wanted to, I was still very grateful to have been featured in the show. St. Elsewhere was cutting edge television at the time and a model for the popular hospital/doctor dramas we have today. Denzel was extremely nice. He had a million dollar smile that radiated warmth and gratitude and still does. That was best part of the whole experience, his genuine smile!

Life is a journey of love, gratitude and grace. Hopefully, we can offer the best of who we are and leave behind some beautiful smiles and stories and for other sojourners to glean from and enjoy. 

The Grammy’s last week also brought back a flood of memories. Seeing Tom Jones wail to, “You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ with Jessie J. was very cool. I have an interesting story about Tom Jones I tell it in my book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

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Tom Jones with Dean Martin’s Golddiggers: Deborah Pratt, Maria (Alberici) Lauren-Riccio, Robin Hoctor Horneff, Susan Buckner, Linda (Alberici) Eichberg and Patti Gribow

Here is a short excerpt of that story – Tom Jones – He’s Still Got That Lovin’ Feeling! 

We all have something wonderful to offer. “Use it; share it. That’s what counts.”

With gratitude and love, Linda

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3 :23

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2: 4-5

Footnotes

1. http://www.gq.com/news-politics/blogs/death-race/2012/09/excerpt-from-our-october-issue-denzel-on-romney-and-obama.html

2. http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Movies/2007/12/Denzel-Washingtons-Ministry-Of-Movies.aspx

 © All rights reserved.

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Prayer – A Touch of Heaven

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“I have always asked people to pray for me… I feel I have many weaknesses and problems, I am a sinner, too.” – Pope Francis [1]

Pope Francis’ statement this week gives hope to all who see their weaknesses and still believe greater things are to come. At certain times in my life, some of the most uplifting stories in the Bible have been the ones with this theme. Jesus’ closest disciples failed him and yet returned to him again to accomplish great things in his name. King David was another one who rose above adultery and murder to eventually be know to God as, “a man after My own heart.” [2] What an amazing comeback!

Courageous Prayer – Courageous Life

Prayer is powerful and when there is purity and noble intention behind the prayer, it creates beauty and holiness in partnership with God. When we pray as Jesus did, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we are surrendering to the highest light and excellence of God’s will. We are asking God to taking away any thought or activity that is against His will. If by chance our desires are not aligned to God’s, then that is where courageous living and faith proves itself.

Living courageously requires that we admit our failings and cry out to God for help. [3] It brings us to our knees in humble acknowledgement of our need for a Savior. Prayer and praise makes us mindful of God and the fact that he is the source of all blessing. This frees us from clinging to people or things that are not for His greater good. Most importantly, we can confess our sins and rejoice in knowing will will be restored and forgiven because our debt is paid by Jesus.

A Touch of the Divine

Prayer brings a greater awareness of the Divine Presence and brings our focus to the sacred. As we pray we are recognizing  that God is in this moment and He is sovereign. We are yielding to His truth and heavenly  wisdom. [4] It acknowledges that ‘I’m not God and I don’t have to be’.

“Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place we must find.” Wayne Dyer

Reasons To Pray

  • When we pray with love for others, we are blessed. Job prayed for his friends and his life was blessed beyond his wildest dreams (Job 42:10-11).
  • Prayers for wisdom please God and seeking wisdom brings multiple blessings (1Kings 3:5-14, Prov. 2:1-22, Prov. 8:12-21 & James 1:5).
  • How we listen and follow through after we pray, is key to receiving God’s blessings and protection (Prov. 1:33, James 1:25 & 1Peter 3:12).
  • Spending time in prayer and in God’s word, keeps us from anxiety and gives inner peace. (Phil. 4:6-7) It brings us longevity and prosperity (Prov. 3:1-2).
  • Prayer keeps us from temptation and helps us stand against evil (Matt. 6:9-13, Matt. 26:41, Mark 14:38 & Eph. 6:13-18).
  • If we confess our sins to one other and pray righteously for one other it will promote, healing and forgiveness (James 5:13-16).
  • Praying in the Spirit gives hope, joy, power and peace (Rom. 5:3, Rom. 8:26-27 & Jude 1:20-21).
  • Battles are won with prayer, if we don’t give up. Pray and praise without ceasing (Ex. 17:10-13, Ps. 63:4, Rom. 12:12 & Thes. 5:16-18).
  • We act like children of God when we pray for people who have hurt us (Matt. 5:44-45).
  • Prayer is communicating with God. He hears us and will sustain us (Jer. 29:12, Isa. 65:24, Ps. 55:22 & 1John 5:14-15 ).
  • Our homes are blessed by prayer. Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13).
  • When we honor and love God and one another, we create an environment for effective prayer (Isa. 58:6-9, Mark 12:28-33, 1Peter 3:6-8 & 1Peter 4:7-8).
  • Praying together with other believers is empowering (Ecc. 4:9-10 & Matt. 18:19-20).
  • Praying in solitude can bring renewal, clarity, vision and a sense of purpose (Matt. 6:6, Mark 1:32-38).
  • Whatever we ask in prayer, in Jesus name, it will be done. God will move heaven and earth (John 14:12-17, John 15:7).
  • Praying with our sights on heaven reminds us we already belong to heaven. It’s where our citizenship is, (Phil. 3:20). It’s where our inheritance is (1Peter 1:3-5).

“Remember Paul says, ‘Set your minds on things above’ (Col. 3:2) and nothing promotes that kind of heavenly-mindedness quite like a deep-seated sense that your whole life is a journey being lived in that direction”. – Setting Our Sights On Heaven [5]

With our sights on heaven and our hearts full of gratitude, let’s give praise to the One who sacrificed his life to bring us there. As we do good deeds in Jesus’ name, let us build up our bodies, our vehicle to serve others while we are still here on earth.

15 Reasons to Exercise

  1. Increases energy and endurance
  2. Boosts mental health
  3. Increases longevity
  4. Strengthens bones
  5. Increases memory and brain function
  6. Improves posture
  7. Boosts immune system
  8. Gives confidence
  9. Improves joint function
  10. Strengthens the heart
  11. Improves cholesterol levels
  12. Reduces stress
  13. Promotes more restful sleep
  14. Increases oxygen supply to the cells
  15. Improves balance and agility

 

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Linda Eichberg – Twisted Lunge

 

Wishing you all the blessings of God for good health! ~ Linda

 

References:
1] http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-Vatican/detail/articolo/gmg-26831/

2] Acts 13:22, 1 Samuel 13:14

3] “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

4] “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving,considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3: 17

5] Setting Our Sights On Heaven: Why It’s Hard And Why It’s Worth It by Paul D. Wolfe http://www.amazon.com/Setting-Our-Sights-Heaven-Worth/dp/1848711433

Find out more about sin, Jesus and his incredible claims…
http://www.gospel.com/topics/sin
http://www.gospel.com/topics/jesus
http://www.gospel.com/topics/gospel/

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. 

 

The Starfish Story and My Source of Life

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The Starfish Story

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young woman picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the young lady, he asked “What are you doing?”

She replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back they’ll die.”

“Young lady,” the man said. “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference.”

After listening politely, the young woman bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. She then smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference for that one.”

The man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea and many were saved.[1]

The Vision and Actions of One or Two People Can Inspire and Save Many. 

You are probably familiar with this story. It has appeared in different forms and been told in several ways. I lived my own real life starfish story when I was in Newport Beach last week visiting family and taking a short vacation. While I was walking along beautiful Crystal Cove, I saw two star fish stranded on the beach. As the tide receded, I realized there was no hope of them reaching the outgoing tide because they were blocked by a large rock. I was aware that if they didn’t reach their source of life, the ocean, they would dry out and die. It was going to be a hot day so I carried them to the water. When I placed them in the water, I understood more deeply what God was speaking to my heart about the ‘rock’, the things that were keeping me from experiencing Christ’s fullness, his ‘living water’. Like the man in the story, I often miss God’s big picture by focusing on the wrong picture. I want to do things of everlasting significance but I sometimes lose sight of Jesus, the navigator, my source of life. Even though I’m not the best Christ follower and I can’t do all the things I wish I could, God mercifully opened my eyes to some of the wonderful things He is doing in my life that I am a part of.

Over the past month or so I have had the privilege of being involved in some notable and praiseworthy events. Our church, Lighthouse Church, put on a banquet for Compassion First.[2] Human sex trafficking, especially the trafficking of young girls, is a problem in many parts of the world. Compassion First provides rescue and restoration for woman and young girls who have been sexually trafficked by caring for them physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. They provide a loving home, legal advocacy, education, physical and psychological care. They now have a hope for a brighter future. It is amazing to be a small part of what they are doing through my church. By being part of a church, the body of Christ, I become a link in a great chain of compassion serving God that is so much bigger than me, so the little I can do becomes more than I could have ever imagined.

Many are being rescued. Please find out more about this very important cause.

Our friends, the Heintz family, put on a fundraiser a couple of weeks ago at their beautiful home for the Lily of the Valley Children’s Village in South Africa.[3] It was a lively and inspirational musical event featuring singers and songwriters: Kevin Fisher, Tim Heintz, Sara Nienietz and Scott Wojahn. They are each uniquely talented and when they joined together at the end of the music set for a final song, they had the audience standing and singing along. Many hands pitched in to make this evening a success  Good fun and delicious food for a great purpose!

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With hearts full of love, Tim & Sharon Heintz talk about the orphans at Lily of the Valley.
Scott Wojahn, Kevin Fisher, Sara Nienietz & Tim Heintz perform.

Having spent more than a year living at the Children’s Village, the Heintz’s know first hand about the amazing work that is being accomplished for orphans there, who have been so severely affected by the AIDS pandemic. Throughout the evening, Tim and Sharon shared several stories about their time at Lily. They remarked that the orphanage was once a place where children went to die of AIDS but they are no longer dying. They are thriving because of the sacrificial love and care they receive. My husband and I share Tim & Sharon’s passion for Lily.

Mothers Day

Mothers Day was a wonderful celebration for me as my loving husband and daughter expressed their extreme appreciation of things I do automatically every day for them without thinking much about it. It gave me a new perspective of myself, motherhood and service. I was refreshed and re-energized.

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The Master Gardener has been doing some spring pruning in me and my life. I’m looking forward to the final results of the good fruit it will produce. I pray God will open the eyes of your heart as He did for me this past month, so you will more fully experience the forgiveness, glory, grace, truth, peace and love found in His Son, Jesus. May He guide your way with His light because you are important, you are needed, you can make a difference.

~ You are loved, Linda

Turn-Your-Eyes-Upon-Jesus-Gratitude

References:
1) The Starfish Story adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
2) Compassion First, web site – http://www.compassionfirst.org/
3) Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lov.org.za/

Bible References:

“You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! I will let you find me,” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29: 13-14 (NCV)

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6: 9-10

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.” – 2Corinthians 12: 12-13 (NLT)

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” – 2Corinthians 11: 2-4

ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT

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In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, I am sharing a few of my favorite excerpts of some of Dr. King’s writings and speeches. He was a brilliant man who humbly and lovingly acted out his faith.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

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Excerpts from “Loving Your Enemies” (November 1957)

“Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative.” There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

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Quotes from Dr. King’s, “The Christian Pertinence of Eschatological Hope,” a paper King wrote for Christian Theology Today

Second Coming of Christ

“Actually we are celebrating the Second Advent every time we open our hearts to Jesus, every time we turn our backs to the low road and accept the high road, every time we say no to self that we may say yes to Jesus Christ, every time a man or women turns from ugliness to beauty and is able to forgive even their enemies. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts if we are willing to admit him. He is far away if with ugliness and evil we crowd him out. The final doctrine of the second coming is that whenever we turn our lives to the highest and best there for us is the Christ.”

Judgement Day

“The highest court of justice is in the heart of man after the light of Christ has illumined his motive and all his inner life. Any day when {we} waken to the fact that we are making a great moral decision, any day of experienced nearness to Christ, any day when in the light of Christ, we see ourselves, is a day of judgment.”

Immortality

“Again the worthfulness of the personal life of Jesus makes immortality meaningful. Through his spirit Jesus brought the immortal hope to light. He had a quality of spirit that death couldn’t hold (cf. Acts 2:24). His love was too powerful for death. His truth was too eternal for death. His goodness was too influential for death.”

The Kingdom of God

“When we see social relationships controlled everywhere by the priciples which Jesus illustrated in his life–trust, love, mercy, and altruism–then we shall know that the kingdom of God is here. To say what this society will be like in exact detail is quite hard for us to picture, for it runs so counter to the practices of our present social life. But we can rest assure that it will be a society governed by the law of love.”

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Words from a beautiful mind, God bless you, Dr. King.

~ Linda Eichberg

 

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” – Jesus in Matthew 5: 44-45