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Inspiration for new beginnings

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Overwhelmed? Beware This Spiritual Warning Sign

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We all feel overwhelmed sometimes. It can be caused by the circumstances of our lives that seem to converge in a perfect storm of pressure to which we feel vulnerable. At other times, we bring it on ourselves by overcommitting, failing to calculate how long something will take, refusing to admit our own limitations. One of life’s ironies […]

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Cybersecurity: Clairvoyant Or Hacker?

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As much as I am fascinated by all the ways we connect meaningfully with each other in life, I can’t deny there is both healthy connection and dangerous connection. Watch this short (under 2-1/2 minutes) video of a fascinating experiment done in Belgium with a so-called clairvoyant who tells his clients incredibly personal and private things that […]

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What Do You Do? Have Fun With Your Answer To That Question!

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Welcome to my guest today, Annette Petrick, the creative genius and inspired storyteller behind the Consider This Radio Show (podcast and website) featuring 90-second episodes serving up “timely perspectives on life, love, friends, family, giving back, and giving thanks.” Use the audio player above to listen to this 90-second show…or enjoy reading the transcript below. What do […]

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View From The Bench: Early January

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Heartspoken’s View from the Bench series I began this series of posts in late June, 2014, with a goal of teaching myself how to be more observant by exploring a small piece of the world right outside my door at different times of the year. You can do this yourself, whether you live in a country home or a city high rise. I’m […]

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Messages You’ll Never Hear From The Holy Spirit

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In the Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit is nothing less than God manifested inside us—a gift bestowed on us when Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world […]

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How Do You Express Your Love?

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Welcome to my guest and Connection Messenger* today, Carol Mathias, a professional marriage and family therapy counselor in Georgia. She is recently widowed and has been sharing her “Carolisms” on Facebook about her journey of both loss and discovery. This piece was so poignant—and such a helpful guide for strengthening the connection with the significant others […]

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My New Year’s Message: Open Your Heart And Mind

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Forget the New Year’s resolutions At least for today… Open your heart and mind to the possibilities held for you in the year ahead. Ask God for guidance, and trust you will be exactly where you’re supposed to be, making the connections you’re supposed to make, and learning what you’re supposed to learn, even if your circumstances […]

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Sending You Christmas Love

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My dear Heartspoken readers: The editorial calendar says today’s post should be about connecting with one’s self, and when I reflected on that, I discovered something important: I need a break. I’m getting ready to go pack so my husband and I can get on a plane tomorrow and fly to New Mexico to visit our daughter […]

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Little Things Matter Way More Than You Realize

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I went to a Christmas party for our amateur radio club this past weekend. As I was getting dressed, I remembered to put on a necklace one of the other club members and his wife had given me a couple of years ago. Their daughter had made it and embossed it with my ham radio call sign. […]

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Jerks In The Family Need Love Too

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This thought-provoking piece, written by my friend Rick Wilcox, appeared originally on his Literary Life blog. I am reprinting it with his permission, and I hope you’ll head over there and read other posts he has written. I find them both intellectually and spiritually nourishing. Rick is a greatly appreciated Heartspoken Connection Messenger.* Let all guests […]

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Get Outside In The Winter!

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He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter…. In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity. ~John Burroughs, “The Snow-Walkers,” 1866 Get outside […]

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7 Ways I’m Going To Be Kind To Myself This Holiday Season

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The calendar is crazy! Looking at the amount of writing on my kitchen calendar for December is enough to make me tense up inside and want to go crawl back in bed until 2015. It was bad enough before I went to the physical therapist for a bum knee this morning, and he wants to see me […]

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3 Letters That Changed History: Letter Writing Day Dec. 7

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December 7 is National Letter Writing Day That gives me a wonderful excuse to write about my favorite tool for connecting with others: the personal, handwritten letter or note. I’ve collected so many stories about people who were touched, encouraged, comforted or inspired by a personal letter at just the right time in their life. Today, though, I want to […]

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Don’t Expect Exotic When Common Is Most Likely

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European Starling looking for breadcrumbs from tourists near the Eiffel Tower in Paris ______________________________ I’m an avid, but relatively inexperienced, birder, so when I had a chance to travel to Europe recently, I was constantly on the lookout for some new and exotic species I’d never seen before. In Paris, there was so much traffic, hustle, […]

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Is The Chatter Of Your Monkey Brain Drowning Out The Voice Of Your Intuition?

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The chatter is deafening! The first time I ever heard the term “monkey brain” used to refer to the incessant chatter of self-talk most of us have going on in our head all the time, I burst out laughing in instant recognition. That’s exactly what it feels like sometimes, isn’t it? Especially when you’re trying to […]

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Reading Feeds Your Spirit: Spiritual Books I’ve Found Valuable

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Beyond the Bible Some Christians feel the only reading necessary to their spiritual well being is the Bible. I certainly incorporate daily Bible reading into my spiritual practices, but I have been helped enormously by writers and teachers who offer a fresh viewpoint, insight, “aha” moments. I always love knowing what my fellow seekers are reading, […]

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Book Review: Strange As This Weather Has Been

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Strange as This Weather Has Been: A Novel by Ann Pancake Reviewed by Elizabeth H. Cottrell Strange as This Weather Has Been: A Novel packs a wallop on several levels, and I commend it highly to any serious reader interested in a unique, powerful, and fresh voice in contemporary literature. Amazingly, it is Ann Pancake’s first […]

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5 Questions That Lead to Self Knowledge

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We’re not born knowing ourselves Let’s just get that out of the way right now, even though it’s a bit counterintuitive. No one else is in a position to know you better than you are, but we seem to be masters of avoidance when it comes to facing the truths about ourselves. We actually exert a […]

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I Carry Your Heart With Me: A Special Kind Of Connection

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Having just celebrated All Saints Day and been moved by our rector’s beautiful sermon and prayers for the departed, I feel keenly aware of the “cloud of witnesses” surrounding me and praying for me too. That cloud is comprised of all those saints—known and unknown—who have gone before. I don’t believe death separates us from the love […]

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Lessons Learned From Traveling

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New experiences…new perspectives My husband and I have just returned from a wonderful 12-day trip to London to visit our son and his wife, who moved there this past summer for three years. It was only the second time in our lives we’d been “across the pond,” and the last one was 14 years ago. In other […]

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