Monday, July 6, 2015

How to love what you do (and make a living too)

"When you’re lucky enough to find a career that you love, which also loves you back, you’ll notice working energizes you. You’ll be refreshed after a day’s work, not exhausted, and you’ll have energy leftover to spend with friends and family, and on developing new skills and interests...."

Read further in this interesting article by Belle Beth Cooper:

How to love what you do (and make a living too)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres Tells Tulane How Tragedy Started Stand-Up Career

Ellen DeGeneres gave the Commencement Speech at Tulane University on May 16, 2009 and in this address she spoke of the way tragedy signalled the beginnings of her career:

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and the way I ended up on this path was from a very tragic event. I was maybe 19, and my girlfriend at the time was killed in a car accident. And I passed the accident, and I didn't know it was her and I kept going, and I found out shortly after that, it was her. And I was living in a basement apartment, I had no money, I had no heat, no air, I had a mattress on the floor and the apartment was infested with fleas. And I was soul-searching, I was like, why is she suddenly gone, and there are fleas here? I don't understand, there must be a purpose, and wouldn't it be so convenient if we could pick up the phone and call God, and ask these questions.

And I started writing and what poured out of me was an imaginary conversation with God, which was one-sided, and I finished writing it and I looked at it and I said to myself, and I hadn't even been doing stand-up, ever, there was no club in town. I said, "I'm gonna do this on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson"- at the time he was the king - "and I'm gonna be the first woman in the history of the show to be called over to sit down." And several years later, I was the first woman in the history of the show, and only woman in the history of the show to sit down, because of that phone conversation with God that I wrote.

To read the entire script or see the video:

Ellen DeGeneres Commencement Speech at Tulane University, Entertonement, 16 May 2009. Or watch it on YouTube.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Ellen DeGeneres

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thomas Merton’s Prayer for Discernment

At a very difficult and dark period in Thomas Merton’s life he penned this prayer that has been such a help to so many people:

O Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going,
I do not see the road ahead of me,
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
And that fact that I think
I am following Your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe
That the desire to please You
Does in fact please You.
And I hope I have that desire
In all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything
Apart from that desire to please You.
And I know that if I do this
You will lead me by the right road,
Though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust You always
Though I may seem to be lost
And in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
For You are ever with me,
And You will never leave me
To make my journey alone.

Source: Thomas Merton, Pax Christi, Benet Press, Erie, PA.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Thomas Merton.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spurgeon on Tracing the Hand of God

Distinguishing the role of divine activity from human involvement is a great and impossible mystery. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who appeared to place greater emphasis on God’s part in the guidance of human lives, has this to say about tracing the hand of God in our lives:

I can see a thousand chances, as people would call them, all working together like wheels in a great piece of machinery, to fix me just where I am; and I can look back to a hundred places where, if one of those little wheels had run away—if one of those little atoms in the great whirlpool of my existence had started aside—I might have been anywhere but here, occupying a very different position.

If you cannot say this, I know I can with emphasis, and can trace God’s hand back to the period of my birth through every step I have taken; I can feel that indeed God has allotted my inheritance for me.

If any of you are so wilfully beclouded that you will not see the hand of God in your being, and will insist that all has been done by your will without Providence; that you have been left to steer your own course across the ocean of existence; and that you are where you are because your own hand guided the tiller, and your own arm directed the rudder, all I can say is, my own experience belies the fact, and the experience of many now in this place would rise in testimony against you, and say, ‘Truly, it is not in the person that walks to direct their steps.”—“We propose, but God disposes’; and the God of heavens is not unoccupied, but is engaged in over-ruling, ordering, altering, working all things according to the good pleasure of God’s will.”

Source: C H Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, 1, 255 in C H Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons Vol. XX, (Grand Rapids, Mich.:Zondervan, n.d.) 2.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: "because your own hand guided the tiller..."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your Invitation to Subscribe to Postings from this Site

I’d love you to subscribe to postings from this site because:

1. It is free (unlike most subscriptions).
2. You don’t have to become a ‘member’ of this site.
3. I travel a lot and therefore postings are not always regular.
4. When you subscribe you will get an alert that a new article has been written.

Click on the Subscribe button (see pictured) to get article alerts coming to your computer via Google Reader, Bloglines, or however you manage your favorite web site feeds.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: This has become the universal Subscribe Button on most Internet web sites.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Barbara Brown Taylor on Discernment

Thomas Long shared this story on 30 Good Minutes:

The Christian writer, Barbara Brown Taylor, tells in one of her books about a time in her life when she was struggling mightily with a sense of call. She simply could not figure out what it was that God wanted her to do and be. Did God want her to be a writer? Did God want her to be a priest? Did God want her to be a social worker? Did God want her to teach? She simply didn’t know. And in her frustration and exasperation, one midnight, she says, she fell down on her knees in prayer and said: “Okay, God. You need to level with me. What do you want me to be? What do you want me to do? What are you calling me to do?” She said she felt a very powerful response, God saying, “Do what pleases you. Belong to me, but do what pleases you.”

She said it struck her as very strange that God’s call could actually touch that place of her greatest joy, that she could be called to do the thing that pleases her the most.

Source: Thomas Long, "Where You Never Expected to Be", Program #5004, 30 Good Minutes, First air date October 22, 2006.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tim Russert: Journalism is a Vocation

CNN, on Larry King Live, had a special edition on the day (13 June 2008) that journalist Tim Russert died entitled ‘Journalist Tim Russert is Remembered’.

During this hour of reflection by many of his colleagues King played this video excerpt of Tim Russert’s thoughts about being a journalist:

“We are surrogates for the American people. Very few places in the world have the kind of protections, particularly the Constitutional protections, we have in this country as a free press. And we have an obligation for all those men and women who work hard all week long in real jobs that when they turn on CNN or turn on NBC, or pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio, they realize that someone else is working as hard as they are trying to get to the truth. And it is not an easy job, but you know what, Larry, it is the best one you could ever have. It is a vocation being in journalism.”

One might wonder when and how Russert developed this notion of vocation. In an ‘On Faith’ interview sponsored by The Washington Post and Newsweek (18 May 2007), he revealed the secret:

“Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
--John F. Kennedy January 20, 1961

“I was ten years old when I heard those words. They still resonate with me nearly a half century later. Am I doing God’s work? Is being a journalist my vocation? How does my faith influence my judgment as a reporter? Should it? Are the demands of my chosen profession leaving enough time for my responsibilities as a son, brother, husband, father and friend?”

Russert had headed this article with the important question, ‘Am I doing God’s Work?’

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: “Am I doing God’s work?”

Tim Russert on Lifting Others Up
Tim Russert on America
Tim Russert on Fatherhood and Family
Tim Russert: ‘Always Loved, Never entitled’