Daily Guide — November 2006



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 6 Science


Dancing Bees

Scientists recently uncovered a fossil containing a bee thought to have lived hundreds of thousands of years ago. Fossilized in an amber resin, the bee was well preserved, giving scientists the opportunity for further study.

One thing I found interesting reading about this recent discovery (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6084974.stm) was that bees, unlike other insects, have characteristics that are more closely akin to mammals, the presence of a biological clock, for example, and the ability to navigate. For years it’s been known that bees dance in order to communicate with other bees as to the whereabouts of food. The study of their dance has led researchers to conclude that both visual and auditory clues associated with the dance movements somehow provide meaningful information to nearby bees concerning the location of food.

Just think about it. It’s because of the bees’ special dance that they are able to easily locate and enjoy the nectar of nearby flowers. With great efficiency, they are able to buzz from plant to plant, collecting nectar while also pollinating the flowers for further propagation. Without the “busy bee” and his dance we wouldn’t have the abundance of flowers coloring our landscape.

Day 6 Guide

Just think for a moment about the wide range of possible consequences from your actions. A smile, for example, can be contagious. That’s right. It can make someone else feel recognized or important. It may in turn lead him or her to smile at someone else. Just how many people could indirectly be touched by your smile?

In and of themselves, smiles and “thank-yous” don’t really seem too important, do they? Think twice, friend.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 7 Work


My father’s friend Barry loves to work in his yard. He enjoys every aspect of it, from raking and mowing to weeding and pruning. But his favorite chore — by far — is to crank up a gasoline-powered chainsaw and go hunting for unwieldy woody plants or small trees to cut down. Give Barry a chainsaw and an overgrown yard and you’ll find a man in paradise.

Day 7 Guide

To have a goal in mind and to then work towards the fulfillment of that goal is distinctly human. It gives us a sense of purpose. Take your work seriously.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 8 Hope


From Without

Running out of dreams to follow,

Running from my sin,

Falling, hoping God will claim

This soul of riddled tin.

Waking from a restless slumber

Wandering on the shore

Of quaking, undulating seas,

Roaring evermore.

Giving in to self-wrought pleasure

Living for the ghost

Of overcoming nothing hard

But wanting more than most.

Searching for the strength of Job

Enduring bitter loss

Of happy days I could’ve spent

Without a penny’s cost.

Overcoming fearful thoughts

Resenting nothing more

But what the darkness keeps from me

Behind a prison door.

Release me, Lord, from all I am

That I might hear your voice

And apprehend a peace within

That makes my heart rejoice.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 9 Experience



Can I say what I believe the wine of life to be? I believe that it is a certain energy and richness of spirit, in which both mind and heart find full expression.

— Benson, Experience, Joyous Gard

Mind and heart, so often they’re held to be countering forces: the mind, an intellectual or reasoning power and the heart, the seat of emotions or feelings. But truly, they are uniting forces, bound as one in the being of human. Benson speaks of man as finding full expression in both heart and mind. In effect, he, I think, is saying that it completes the man to be at once aware and sensitive. The mind unlocks the very identity of the surrounding world while the heart gives meaning to it.

Day 9 Guide

Give priority not one over the other. Heart and mind must both daily be fed.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 10 Faith


We want so many things from life, don’t we? But sometimes our very search hinders the enjoyment of her most simple pleasures, a spring rain, a cool breeze, laughter. It’s as though we are deafened by a constant disappointment of not finding what we’re looking for. But the colors of life’s full spectrum are always there before us: the clarity of truth and the simple lines of friendship and unselfishness, the nod of experience that tells us to proceed and the touch of a love that releases the fear of loneliness.

Day 10 Guide

Think today of how you might supplant the callous exterior of disappointment with a spirit that enjoys the simple pleasures.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 11 Progress


As I grow older the thought of crawling into bed for the night is evermore appealing. I was never one to “burn the midnight oil.” I’ve always loved my sleep, sometimes, I think, too much. I have friends who can “burn the candle at both ends.” To them, sleep seems to be just a minor interruption in life. For me, it’s something to anticipate. Why, sometimes I even get out of bed in the morning and immediately begin looking forward to the time when I’ll be able to crawl back in that night.

We ought not to get hooked on sleep. We need rather to get hooked on life. There are so many things to do, so many experiences to have, so much to learn. The progress that we should make is to enjoy every aspect of life, guarding always against the tendency to crawl back in the bed. It’s tempting to think that a life of leisure will satisfy the soul. But the soul is in the business of living.

Day 11 Guide

Think about what we humans do best. We absorb experience, generalize and make conclusions. We plan, and we take action. We are makers, knowers and doers. Don’t shortchange yourself by putting your best to sleep. Enjoy the day.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 12 The Sense of Beauty


Physical pain, grief, pre-occupation, business, anxiety, all seem to have the power of quenching it {the sense of beauty} instantaneously, until one is apt to feel that it is a thing of infinite delicacy and tenderness, and can only co-exist with a tranquillity which it is hard in life to secure.

— The Sense of Beauty, Benson, Joyous Gard

Only too well do I know the feeling that Benson writes about. Everyday stressors often highjack my attention and draw me away from the wellspring of life. And sometimes the feeling of separation lasts for days, weeks. But I know that the shadows of beauty follow me. I know that quietly they wait to remind me that the road to feeling great is yet within my reach.

Day 12 Guide

In life, there are those frail, tender moments that only a softened spirit would sense. Make it your daily habit to find something in the world that has meaning beyond a deadline.

© 2006, Levi Hill



Joyous Gard: Daily Guide
November 2006 ~ Day 11 Progress


As I grow older the thought of crawling into bed for the night is evermore appealing. I was never one to “burn the midnight oil.” I’ve always loved my sleep, sometimes, I think, too much. I have friends who can “burn the candle at both ends.” To them, sleep seems to be just a minor interruption in life. For me, it’s something to anticipate. Why, sometimes I even get out of bed in the morning and immediately begin looking forward to the time when I’ll be able to crawl back in that night.

We ought not to get hooked on sleep. We need rather to get hooked on life. There are so many things to do, so many experiences to have, so much to learn. The progress that we should make is to enjoy every aspect of life, guarding always against the tendency to crawl back in the bed. It’s tempting to think that a life of leisure will satisfy the soul. But the soul is in the business of living.

Day 11 Guide

Think about what we humans do best. We absorb experience, generalize and make conclusions. We plan, and we take action. We are makers, knowers and doers. Don’t shortchange yourself by putting your best to sleep. Enjoy the day.

© 2006, Levi Hill

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