Suggestions from Pope Francis

Last September when Pope Francis visited the United States he gave several inspirational speeches. I was profoundly affected by his visit. Recently I came across some notes I took from his words of encouragement.

I thought it might be useful to review and post them.  Our world is facing many challenges, especially terrorism.  Perhaps his comments were heard, and will be remembered and acted on.

I’ve summarized some of my notes on Pope Francis’ comments:

Our fragmented world leads to battles to defend our conflicting interests.

Don’t postpone critical and global decisions. Especially those decisions concerning those excluded and those in need.

Avoid beauracratic exercises of drawing up ‘plans’ but not taking action.

Everyone has a responsibility to the planet.

Pray for those unwilling to govern.

Work to heal a country/planet torn by hatred, greed, poverty, and pollution.

I pray that a leader reveals him/herself who can lead the United States in healing from the present ugliness and to work with other world leaders to fight terrorism, and take care of each other and our planet.

Thank you.

 

 

Gratitude and Making Daily Sacrifices

 

Mary Pat Higley enjoys reading inspirational materials, getting involved in her church, and working on gratitude.

Some things thats she’s taken from a variety of Womens Bible  Studies at Mariners Church, Irvine are summarized below.

Joy springs from a grateful heart. Focus on graces received.  Remember to count our blessings and savor them vs forgetting them or minimizing their importance.  Mary Pat tries to work at repaying her blessings with a life dedicated to generous self sacrifice.  Look for opportunities to be of service.  Volunteering in nursing homes, and with those with disabilities reminds us of our blessings. Giving and receiving love is better than a shopping trip to a fancy store. Help those who are struggling. We are all Gods children and make mistakes.

Worldliness can weaken your dedication.  Mary Pat Higley constantly tries to avoid getting caught up in ‘outward success’. Living in Orange County, California is full of worldly distractions.

Gods people are accountable.   When choosing what to spend time and energy on something – ask yourself – ‘What is the value in Gods Eyes?’. Check your motives.

Remain humble.  We are followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus was humble. He did not boast.  He did not seek worldly goods.

Worldly comforts blunt our daily spirit of sacrifice and hard work.  Worldy things alienate those who make bigger sacrifices.

Mary Pat tries to stay close to the poor and elderly.  Mary Pat Higley is focusing on making daily sacrifices to keep close to God.  Volunteering and praying for Gods direction to best utilize her spiritual gifts.

 

How Therapy Dogs International Does Certification

Therapy Dogs International pic
Therapy Dogs International
Image: tdi-dog.org

As a hobby, Mary Pat Higley trains therapy dogs to visit children’s hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities. The benefits of using therapy dogs with people who are ill, injured, depressed, or who simply love dogs, are numerous. The dogs that Mary Pat Higley and other trainers use boost the spirits of the humans they visit, and studies have indicated they can have a positive medical effect on people as well. Not just any dog can work as a therapy dog, however. The animal must have the right temperament to start with and also be carefully trained.

Therapy Dogs International (TDI) is one organization that certifies therapy dogs. For a dog to be certified by this organization, it must meet a number of requirements. An evaluator certified by TDI makes the decision. First of all, the dog must be physically healthy and needs to be at least a year old. Dogs that have a history of biting and other aggression are automatically disqualified.

The evaluation itself is divided into two parts. Essentially, it is meant to simulate a visit to a facility. It tests how the animal will react in realistic situations, such as when it is startled by objects being dropped, when strangers pet it, and when it is approached by a person on crutches or in a wheelchair. The first phase of the test takes place with the handler and the dog together; the second phase evaluates the dog away from its handler.

Services Through Mariners Church Outreach

A self-employed medical consultant, Mary Pat Higley spent over a decade in this medical field with companies such as Kaiser Permanente and Hoffmann La Roche/Smithline Beecham. Alongside her career, Mary Pat Higley volunteers at Mariners Church in Irvine, California.

Mariners Church maintains four campuses in Orange County, California. Founded to bring its members closer to Jesus Christ, Mariners Church wants to transform ordinary lives with the power to courageously provide witness to Jesus. The church also established Mariners Church Outreach to serve those in need in the local community.

Mariners Church Outreach aims to understand poverty and help those living in poverty to change their lives for the better. It includes volunteer servant leadership and ministry based on relationships. The outreach program particularly targets at-risk youth and families for its service. Rather than operating through tithes given to the church, Mariners Church Outreach relies entirely on gifts from generous donors.

For more information about Mariners Church and its outreach program, or to make a donation, visit http://www.marinerschurch.org.