Giving and Bread

In today’s Advent message from Unity I read:

“The real value of a gift is not determined by how much you pay for it, but by what you invest of yourself in it. A relatively inexpensive gift that has been blessed by your love and thoughtfulness will bring joy and lasting inspiration to the one who receives it. Always give imaginatively, lovingly, freely, enthusiastically–whether your gift be a word, a smile, an act or a Christmas package. It is better not to give at all than to give with a sense of burden or with the hope of gain.

“True giving is spontaneous, like the overflow of a spring or fountain. Stir up the spirit of love and joy within you–so that you cannot help but give. Then give in the happy realization that every gift, whether to God or to a person, has something of you in it–the best of you–your love, joy, appreciation, thoughtfulness and strength.

“Give with no strings attached, and you will receive in the same manner.”

Dear Readers, I give to you today this message, the following photo, and a recipe for making bread:

Spring at Mittineague Park. West Springfield, MA. Photo by Bruce Barone.

What are you giving today?
I would love to hear from you!

If you want distinctive nature, documentary or portrait photography–photography with soul that inspires you to live a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

16 Replies to “Giving and Bread”

  1. Hello Bruce! It seems that this week we are promoting the same message, that of giving. It seems appropriate in this season. The gift I’m the most tickled with giving this year is to my grand daughter, her first ABC book, customized with pictures of family and loving thoughts…each letter is one family member. I think she will enjoy learning with all of us who love her so much around her…and I am loving giving it to her!

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  2. Hi Bruce,Yes, to what Irene just said: Many of us seems to be thinking about the season for giving. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it last more than just a few weeks.I enjoyed reading the sentiments you posted in today’s blog. Made me think of recasting “I live to serve” to be “I live to give”.Then I checked out your bread recipe, and I found Mark Bittman! I’ve subscribed to his video podcasts for the longest time, bought his wonderful cookbook (“How to Cook Everything”), and I love the video of his TED presentation from several years ago. Small world!Nice to meet you, and I look forward to chatting with you from time to time.Robbie

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  3. You Can never out give the universe! Random acts of Kindness that you can give whether you give an actual gift or the gift of your time to help another!These acts will always be repaid (by the universe) but not always in the same way you gave! you will receive it back in a way that means most to youAndy Coates

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  4. I wrote a really long comment but had trouble posting it and got signed out so let me just say…Nice post, and thanks for reminding us.Julie Labes the…Fierce over 50 feels much younger, point and click junkie, loves to travel, does not use a jogging stroller, and before you ask, this is NOT my granddaughter..Woman

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  5. Love the idea of gifts with no strings attached. We expect nothing in return and need no particular kind of reaction from the person. If only we could all give gifts of this kind, all the time.A great reminder.Judy Stone-GoldmanThe Reflective Writerhttp://www.thereflectivewriter.com

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  6. The beautiful thing about giving from the heart is how it pays back in ways you never expected. The best gifts are those that you give because you truly desire to uplift the recipient and see them somehow changed by the realization that you care about them. For Christmas this year I sent my mom and dad a collage of photos taken over the years during past Christmases of my sisters and my daughter titled Christmas Memories, and I wish I could be there to see the look on their faces when they see it!

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  7. I like to give thoughtful gifts or to do random acts of kindness where I can. So much more meaningful. Thanks for the lovely reminder.Louise EdingtonFacing Fears and Frontiers Over Fiftyhttp://louisedington.com

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  8. This is the second message today that I’ve read about giving yourself, your time, and I LOVE it! It’s such an important reminder this time of year.Today I gave time to and saved money for my husband. Without his asking, I purchasing his mother’s Christmas gift for him, and I used a gift certificate I had received to purchase it. :-)Lisa Vitalewww.lisawifemom.wordpress.com

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  9. Bruce – as usual, I love your photography…and who could argue with your message. I would like to add that a great gift is to accept gifts from others graciously and openly w/o feeling you have to give back. If I feel inspired to give you a gift I don’t think less of you if you don’t give something to me. In fact, I feel gifted in the joy of you receiving and enjoying. Happy Holidays and thank you.

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  10. This week is certainly a week about gifts, giving and the meaning behind such. Love your message at the beginning and love your bread recipes. Thanks. Can’t wait to try them (although I’m going to substitute brown rice flour instead of the wheat)Candace C. Davenportwww.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big Message

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  11. Bruce – Beautiful photography. I love Pat’s comment, “A great gift is to accept gifts from others graciously and openly.”Thank for sharing the eye candy!Debbiewww.FreshBrothers.Wordpress.com

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  12. Bruce, my message doesn’t seem to have gone through properly. I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading this message and so agree with giving things without expecting anything in return. Lovely words.Fiona Stolzehttp://fionastolze.wordpress.com

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