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Try a Little Kindness

Do we need some kindness today? Can I get an Amen?

It seems in our society there is a lot more meanness going on!

Our country, home, churches, and schools need to be reminded of the old song by Glen Campbell “Try a Little Kindness.” The chorus goes like this;

” You got to try a little kindness. Yes, show a little kindness, just shine your light for everyone to see. And if you try a little kindness then you’ll overlook the blindness of  narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.”

I challenge us all right now, this week to reach out and show a little kindness. If you disagree with someone, call them and sit down with them. Tell them your concerns. Show respect to someone in authority (isn’t that a novel idea). Do something kind for them. You might be surprised how it all turns out!!!

Of course the answer we need is already in the Bible. Ephesians 4: 31-32 tells us “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Guess

Today’s writing prompt for Five Minute Writing was Guess.

When I was a child, I loved going to the fair. I loved all the good food, the rides, and seeing all the exhibits. The one thing I remember that I didn’t like was the guy that yelled at you and said he could guess your weight!!! If you have never heard of this or seen this, good for you. There was no way I was going to let anyone guess my weight much less get on the scale for the world to see! 

I have moved several times in my life. That is such a change. You must get to know people and they must get to know you. As I got older, I wanted to wear a sign around my neck to give everyone my background, so I didn’t have to keep repeating the same history.  I also didn’t want them to guess who I was. I wanted them to know who I was.

I don’t want people to guess my weight or to make a guess at who I am. Isn’t it refreshing to know that God knows everything about us? He doesn’t guess. He doesn’t make assumptions. I love Isaiah 43:1-28. God is talking to the Israelites, but He is also talking to us. We are His children, and he calls us by name. He knows our coming and goings. He knows our strengths and weaknesses. And there is no second guessing who we belong to! What comfort!  What joy!!

Imperfect

Our ladies’ group at church recently hosted a painting class. One of our members is a professional artist and she led our class. Please don’t judge her by this painting! She brought me a long way. Art is not my strong suit but, I do find it very relaxing.

I look at this painting and I see all the mistakes and the what ifs. Don’t we do that with our lives? I’m not pretty. I’m not very smart. I wish I could sing. I wish I was a great writer. I can’t cook. The list goes on and on and on!

I know my imperfections. Sometimes I can get carried away by them. In fact I can get consumed by them. But, I am so thankful that the one who created me doesn’t see me that way. Just like my artist friend kept assuring me that this was my work of art -imperfections and all.

Psalm 139 reminds us that our Father knew us from the womb. It says that we were fearfully and wonderfully made. The Message says in verse 14 “marvelously made.” Yes, that’s right, even with my imperfections my Father loves me.

Holy God, take my imperfections and use them for your glory! Amen

Heal

Our Five Minute Writing word this week is Heal.

We cry out for healing.

We search for healing.

We spend, we indulge, we fret, we ask others.

Healing eludes us.

A vicious cycle begins

until we are helpless.

Then, we fall on our face

and realize where our true healing comes from.

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;

Save me and I will be saved, for You are the one I praise.”

Mother’s Day 2022

How blessed I am to have two wonderful women in my life, my mom and my mother-in-law. How much they have taught me! I thank them for following after who God created them to be.

Mother’s Day can cause a lot of different kind of emotions for everyone. It hit me hard during worship this morning. I can’t pinpoint any one thing but just overwhelmed. It made me reflect on who I am as a mother. That’s not always the beautiful picture we want. It made me reflect on those who long to be a mother. Those whose mother has passed on. I thought of those who didn’t have such good mothers.

But, God is so good. He helped me see that each women we come in contact with has a different story to tell. I believe as sisters on this journey we mother each other. We learn something new all the time. Each woman we meet teaches us a little more about this life. If we are honest with each other, there is no perfect mother.

I am so thankful to think of the women in my life. Those who have left this life but were mentors to me. I’m thankful for my daughter, daughter-in-laws and my extended family who teach me new things all the time. I’m thankful for wonderful grandmothers and aunts who taught me joy! I’m thankful for friends who show me grace and mercy. I’m thankful for women who never had children but mother people all the time! I am amazed at single mothers who do all they can to raise their children on their own.

If you are grieving in some way today, reach out to someone else who may be grieving in a different way. They made need comfort as only a “mother” can give. Show them Jesus.

You Can Run but You Can’t Hide

“You can run but you can’t hide” was a saying supposedly given by boxing great Joe Lewis in the 1940’s right before a boxing match.

I admit there have been times in my life when I wanted to run. Yes, run for the hills. It’s our reaction to fear, defeat, sorrow, humiliation and I’m sure you can name something else!

What do we run to? Many run to food, to drink, to a new love, shopping, isolation, complaining…Anything other than facing what caused us to run in the first place. 

Jonah was a person who understood this. He knew what God wanted him to do! But he gets on the first boat out of town and tries to hide. But here’s the thing, you CAN’T run from God!

You would think this would be evident to us all. It’s been going on since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve hiding in the garden. Moses runs from Egypt. David tries to cover up his sin. But, in all these cases God intervenes. There are consequences when we run, especially from God. 

Christ pleads with the early church in the Sermon on the Mount to remember where to run when we want to hide.

Matthew 6:32-33 “Do not worry about your physical well-being. People who don’t know any better run after all the things they want, but your Heavenly Father knows your needs. Run for his kingdom and his righteousness then everything that you need will be taken care of.”

Don’t run for the hills! Run to Him!

Joy in Focusing on the Goal

We were blessed to watch our boys play basketball and it’s been fun to see some of the grands shoot the hoops! I love to watch young kids play because they only have one objective…shoot the ball!!! They don’t care how close or how far they are from the goal. They are going to shoot!

I am not an athlete but after watching the ”Pistol Pete” movie several times, I’ve learned a few things. One of those is that it’s important to keep your eye on the goal. The goal of the game is to get the ball through the goal and make as many points as you can. It is also helpful if you hit the right goal!!

We are constantly bombarded with making different goals in this life. We even start at a young age getting our children to begin thinking of what they want to be when they grow up. We have goals for our lives. We have goals in church. We have goals for our family. The list goes on.

Philippians 3 helps us put goal setting in perspective. I believe Paul was telling the Philippians that you can find joy in keeping your eyes on the right goal. Paul knew that the only goal that mattered was to keep his eye on Christ. All of the other goals that we set in this life will mean nothing if our primary purpose is not to focus on Jesus.

How do you keep Christ as your primary goal? Leave a comment.

Strong Coffee

Today’s writing topic for our Five Minute Writing community is Coffee!

If you know me you know I enjoy a cup of the old Joe. It really doesn’t matter what time of day, except now that I’m aging I am more concerned with no caffeine after a certain time of day! Oh well.

My father-in-law and I have a long standing joke about how I make coffee! He says he can hardly stir mine with a stick. I say he makes his like brown water. We love picking with each other about this topic. But, here’s the thing….I LIKE STRONG COFFEE. I want to know what I’m drinking!

I have tried all brands and types. I’m not real picky but I do like what they call a bolder flavor. There are so many brands it’s hard to know which one is the best. So I did a little research. Come to find out it’s the ratio of coffee grinds to water! It happens in the brewing process. You see it has a lot to do with the person behind the scenes.

I want to be strong like my coffee. Not in an athletic sort of way but a strong person who doesn’t fall apart at the drop of a hat.

I believe that there is only one way to get that strength. I am made strong by the power of my Lord. Starting in the Old Testament through the New we are reminded that alone we are powerless but when we lean on God we have power to be strong. One such verse is 1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong.”

You see in our lives, just like coffee, it’s the person behind the scenes giving us our strength. Thank you Father for making me strong!

Spring

Our topic today in our Five Minute Friday group is “Spring.”

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go with this, but this picture kept coming back into my mind. I know your laughing out loud! It was 30+ years ago! I had the honor and privilege to do some ladies’ days with my mother, grandmother and daughter. Our topic was “The Seasons of our Lives.” We each took a season. Allison, my daughter, read a scripture. I was tasked to take Spring and Summer. At that time of life, I was in the middle of the two seasons. My children were still young.

Spring, as I described it was the time of new beginnings. The time new life burst forth. As a parent, it’s the time we have to nurture and help our children begin their life. It’s a time we plant the seeds within their own life that will remain. One of the greatest reminders of this was my grandmother wanting me to memorize Psalm 1. I didn’t realize as a child how important it was. But, she knew! She knew that at a very young age it was important to help the seedling build deep roots in the ground. Psalm 1 says that this tree that has been nourished will prosper and it will be a blessing to others!

Our children need direction. They need care and tenderness. They don’t have to necessarily be your birth child. Aunts, uncles, teachers, bible school leaders are all necessary in the springtime of our children’s lives.

The following poem reminds me of these “seedlings” that have come and will come in my life!

“I am the Child.

All the world waits for my coming.

All the earth watches with interest to see what I shall become.

Civilization hangs in the balance.

For what I am, the world of tomorrow will be.

I am the Child.

I have come into your world, about which I know nothing.

Why I came I know not.

How I came I know not.

I am curious; I am interested.

I am the Child.

You hold in your hand my destiny.

You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.

Give me, I pray you, those things that make for happiness.

Train me, I beg you, that I may be a blessing to the world.

-Mamie Gene Cole

Heavy

Heavy

Heavy stuff!!!  This world is full of it. War and rumors of war. Divorce. Abandonment. Abuse. Wayward family members. Gossip. Cancer. Covid…the list can go on!

 Matthew 11:28 still rings true today; “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” This world is not easy. But thankfully we aren’t left alone.  Jesus goes on to say, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” (The Message)

I want to recover my life. I want that real rest. He goes on to say in the next verse that to do that we need to walk with Him and work alongside of Him. He promises those that do a much lighter life, “Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Now that’s heavy stuff!

Joy in knowing who I am

Popeye was one of my favorite cartoon characters growing up. I am pretty sure parents really appreciated the push on getting their children to eat spinach. That part did not work for me but I enjoyed the show anyway!

Several sayings were made famous from this cartoon. One was Wimpy’s which said, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” The other one I remember was Popeye’s, “I yam, what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”

So who was Popeye? Sailor, friend, good guy, and a vegetarian? Would you agree?

Who are you? When we are asked that question we often tell others about our families or our jobs. Sometimes we list our accomplishments or our education.

Paul begins the third chapter of Philippians by telling us his accomplishments in the world. He goes on to say that we shouldn’t put our confidence in those things. But, in verse seven he says that all of those things are loss when compared to knowing Jesus and becoming like Him.

As Christ followers we are not who the world says we are. We are who we are by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is true joy in knowing and believing that. We can say, I yam who I yam because of the great I am!